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LaTexLearner
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Best LaTeX Resources on YouTube?

Postby LaTexLearner » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:34 pm

I've really enjoyed Michelle Krummel's LaTeX introduction on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 31D3EBC449

Now that I know that beginner-level stuff, though, I'm ready to move on.

Can anybody suggest a YouTube playlist to follow up with? There are so many videos there I don't know where to go next.

Thanks!

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Johannes_B
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Postby Johannes_B » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:53 pm

I picked one of the videos (the first on text formatting) and it started. My first thoughts were, you should never use those commands within the document. I skipped a bit and at minute four was cursing the video because what was told there is simply, excuse me, crap. Stuff like that promotes wrong bits and pieces that never stop floating around.

Nicola Talbot published some nice books for novices and advanced users, all of them reviewed by a large community of experienced LaTeX users. Please have a look at them, they are free. Dickimaw LaTeX books


btw: so, far, i haven't seen a single video on Youtube, that was 100 percent correct.
The smart way: Calm down and take a deep breath, read posts and provided links attentively, try to understand and ask if necessary.

LaTexLearner
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Postby LaTexLearner » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:57 pm

Johannes_B wrote:I picked one of the videos (the first on text formatting) and it started. My first thoughts were, you should never use those commands within the document. I skipped a bit and at minute four was cursing the video because what was told there is simply, excuse me, crap. Stuff like that promotes wrong bits and pieces that never stop floating around...

btw: so, far, i haven't seen a single video on Youtube, that was 100 percent correct.


What, exactly, was wrong with those videos?

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Johannes_B
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Postby Johannes_B » Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:32 pm

Commands like textbf and friends shoudl never be used with in the body of a document. Better to use semantic markup and user-defined commands.

Font size switches are simple commands, using them as an environment is a wide spread misunderstanding, distributed over generations and more generations to come. The thing is, that the LaTeX ekrnel defines that stuff, that this still works. But i would never recommend that.

Unfortunately, Nicola introduces that as well. Gotta talk to her about that.
The smart way: Calm down and take a deep breath, read posts and provided links attentively, try to understand and ask if necessary.

LaTexLearner
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Postby LaTexLearner » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:48 pm

Johannes_B wrote:Commands like textbf and friends shoudl never be used with in the body of a document. Better to use semantic markup and user-defined commands.

Font size switches are simple commands, using them as an environment is a wide spread misunderstanding, distributed over generations and more generations to come. The thing is, that the LaTeX ekrnel defines that stuff, that this still works. But i would never recommend that.

Unfortunately, Nicola introduces that as well. Gotta talk to her about that.



To be honest, I'm completely new to programming and LaTeX and didn't actually understand this message. What is "semantic markup"? I think (I know what user-defined commands are, though.)

Why is it so bad to use environments for font sizing?

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Johannes_B
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Postby Johannes_B » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:19 am

textbf makes something bold, but there is no reason given. You are using semantic markup at different places, you issue the section command instead of changing to a bigger fontsize, stepping the section number by one, typesetting the text, make a note for the toc, switch back to normalfont and normalsize ...

All this is hidden, you can later decide that sections shall be bigger, or use another font and all instances of section will change.

Now, suppose you have latin names of plants species, you are setting them using textbf. Later you decide to change it to italics. You have to redo every instance, which might be ok for 5 occurences, but is highly impractical for 1000 occurences.

Following some source code, please cpy it into your favourite LaTeX editor and view source and pdf side by side. You can also click on »Open in Writelatex« (which is now overleaf) to see everything.

  1. \documentclass{article}
  2. \usepackage{parskip}%Just for this example
  3. \usepackage{xcolor}
  4. \usepackage{blindtext}
  5. \begin{document}
  6. \section{Fragaria, the strawberry}
  7. \begin{bfseries}Fragaria\end{bfseries}\par
  8. \begingroup\bfseries Fragaria\endgroup\par
  9. {\bfseries Fragaria}\par
  10. All look the same, internally, they are the same as well, more or
  11. less.
  12.  
  13. From now on, we want to print species colored. We have used the
  14. low-level \verb!\bfseries! for our species Fragaria exclusively,
  15. we can just redefine it.
  16. {
  17. \renewcommand{\bfseries}{\color{blue}}
  18. {\bfseries Fragaria}\par
  19. \section{This is a test section}
  20. Suddenly, the section heading is blue as well. By default,
  21. sections are typeset in bold.
  22. }
  23.  
  24.  
  25. \clearpage
  26. \section{user defined commands}
  27. We define a new command, that we use and that is not already
  28. defined:\par
  29. \newcommand{\species}[1]{\textbf{#1}}
  30. \species{Fragaria}\par
  31. From now on, we want to print species colored. If we want to do
  32. this globally, we can mv the command to the preamble, or change
  33. the initial definition in the preamble. \par
  34. \renewcommand{\species}[1]{\textcolor{blue}{#1}}
  35. \species{Fragaria}\par
  36. \section{colored?}
  37.  
  38. \normalfont\Large\bfseries\refstepcounter{section}\thesection\hspace{2.3ex}No
  39. section heading\par\normalfont\normalsize\noindent
  40. Some normal text
  41.  
  42. \clearpage\section{environments}
  43.  
  44. The environments business is better seen for font switches. As
  45. has been pointed out at other places, a \verb!\end{bfseries}! or
  46. \verb!\end{Large}! might be better seen in a document, but
  47. beware. Does this look right?
  48.  
  49. \begin{huge}\blindtext\end{huge}\par
  50. \clearpage
  51. We need a par break inside the group/environment, because it is
  52. defined that way internally.\par
  53. \begin{huge}\blindtext\par\end{huge}
  54. \clearpage
  55. Of course, we can define our own environment, since using the
  56. low-level commands is not very \emph{LaTeXy} ($\leftarrow$ semantic markup to
  57. emphasize something)
  58. \newenvironment{unimportant}{\par\begingroup\scriptsize}{\par\endgroup}
  59. \begin{unimportant}\blindtext\end{unimportant}
  60. Please compare with the incorrect usage:\par
  61. \begin{scriptsize}\blindtext\end{scriptsize}
  62.  
  63.  
  64. \clearpage
  65. \section{titlepages}
  66. Let's consider an instance of constant failure, titlepages. Let's
  67. simulate the title of a master thesis here:
  68. \bigbreak
  69. \begin{center}
  70. \begin{minipage}{.6\textwidth}
  71. \begin{Huge}
  72. Dancing Pidgeons \\and their love \\[1ex]for green statues
  73. \end{Huge}
  74. \end{minipage}
  75. \end{center}
  76.  
  77. \bigbreak
  78. People use the optional argument to somehow manage the bad
  79. spacing, going into all sorts of trouble. When instead, things
  80. are so simple:
  81. \bigbreak
  82. \begin{center}
  83. \begin{minipage}{.6\textwidth}
  84. \begin{Huge}
  85. Dancing Pidgeons \\and their love \\for green
  86. statues\par
  87. \end{Huge}
  88. \end{minipage}
  89. \end{center}
  90. \end{document}
  91.  



To put it in a nutshell, though placing the commands inuse of an environment with it working pretty well, there are situations where it terribly breaks down. Leaving an inexperienced user confused, looking for odd workarounds. That is why i am discouraging the use of commands as environments.

Please play around with the code above and ask if needed.
The smart way: Calm down and take a deep breath, read posts and provided links attentively, try to understand and ask if necessary.


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