Difference between revisions of "What is ConTeXt"

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== In short ==
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ConTeXt is software for typesetting high-quality documents. Unlike familiar word processors where the formatting of the final document is crafted while writing the content, ConTeXt documents are written without formatting, in plain text, using a macro language. This means that the document's content can change independently of its formatting and vice versa.
This is an example of a ConTeXt document:
 
  
<context source=yes>
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== Features ==
\setuphead[section][color=red]
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\starttext
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ConTeXt supports colors, configurable page backgrounds, hyperlinks, presentations, figure-text integration, cross-references, bibliographies, indices, typesetting for [[Chemistry|chemistry]] and [[Command/unit|physics]], [[Modes|conditional compilation]], non-latin languages, and [[Imposition|binding and imposition]].
\section{Hello}
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World!
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== Graphics ==
\stoptext
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</context>
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ConTeXt integrates a superset of [[MetaPost]] called [[MetaFun]], which allows drawing page backgrounds and ornaments.
 +
 
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== Internationalization ==
 +
 
 +
ConTeXt provides a multi-lingual user interface with support for markup in English, Dutch, German, French, and Italian and support for output in many languages including western European languages, eastern European languages, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
 +
 
 +
== Compatibility ==
 +
 
 +
ConTeXt supports TeX engines such as [[wikipedia:pdfTeX|pdfTeX]], [[XeTeX]], and [[LuaTeX]] without changing the user interface.
 +
 
 +
== History ==
 +
 
 +
ConTeXt was developed from 1990 by Hans Hagen from [http://www.pragma-ade.com/ PRAGMA Advanced Document Engineering] (Pragma ADE), a Netherlands-based company.
 +
 
 +
== Licensing ==
  
 +
ConTeXt is [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/free_software free software]. The program code (i.e. anything not under the <code>/doc</code> subtree) is distributed under the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_GPL GNU GPL]; the documentation is provided under [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons Creative Commons] Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike license.
  
'''ConTeXt is ...'''
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== Example ==
* ''typography-friendly'': where [[wikipedia:LaTeX|LaTeX]]'s philosophy is to insulate the author from typographical details, ConTeXt's approach is to make them accessible.
 
* ''unified'': nearly any feature you could want is in one of the many core modules, avoiding the common LaTeX problem of clashing third-party packages.
 
* ''extensive'': there is support for such diverse things as colors, adaptive backgrounds, hyperlinks, presentations, figure-text integration, typesetting for [[chemistry|Chemistry]] and [[Command/unit|physics]], [[Modes|conditional compilation]], non-latin languages, and [[Imposition|binding and imposition]].
 
  
* ''text-based'': you write the input document in plain text
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A simple ConTeXt document resembles:
* ''compiled'': you compile a document by opening a command-line window (like the Terminal on Linux or Mac OS, or the [[wikipedia:Command_Prompt|Command Prompt]] on Windows) and running {{code|context mydocument.tex}}
 
  
ConTeXt provides a multi-lingual user interface with support for markup in English, Dutch, German, French, and Italian and support for output in many languages including western European languages, eastern European languages, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. It also allows the user to use different TeX engines like
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<context source="yes" text="This produces:">
[[wikipedia:pdfTeX|pdfTeX]], [[XeTeX]], and [[LuaTeX]] without changing the user interface.
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\setuphead[section][color=red]
  
ConTeXt integrates a superset of [[MetaPost]] called [[MetaFun]] which allows the users to use the drawing abilities of MetaPost for page backgrounds and ornaments. Metafun can also be used on its own with MetaPost, without ConTeXt.
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\starttext
  
ConTeXt was developed from 1990 by Hans Hagen from [http://www.pragma-ade.com/ PRAGMA Advanced Document Engineering] (Pragma ADE), a Netherlands-based company. It is [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/free_software free software]: The program code (i.e. anything not under the <code>/doc</code> subtree) is distributed under the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_GPL GNU GPL]; the documentation is provided under [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons Creative Commons] Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike license.
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\section{Hello}
 +
World!
  
