Stefan Kottwitz, LaTeX: Beginner’s Guide. Packt Publishing, 2011.
If you have looked around this site, you know that one of the tools I use to write is LaTeX. Though it might not be everybody’s cup of tea, it does look like it is becoming more and more popular in the humanities. A sign of this increasing popularity is this new book published by Pack Publishing.
Someone recently asked me whether it was better to get a Mac or a PC, which translated usually means stick with Windows or join the Mac crowd. Since it’s back to school time soon, this is a timely issue. But if you do research and write, the point is really not which one is better.
Working with LaTeX involves writing in one application (TeXShop, TextMate, etc.) and viewing your document in a pdf reader (Acrobat Reader, Skim, etc.). To see the result of your work, to correct or improve it, it is often practical to quickly go back and forth between the working text and the resulting pdf.
Depending on the operating system and the sofware you use, entering right-to-left scripts can be a real problem. On the Mac it seems Word is not going to offer satisfying RtL anytime soon. Mellel is quite good with Hebrew but is weak or non-existent in tables, images, parallel columns, indexes, etc.
One of the advantages LaTeX offers is the possibility to work with ancient languages without too much trouble. Here are the basic instructions to use Biblical Hebrew in XƎTeX (this works fine on a Mac with Leopard).
One issue that usually comes up at some point for those who write and work in theology is which computer tools to use. Here are some tools that I use with links to their sites.