Tooling: About to start my book using LaTex. Good Idea or No-Go?


I found that MS Word was excellent for a long book (240 pages). It’s use of styles, footnotes, indexing and table of contents were brilliant for long documents.

The only reason I moved away from it was that it couldn’t produce PDF of the correct specification for printers (which it turns out is a killer problem!).

It wasn’t great for fancy layouts or fancy backgrounds for headers or footers or that kind of thing of course.

The PDF export problem is the biggest killer for it though IMO. If you can’t use it to produce something to send to a printer…

I’ve been using an old copy of InDesign 6 for the longest time, but it was so flaky and at some point will just top working, so I’m delighted that Affinity Publisher is looking so positive.



If you know LaTeX well, and can make it jump through a few hoops (eg: using XeLaTeX for fonts, manipulating the page geometry, doing watermarks for page backgrounds, and using the manuscript style with good chapter headers) it will work. Or if the list of things I’ve put in brackets doesn’t put you off…

I used LaTeX to produce Age of Arthur, Starfall, Out of the Furnace, and the Liminal Quickstart and individual Case Notes. It works. It’s great for producing a table of contents, indexing, and hyperlinked PDFs.

Overall, I’d advise that it’s a good approach if you already know it from other work, but if you’re learning from scratch other packages would be easier to get good results out of…there are a few hoops to jump through to make your book look like something different to a technical document.


Sounds cool and yes, this is the case. Already have background and cool looking Headers and boxes (with custom fonts), open are pictures but only because I did not start to include them, yet. I saw that there are some packages to help with that.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with it, the text looks beautiful. I hope to post some examples here soon.

Its a bit of work but if you got it right it stays right which is my modus of work: small but solid steps instead of leaping 3 steps forward 2 steps back.


If you can use LaTex, then essentially: Do Use LaTex.

Better: If you can make it easier to use for RPGs? I’d love that.