== In a bit more detail ==
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\stoptext
 +
</context>
  
(From in-en-04.pdf)
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== Technical Details ==
  
ConTeXt can be used to typeset complex and large collections
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ConTeXt can be used to typeset complex and large collections of documents, like educational materials, user guides and technical manuals. Such documents often have high demands regarding structure, design and accessibility. Ease of maintenance, reuse of content and typographic consistency are important prerequisites.
of documents, like educational materials, user guides
 
and technical manuals. Such documents often have high demands
 
regarding structure, design and accessibility. Ease of
 
maintenance, reuse of content and typographic consistency
 
are important prerequisites.
 
  
ConTeXt is developed for those who are responsible for producing
+
ConTeXt is developed for those who are responsible for producing such documents. ConTeXt is written in the typographical programming language TeX. For using ConTeXt, no TeX programming skills and no technical background are needed. Some basic knowledge of typography and document design will enable you to use the full power of ConTeXt.
such documents. ConTeXt is written in the typographical
 
programming language TeX. For using ConTeXt, no TeX
 
programming skills and no technical background are needed.
 
Some basic knowledge of typography and document design
 
will enable you to use the full power of ConTeXt.
 
  
ConTeXt is parameter driven and the user interface supports
+
ConTeXt is parameter driven and the user interface supports several languages, like English, German and Dutch. This means that those less familiar with the English language can choose the interface that suits them best. Of course ConTeXt can typeset in many languages.
several languages, like English, German and Dutch. This
 
means that those less familiar with the English language can
 
choose the interface that suits them best. Of course ConTeXt
 
can typeset in many languages.
 
  
Originally ConTeXt was written as tool for writing complex,
+
Originally ConTeXt was written as tool for writing complex, constantly changing and extensive educational documents. Although much functionality originates there, ConTeXt has proven to be quite suitable to perform many other complex typesetting tasks. Some features are:
constantly changing and extensive educational documents.
 
Although much functionality originates there, ConTeXt has
 
proven to be quite suitable to perform many other complex
 
typesetting tasks. Some features are:
 
  
 
* automatic placement of figures, formulas, tables and other kind of floating bodies
 
* automatic placement of figures, formulas, tables and other kind of floating bodies
Line 80: Line 74:
 
* automatic makeup of tables and formulas
 
* automatic makeup of tables and formulas
  
ConTeXt supports the PDF format and is able to directly produce
+
ConTeXt supports the PDF format and is able to directly produce highly interactive PDF files, using pdfTeX. All cross-references are automatically converted to hyperlinks. Such documents
highly interactive PDF files, using pdfTeX. All cross-references
+
can be viewed and consulted with Acrobat. ConTeXt can provide all kinds of navigational aids that can be activated without programming. Electronic versions of documents thereby become very useful in educational settings. The potential of PDF is available to the user: complex forms and JavaScripts are no problem for ConTeXt. [http://www.pragma-ade.nl/ PRAGMA ADE] has developed ConTeXt in-house mainly to suit its own and customers' wishes concerning developing educational
are automatically converted to hyperlinks. Such documents
+
documents. Flexibility in layout, reuse of content, and maintenance are keywords.
can be viewed and consulted with Acrobat. ConTeXt
 
can provide all kinds of navigational aids that can be activated
 
without programming. Electronic versions of documents
 
thereby become very useful in educational settings. The potential
 
of PDF is available to the user: complex forms and
 
JavaScripts are no problem for ConTeXt.
 
[http://www.pragma-ade.nl/ PRAGMA ADE] has developed ConTeXt in-house mainly to suit
 
its own and customers' wishes concerning developing educational
 
documents. Flexibility in layout, reuse of content, and
 
maintenance are keywords.
 

Latest revision as of 20:21, 14 January 2014

ConTeXt is software for typesetting high-quality documents. Unlike familiar word processors where the formatting of the final document is crafted while writing the content, ConTeXt documents are written without formatting, in plain text, using a macro language. This means that the document's content can change independently of its formatting and vice versa.

