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Old 09-29-2009, 11:09 AM   #1
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LaTeX eBook Templates

Dear Like-Minded Fellows,

Have any of you an interest in contributing to a collection of LaTeX eBook Templates?

I'm thinking of LaTeX source files that are customized for what is a coherent and--to the best of the template maker's abilities--typographically sound whole, that people could readily plug content into.

If there is interest, I'll setup a member-editable wiki for this tonight with usernames/passwords for anybody interested (to avoid having to monitor for vandalism and spam), and add the first template I have to contribute.

If anybody already knows of a website like this, please do post about it here. If a LaTeX template site already exists that has (or is amenable to) a focus on eBooks, I'll save myself the (admittedly minimal) trouble of putting up the wiki.

Just to further clarify what I mean, I would love to see on the eventual template list...

- several LaTeX templates that aim for simple but pleasant aesthetics and readability with eBook (display size and resolution) limitations in mind
- a LaTeX template that supports marginal notes (even if only for 8"+ devices)
- several (Xe)LaTeX templates for CJK eBooks, with links to the fonts used
- LaTeX templates that try to be typography-historically sensible, from font selection to chapter/page styles, to table of contents style
- LaTeX templates with specific types of complex layout structures in mind (e.g.: a layout specifically tailored for the Bible and similar books, a layout tailored for dictionaries and encyclopedias, a layout tailored for bilingual texts)
- et cetera

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Old 09-29-2009, 12:38 PM   #2
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Two potential sources of inspiration: The Beauty of LaTeX and The TeX Showcase

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Old 09-29-2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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There's one in this thread:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12872
Though it doesn't do anything you couldn't with a single call to the geometry package.

Is a complete "template" called for here?

Just...

Code:
\usepackage[paper size={90mm, 120mm},left=2mm,right=2mm,top=2mm,bottom=2mm,nohead]{geometry}
and

\sloppy


ought to cover it in most cases. (Using e.g., the book class with oneside and openany options... I saw somewhere that you like memoir, but I've never been that fond of it, but that's fine too.) Tweak the page size (the above is for 6" screen), and margins if you like, e.g., adding enough on the right for marginal notes, or the top or bottom for a header.

As far as readable LaTeX fonts, I guess Computer/Latin Modern is not great for e-Ink screens. I like Charter or New Century Schoobook:

\usepackage[charter]{mathdesign}


or

\usepackage{fouriernc}

I've used kpfonts (Kepler Project Fonts) too.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frabjous View Post
There's one in this thread:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12872
Though it doesn't do anything you couldn't with a single call to the geometry package.

Is a complete "template" called for here?

Just...

Code:
\usepackage[paper size={90mm, 120mm},left=2mm,right=2mm,top=2mm,bottom=2mm,nohead]{geometry}
and

\sloppy


ought to cover it in most cases. (Using e.g., the book class with oneside and openany options... I saw somewhere that you like memoir, but I've never been that fond of it, but that's fine too.) Tweak the page size (the above is for 6" screen), and margins if you like, e.g., adding enough on the right for marginal notes, or the top or bottom for a header.

As far as readable LaTeX fonts, I guess Computer/Latin Modern is not great for e-Ink screens. I like Charter or New Century Schoobook:

\usepackage[charter]{mathdesign}


or

\usepackage{fouriernc}

I've used kpfonts (Kepler Project Fonts) too.
I more meant LaTeX templates that provide a typographically more developed environment than any packages provide out of the box.

Basically a template would allow somebody to copy-and-paste into the LaTeX source their book's contents and get something that aesthetically matches (given the right fonts, of course) my Casanova's Memoirs eBook.

The basics provided by LaTeX are, of course, miles better than the alternative to begin with... but I find the defaults tend to be bland, and can readily be improved upon with even fairly minor customization.

I'll show some examples either tonight or tomorrow, as my time allows.

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Old 09-30-2009, 07:23 AM   #5
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I'd recommend using the memoir class, which gives a consistent and unified framework for designing a book layout. For chapters styles, some samples can be found here. As for fonts, I'd recomend the fourier and kpfonts packages, which provide fairly complete font families, including math support.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:40 AM   #6
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Ok... I appear to have expressed myself horribly inaptly.

I basically want a Zen Garden of LaTeX Templates.

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Old 10-07-2009, 11:17 PM   #7
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Hi Ahi,

A Zen Garden of LaTeX templates would actually be awesome and very useful...especially to someone like me who is trying to learn basic LaTeX and hoping to improve the look of ebooks. I loved Jallby's formatting in Gulliver's Travel, which got me interested in looking into LaTeX. I had used it a few years ago for an undergrad thesis but I have forgotten everything since then.

Given that I am working in Windows, and that I am looking to go down the route of a relatively easy method for pasting in ebook content and generating PDFs, what would you recommend? Also, if you have any templates to share, or threads to point me towards that would help me get started with making ebooks using LaTeX I would be very grateful.

Thanks a ton!

Cheers
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orion2001 View Post
Hi Ahi,

A Zen Garden of LaTeX templates would actually be awesome and very useful...especially to someone like me who is trying to learn basic LaTeX and hoping to improve the look of ebooks. I loved Jallby's formatting in Gulliver's Travel, which got me interested in looking into LaTeX. I had used it a few years ago for an undergrad thesis but I have forgotten everything since then.

