Publishing high-quality documents with Kile

TeX and LaTeX produce impeccably laid-out documents, and are the only practical way to show some mathematical equations. This GUI tool acts as an "integrated development environment" for the command-line document preparation tools.

In the meantime we continue the tour of the Kile's user interface. The mission critical toolbar controls are there to invoke programs, external to Kile, that will perform a certain action on the active LaTeX document. With almost everything in the interface being configurable, the controls can be easily customized through a set of options accessed from the main menu "Settings/Configure Shortcuts/Toolbars/Kile".

Behind the dialog "Configure Kile" is the true connection with the underlying compilers and the DVI drivers/translators/previewers. The user can choose the default compiler (pdftex, pdflatex) or the DVI tool for a particular task and they will become available through the designated icon on the Kile toolbar. Apart from the toolbar, all mandatory tasks like the compilation of the current document, translation from DVI into Postscript or PDF and the preview of created documents are represented individually in the menu "Build". The "QuickBuild" includes the entire process from compilation to the document preview stage, releasing the user from obligation of running each one separately. "Selection Build" is an option that is especially useful when a lot of editing is done over a large document. In order to save the compilation time over the entire project, it will only compile and display the selected part of the input file where the last changes were made.

Yet another conversion utility available through Kile is latex2html, which will generate interlinked HTML pages from the LaTeX project, ready for publication on line. Latex2html is installed separately and, although it is not part of the teTeX distribution, it is indispensable when the technical writings need to be presented quickly on the Web, as the HTML version of the LaTeX document is obtained effortlessly in the same way as Postscript or PDF files. The most important feature is the conversion of mathematical formulas into static image files for inclusion with the web page sources. A trade off in typesetting is inevitable at this point but even the most complex formulas will be displayed with satisfactory enough quality.

When checking the accuracy of the user's input, Kile can also help with tracing LaTeX command syntax errors and can point to the documents segments where the so-called bad boxes are detected in the LaTeX input files. Bad boxes are areas where the compiler thinks that the text has not be typeset to its high standards. Whenever these messages occur, Kile jumps to the incriminated lines with the forward/backward navigation toolbar buttons.

You can check that all the necessary external tools are installed, using the menu item "Settings/System Check". Its purpose is to test-run the TeX/LaTeX compilers, the DVI translators and graphical previewers. Once the test is completed, you'll see a full trouble-shooting report about the current configuration.

As stated earlier, the menu "Settings/Configure Kile" leads to the main configuration window. A set of items found on the "Build" tab reveals the actual shell command and the name of the console application executed when some action is performed within Kile. Where possible (and practical), the predefined programs can be substituted with other applications. For example, the preview of DVI, Postscript and PDF files is done by default with the external programs KDVI, KGhostview or KPDF (for this purpose, Kile temporarily switches from the basic "text editing" into "preview" mode; for return, the "Editor View" button becomes available).

But, for those preferring non-KDE previewers (or in the situation when they are not available with the KDE bundle) programs such as Xdvi, Xpdf, gv or Adobe Acrobat Reader can be used instead. Depending on the type of these applications, the "Advanced" tab can offer a clue about the extra settings which need to be adjusted when you change the default programs.

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