Features

ConTeXt supports colors, configurable page backgrounds, hyperlinks, presentations, figure-text integration, cross-references, bibliographies, indices, typesetting for chemistry and physics, conditional compilation, non-latin languages, and binding and imposition.

Graphics

ConTeXt integrates a superset of MetaPost called MetaFun, which allows drawing page backgrounds and ornaments.

Internationalization

ConTeXt provides a multi-lingual user interface with support for markup in English, Dutch, German, French, and Italian and support for output in many languages including western European languages, eastern European languages, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Compatibility

ConTeXt supports TeX engines such as pdfTeX, XeTeX, and LuaTeX without changing the user interface.

History

ConTeXt was developed from 1990 by Hans Hagen from PRAGMA Advanced Document Engineering (Pragma ADE), a Netherlands-based company.

Licensing

ConTeXt is free software. The program code (i.e. anything not under the /doc subtree) is distributed under the GNU GPL; the documentation is provided under Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike license.

Example

A simple ConTeXt document resembles:

\setuphead[section][color=red]

\starttext

\section{Hello}
World!

\stoptext

This produces:

Technical Details

ConTeXt can be used to typeset complex and large collections of documents, like educational materials, user guides and technical manuals. Such documents often have high demands regarding structure, design and accessibility. Ease of maintenance, reuse of content and typographic consistency are important prerequisites.

ConTeXt is developed for those who are responsible for producing such documents. ConTeXt is written in the typographical programming language TeX. For using ConTeXt, no TeX programming skills and no technical background are needed. Some basic knowledge of typography and document design will enable you to use the full power of ConTeXt.

ConTeXt is parameter driven and the user interface supports several languages, like English, German and Dutch. This means that those less familiar with the English language can choose the interface that suits them best. Of course ConTeXt can typeset in many languages.

Originally ConTeXt was written as tool for writing complex, constantly changing and extensive educational documents. Although much functionality originates there, ConTeXt has proven to be quite suitable to perform many other complex typesetting tasks. Some features are:

  • automatic placement of figures, formulas, tables and other kind of floating bodies
  • automatic generation of lists of abbreviations, synonyms, and whatever needs to be sorted
  • automatic numbering of footnotes
  • adapting footers and headers to the current page content
  • extensive formatting of itemizations in many levels
  • consistent typesetting of legends to formulas
  • maintaining several registers, if needed with extensive interactive support
  • extensive cross-referencing capabilities
  • generating lists of used figures, tables, formulas and more
  • forcing rigourous consistency in emphasizing parts of the text
  • managing documents in a project environment
  • automatic placement of marginal notes
  • typesetting in more than one column
  • identifying textual elements in such a way that they can be hidden, moved and reused when needed (questions, answers, definitions, etc.)
  • using text in more that one document, with a different layout if needed
  • automatic hyphenation of words as well as adaptation to language specific typographic needs
  • inclusion of illustrations in standardized formats from other applications
  • using color
  • easy change of layout, while guarding consistent typography
  • providing multiple tables of contents and lists, at all levels, to provide optimal accessibility
  • automatic numbering of definitions, lemmas and other structural components
  • automatic numbering of figures, tables, and other floating bodies
  • automatic makeup of tables and formulas

ConTeXt supports the PDF format and is able to directly produce highly interactive PDF files, using pdfTeX. All cross-references are automatically converted to hyperlinks. Such documents can be viewed and consulted with Acrobat. ConTeXt can provide all kinds of navigational aids that can be activated without programming. Electronic versions of documents thereby become very useful in educational settings. The potential of PDF is available to the user: complex forms and JavaScripts are no problem for ConTeXt. PRAGMA ADE has developed ConTeXt in-house mainly to suit its own and customers' wishes concerning developing educational documents. Flexibility in layout, reuse of content, and maintenance are keywords.