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is a macro package
developed by Hans Hagen of Pragma-Ade; it started as a production tool
for Pragma (which is a publishing company). ConTeXt is a
document-production system based, like LaTeX, on the TeX
typesetting system. Whereas LaTeX insulates the writer from
typographical details, ConTeXt takes a complementary approach by
providing structured interfaces for handling typography, including
extensive support for colors, backgrounds, hyperlinks, presentations,
figure-text integration, and conditional compilation. It gives the
user extensive control over formatting while making it easy to create
new layouts and styles without learning the TeX macro
language. ConTeXt’s unified design avoids the package clashes that
can happen with LaTeX.
ConTeXt also integrates MetaFun, a superset of MetaPost and a powerful
system for vector graphics. MetaFun can be used as a stand-alone
system to produce figures, but its strength lies in enhancing
ConTeXt documents with accurate graphic elements.
ConTeXt allows the users to specify formatting commands in English,
Dutch, German, French, or Italian, and to use different typesetting
engines (PDFTeX, XeTeX, Aleph and LuaTeX) without
changing the user interface. ConTeXt continues to develop, often in
response to requests from the user community.
ConTeXt has been bound to the development of
, almost from the start of that project.
Nowadays, it is distributed in two versions — mark two (files with
(which runs on PDFTeX but is not under
active development) and mark four files with extension
(which runs on LuaTeX and is where development
ConTeXt has a large developer community (though possibly not as
large as that of latex), but those developers who are active seem to have
prodigious energy. Support is available via a
and via the
a “standalone” distribution (a TeX distribution with no macros
other than ConTeXt-based ones) is available from
~— it provides
a ConTeXt system on any of a number of platforms, executing either
mark ii or mark iv ConTeXt.
- ConTeXt distribution
- macros/context (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
This answer last edited: 2011-11-02
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This is FAQ version 3.27, released on 2013-06-07.