An awesome tutorial for creating letters with LaTeX

I used to think that LaTeX was overkill for simple things like letters, but I’ve changed my mind. I few months ago I had to write a sollicitation letter, and I decided to figure out how it could be done with LaTeX instead of using OpenOffice.org for writing it. I’m glad I did, because during my search for information I found the blog of another Dutch LaTeX fan, which contains a series of excellent tutorials for writing a letter and a resume with the KOMA-Script document class. I love KOMA-Script because by default it places those folding marks and it positions the destination address so that it will be visible if you have an envelope with a window. Of course things like that could be done with Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org Writer too, but that would probably a bit more complicated. And of course you get the superior typesetting of LaTeX for free. I’m not sure if I’m going to rework my resume with KOMA-Script, but as you can see the letters displayed in the tutorial look awesome.

On a different note, I noticed a bug which was exposed by the ‘\date’ command in the letter, LaTeX gave me a wrong month instead of the current one, and the wrong month was also spelled incorrectly. After some searching I figured out that a more recent version of the Polyglossia package would fix the problem. Meanwhile TeX Live 2010 was already released, but not in time for the Ubuntu 10.10 release, which still used 2009 with the outdated version of Polyglossia. There were no personal package archives (PPA’s) containing the 2010 version either. So I had to install the latest Polyglossia package manually, but this introduced a dependency hell, because the latest Polyglossia required another package which in turn required other packages of a more recent version. Half an hour or so later the problem was fixed, but of course fixing it wasn’t easy. I’d wish Ubuntu or someone with a PPA would provide updates to TeX Live sooner.

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