On Fri, Oct 10, 2003 at 08:31:41AM -0400, William O'Higgins wrote:
> I have grown tired of using MS Word as my standard document output
> format.  I haven't gotten OpenOffice to work under FreeBSD (and it isn't
> my favourite tool by a long shot) and I am most happy generating text in
> vi.  PDF is eminently portable, and I think that it would suit my
> purposes nicely.
> I had some thoughts about generating PDFs, but I was hoping for advice
> about which tools to use.  Should I just learn how to mark up a text
> page manually (I write HTML almost as quickly as plain text)?  Should I
> learn TeX or some variant and translate it?  I hear that PHP has some
> excellent PDF-generation tools; should I write up a command-line
> interpreter myself?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I'd suggest you take a look at TeX (especially LaTeX). While it might
take some time to learn it will allow to output your data in various
formats like html, pdf, ps, text and so on. 
I am generating my pdf documents with 'pdflatex' from tex sources as
I'd recommend the following ports for writing latex docs: 
- teTeX
- latex2e

There's an excellent latex2e introduction from Tobias Oettiker which can
be downloaded from http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~oetiker/lshort/ (filename:

If you dont like writing latex sources you can try 'lyx' which is a WYSIWYG
latex editor.

> I did a bit of searching, but I didn't find any real *advice* on what
> process to use, and most of the tools that I found are for viewing PDFs,
> not writing them.

googling on latex and pdf should give you more than enough to read :).

Hope that helps
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