Skip to main content

Section 11.1 Preparation

We do not encourage authors to make small adjustments in style, especially if they have few skills in book design. Instead, they should choose a design built by others that will fit their needs and desires. We do encourage publishers with design skills to create complete and harmonious designs, and to donate these back to PreTeXt with an open license, for use by all authors. This chapter assumes you are such a publisher. Further, it assumes you have certain technical skills. Specifically

  • Good familiarity with basic and .
  • The ability to debug compilations gone bad.
  • Willingness to study several packages that may be new to you.
  • Willingess to mimic and experiment with basic eXtensible Stylsheet Language (XSL).

Fortunately, it is easy to start small, get good results, and expand your skills further.

Begin by creating a file that is a new XSL stylesheet. You can likely safely copy a mature one from the xsl/latex directory. Be certain to keep the first few declarations. The <xsl:import> is critical, since it will “pull in” all the basic code for the PreTeXt conversion to . You will be overriding and appending to that code (which PreTeXt has made straightforward). You can start with an absolute path from your filesystem root, but once public a relative path will be necessary. Remove all of the <xsl:template> elements, leaving a hollow shell to begin working with.

What we are doing here is similar to the discussion of “thin XSL stylesheets” in the Author's Guide, only thicker. String parameters are also described in this guide, at Section 3.1.