LaTeX/TeX is a mark-up language that produces attractive text. LaTeX typesets a text file with interspersed commands that describe how the text should be formatted. Like other languages, it is best learned by looking at examples.
The advantages of LaTeX include that it is public domain, platform and printer independent, allows mathematical symbols and equations to be entered much easier and quicker than in conventional word processing programs, and produces camera ready text. Its disadvantage is that it is not as easy to learn initially as a word processor.
Another reason for learning LaTeX is that markup languages such as XML are becoming more important. But the most important reason is that after you learn LaTeX, you can focus on your writing and become more productive.
TeX consists of primitive operations as in other programming languages. LaTeX is a user interface for TeX to automate the common tasks of document preparation. It provides a simple way to use the power of TeX without having to learn the entire language. It also has features that allow the conversion of LaTeX documents into XML.
Read this LaTeX file to see examples of various TeX commands and then look at the output to see the typesetted file. Download TeX file and figures.Running TeX on Linux:
Please send comments and corrections to Harvey Gould, firstname.lastname@example.org.Updated 17 August 2007.