Milan ordinary landscapes. Porta Garibaldi #13. February 2010

Blurb and an old flame. Part three

Some handy references for those willing to adventure into the LaTex land. To start with some motivations here is an advocacy article: LaTeX isn't for everyone but it could be for you. For a first intro see A (Not So) Short Introduction to LaTeX2e. But the fastest way, if you want to experiment with it, is to install a version of "xelatex" on your computer, it is available for all most any operating system, and give it a try starting from the files mentioned in the last related post.

But even if your more interested in using your wysig have a look here for some ideas in the design of the book: tufte-latex, LaTex users will find it ready to use. Have a look at the pdfs available and mainly to the one that focuses on the book style.

In my first try, for blurb, I want to put the image slightly off centre. How to arbitrarily position an image into a page is a thing that is not present in Eric's example. The task may be addressed via the package named, quite obviously, "photo" that lets you manage the picture as a "float" object, the package is available in every LaTex2e distribution. Anyway you may find it here or in the CTAN TeX/LaTex repository.


Mike C. said...


I have to say that -- unless you really are intending to design yourself an extremely unconventional book layout (and I mean *extremely*) -- you could save yourself a lot of time and effort by using the templates provided in Blurb's free BookSmart software.

Maybe I have a too conventional view of book design, but it suits me fine. I had to create PDFs in my DTP software for use in Lulu, and turned to BookSmart with a liberating sense of relief.


Mauro Thon Giudici said...

the problem is not that I want to create an unconventional book design but that I like to have a complete control of the process. I did not consider BookSmart software since I want to output multiple formats with the same sequences. Actually I'm finding that sequencing and editing take a lot more time than formatting.

Mike C. said...

Well, one of the nice things about BookSmart is that it's a good tool for playing with sequencing... In my view "total control" generally equals "maximum frustration" ;)

But then I use Program mode on my camera more often than Manual these days...


Mauro Thon Giudici said...

Yes Mike you're right sequencing is a time consuming task. But I have my own, totally controlled, solution, I've build my piece of site with a gallery shaper that lets me generate and play with sequences, its a thing I've did a few years ago and now comes in handy for the task. What I find invaluable of latex is that with a few different includes I can easily produce output for different devices.
As for the control I've always used exclusively the manual mode to the point of being unable to use the other ones, still can't understand how exposure compensation works :-D. It is certainly a waste of time but, you know, wasting time is what we're after, or not ?