Given that I am working in Windows, and that I am looking to go down the route of a relatively easy method for pasting in ebook content and generating PDFs, what would you recommend? Also, if you have any templates to share, or threads to point me towards that would help me get started with making ebooks using LaTeX I would be very grateful.

Thanks a ton!

Cheers
Welcome to the Dark Side, Orion2001.

I am suffering through some crunch-time with several projects. I will start throwing a few LaTeX templates on a minimalist website, whose URL I will post here.

As for easily generating LaTeX documents from eBooks, once I upload the next version of pacify, it should do a good bit of the work. I recommend not bothering with the old one currently available on the forum, as the new version is pretty drastically different... so whatever figuring out you do will be in vain once you start using the new release.

Expect progress on the above next week... and I encourage you to harass me about it, if none is forthcoming. A little encouragement never hurts!

In the meantime, you might also want to check out Jellby's script that works with PrinceXML. Not LaTeX, but leagues better than anything else out there (other than LaTeX) and by the sounds of it easy enough to handle.

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Old 10-07-2009, 11:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahi View Post
Welcome to the Dark Side, Orion2001.

I am suffering through some crunch-time with several projects. I will start throwing a few LaTeX templates on a minimalist website, whose URL I will post here.

As for easily generating LaTeX documents from eBooks, once I upload the next version of pacify, it should do a good bit of the work. I recommend not bothering with the old one currently available on the forum, as the new version is pretty drastically different... so whatever figuring out you do will be in vain once you start using the new release.

Expect progress on the above next week... and I encourage you to harass me about it, if none is forthcoming. A little encouragement never hurts!

In the meantime, you might also want to check out Jellby's script that works with PrinceXML. Not LaTeX, but leagues better than anything else out there (other than LaTeX) and by the sounds of it easy enough to handle.

- Ahi
Thanks Ahi . Truth be told, I shouldn't be doing this currently either. I'm supposed to be writing up my doctoral thesis...instead, I am spending way too much time trying to find my perfect ebook recipe . I'll wait for you to post your recipes once you get the time. I'm already looking into Prince XML right now. I have a feeling that will be easier to understand since I have decent HTML/CSS knowledge.

Thanks again!
Cheers
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orion2001 View Post
Thanks Ahi . Truth be told, I shouldn't be doing this currently either. I'm supposed to be writing up my doctoral thesis...instead, I am spending way too much time trying to find my perfect ebook recipe . I'll wait for you to post your recipes once you get the time. I'm already looking into Prince XML right now. I have a feeling that will be easier to understand since I have decent HTML/CSS knowledge.

Thanks again!
Cheers
What is your field, Orion2001?

PrinceXML should get you good results quickly. LaTeX, with just a bit more effort per book (once you know what you are doing), will get you close to (or downright) professional results for a far broader variety of projects.

Good luck with your thesis!

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Old 10-08-2009, 12:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahi View Post
What is your field, Orion2001?

PrinceXML should get you good results quickly. LaTeX, with just a bit more effort per book (once you know what you are doing), will get you close to (or downright) professional results for a far broader variety of projects.

Good luck with your thesis!

- Ahi
Hi Ahi...my field is Applied Engineering Physics. Before you look at me all mortified with a "What kind of physicist are you if you don't know LaTeX?" look, I have to explain that the reason is because my advisor is a Microsoft Word junkie and refuses to use anything else. As a result I've been forced to stick with Word for all my paper and thesis writing . Formatting my thesis correctly in Word 2007 has been quite an experience. It sucks to be constantly fighting your Word Processor over formatting when you should be worrying about the actual content.
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:39 AM   #12
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In case a week is too long to wait... here's the LaTeX source for one of my eBooks. It's a bit messy, but shouldn't be hard to figure out, if you are inclined to.

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Old 10-08-2009, 01:50 AM   #13
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Thanks Ahi,

I took a quick look and it is clear to me that there is a lot of LaTeX terminology/commands and functions that I need to familiarize myself with. Thanks for the template though. I don't think it should be too hard for me to try and modify it appropriately.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by orion2001 View Post
Thanks Ahi,

I took a quick look and it is clear to me that there is a lot of LaTeX terminology/commands and functions that I need to familiarize myself with. Thanks for the template though. I don't think it should be too hard for me to try and modify it appropriately.
I agree.

Just two things:

1. This source file doesn't necessarily do things in the right/elegant LaTeX way.

2. If you have any questions about it, do ask, and I'll answer to the best of my abilities.

- Ahi
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:37 PM   #15
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In case a week is too long to wait... here's the LaTeX source for one of my eBooks. It's a bit messy, but shouldn't be hard to figure out, if you are inclined to.
Why not strip out the content and leave us with a nice template, ahi? Or are you waiting until you have more time?

Personally, I don't think it takes a lot of bells and whistles to make a good LaTeX ebook. The key should be getting the content of the book looking right, and just using LaTeX does half the battle for you.

However, perhaps I'll post something minimal when I get a chance.
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