next up previous contents index
Next: List of Features Up: LaTeX2HTML Previous: LaTeX2HTML

Overview

   This manual describes the LATEX2HTML translator which is used to create Web pages from document source written for the LATEX typesetting system, or simply containing LATEX commands.


To use LATEX2HTML to translate a file <file>.tex containing LATEX commands, simply type:

latex2html <file>.tex
This will create a new directory called <file> which will contain the generated HTML files, some log files and possibly some images.


 

Basically the translator reads the source document and creates a linked set of HTML pages, displaying the information it contains. The LATEX commands and environments that are found are interpreted either as ``markup'' instructions, or as macros expanding into more text or markup commands. Where such markup corresponds to the intended use for markup tags in the HTML language, a direct translation is made. If there is no natural way to present the information using simple text embellished with HTML markup tags, then an image is generated, using LATEX itself to interpret the portion of code.

Of course this is a drastically over-simplified description of what LATEX2HTML actually does. Many questions spring readily to mind. The answers to these and the options available to handle particular situations are discussed elsewhere in this manual.

 

Text and paragraphing clearly should appear as such, whether printed or on-screen. Different font sizes and styles such as ``bold-face'' or ``italic'' are generally rendered accordingly. However, whereas LATEX has access to appropriate fonts for specialised purposes such as mathematical symbols, these cannot be guaranteed to be available with all Web-browsers. So for information requiring such things, LATEX2HTML will generally resort to making an image, using LATEX itself to typeset the material required for that image.

The next page contains a brief overview of how LATEX's standard environments are handled within LATEX2HTML. It also mentions some of the extra features that are available.
In general LATEX2HTML attempts to use textual constructions to represent the required information. Generation of an image is done only when there is no adequate textual construction with the required version of HTML, or when specifically requested to do so. Various extensions, to cope with the different HTML versions and extra features, are discussed elsewhere. That describes what to expect on the HTML pages, with little or no changes required to the LATEX source.

Just as LATEX has various packages which can be used to present specific types of information in appropriate ways, so is LATEX2HTML capable of handling the commands from many of these packages. See this table for a listing of those packages which currently have special support.

 

Any effect currently available with any version of the HTML standard can be specified for a document processed by LATEX2HTML. New LATEX commands are defined in the html.sty package; the features that these commands allow are the subject of a whole section of this manual. Some of the new commands provide improved strategies for effects already existing in LATEX; e.g. cross-references and citations. To use these effectively requires only small changes to the LATEX source.

Other commands define new environments which are completely ignored when processed by LATEX. Indeed the full scope of HTML 3.2 is available, using LATEX-like macros to help structure the source, reduce the tedium of repetitious use of tags, and ensure that all appropriate tags are correctly closed.

 

The HTML pages can contain whole chapters, sections, (sub)subsections or (sub)paragraphs. This is fully customisable using the command-line options discussed in detail in a separate section of this manual.

 

In fact any document can be fed to the LATEX2HTML processor, but it is designed specifically to recognise and sensibly translate the intentions expressed by LATEX markup commands. Although sensible results can be obtained even when the LATEX source is not valid, the most reliable translations are obtained when it is. Relevant issues are discussed in a later section.

 

The answer to such a question changes as the developer gains more experience with the available tools. Some aspects to be considered are discussed in a later section of this manual.




 


Information relevant to obtaining the latest version of LATEX2HTML, installation within the local environment, and where to look for help when things do not go as expected, can be found in the support section.


What follows next is a brief summary of the features supported within LATEX2HTML....



 
next up previous contents index
Next: List of Features Up: LaTeX2HTML Previous: LaTeX2HTML
(merlin) BOFH
2000-03-14