History and Overview
– LaTeX was created in the early 1980s by Leslie Lamport.
– Lamport initially developed LaTeX for his own use.
– Peter Gordon convinced Lamport to write a LaTeX users manual for publication.
– The manual was published in 1986 and sold hundreds of thousands of copies.
– Maintenance and development of LaTeX was later taken over by Frank Mittelbach and the LaTeX3 team.
– LaTeX is a document preparation system based on the TeX typesetting system.
– It is widely used in academia and scientific publishing.
– LaTeX allows users to focus on content rather than formatting.
– LaTeX provides precise control over document layout.
– It supports mathematical equations and symbols.
– It has built-in support for bibliographies and citations.
– LaTeX can generate professional-looking documents.
– It is highly customizable through packages and templates.
– LaTeX produces high-quality typesetting.
– It ensures consistent formatting throughout a document.
– It handles large documents with ease.
– LaTeX is platform-independent.
– It is free and open-source software.
– There are various resources available for learning LaTeX.
– Online tutorials and guides are widely accessible.
– Books like ‘Learning LaTeX’ and ‘Guide to LaTeX’ provide comprehensive information.
– LaTeX has a steep learning curve but offers long-term benefits.
– Practice and experimentation are key to mastering LaTeX.
Typesetting System and Document Preparation
– LaTeX separates presentation from content.
– Authors specify the logical structure using simple concepts like chapters and sections.
– The LaTeX system handles the formatting and layout of these structures.
– Manual typesetting adjustments are still possible when needed.
– LaTeX can be extended using the underlying macro language to develop custom macros and packages.
– To create a document in LaTeX, a user creates a .tex file using a text editor.
– The .tex file is then processed by the TeX program with LaTeX macros loaded.
– The TeX program generates an output file suitable for viewing or printing.
– This write-format-preview cycle is different from WYSIWYG document editing.
– LaTeX-aware editing programs simplify this cycle and provide live previews.
Name, Logo, and Related Software
– The name LaTeX is printed in running text with a typographical logo.
– In media where the logo cannot be reproduced, the word is capitalized as LaTeX.
– The TeX, LaTeX, and XeTeX logos can be rendered via CSS and XHTML for graphical web browsers.
– The internal LaTeX macro specifies the rendering of the logos.
– The unique capitalization distinguishes LaTeX from other software.
– LaTeX is a macro package for TeX.
– Other macro packages for TeX include Plain TeX, GNU Texinfo, AMSTeX, and ConTeXt.
– TeX follows the processing sequence of Macros → TeX → Driver → Output.
– Different implementations of each step are available in TeX distributions.
– pdfTeX and LuaTeX are extended versions of TeX with additional features and capabilities.
Compatibility and Converters
– LaTeX documents can be opened with any text editor.
– LaTeX files can be shared in formats such as Rich Text Format (RTF), XML, or the .cls container format.
– Conversion to PDF files can be done using pdfLaTeX, XeLaTeX, or LuaLaTeX.
– HeVeA and LaTeX2HTML are converters that can convert LaTeX documents to HTML.
– Pandoc is a universal document converter that can transform LaTeX into various file formats.
Licensing, Versions, and Mathematical Expression Converters
– LaTeX is distributed under the LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL).
– The LPPL is not compatible with the GNU General Public License.
– LaTeX is available on various operating systems, including UNIX, BSD, Linux, Windows, and Mac.
– LaTeX2e is the current version of LaTeX.
– LaTeX3 is under long-term development and aims to introduce improved syntax and new features.
– Commercial implementations of the entire TeX system exist, such as LyX and TeXmacs.
– WYSIWYG editors like Scientific Word and BaKoMa TeX can produce LaTeX.
– Community-supported TeX distributions are available.
– Mathoid is a web-service converter that converts math inputs, including LaTeX, to MathML and picture formats.
LaTeX (// LAH-tek or // LAY-tek, often stylized as LaTeX) is a software system for typesetting documents. LaTeX markup describes the content and layout of the document, as opposed to the formatted text found in WYSIWYG word processors like Microsoft Word, LibreOffice Writer and Apple Pages. The writer uses markup tagging conventions to define the general structure of a document, to stylise text throughout a document (such as bold and italics), and to add citations and cross-references. A TeX distribution such as TeX Live or MiKTeX is used to produce an output file (such as PDF or DVI) suitable for printing or digital distribution.
|LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL)
LaTeX is widely used in academia for the communication and publication of scientific documents in many fields. It also has a prominent role in the preparation and publication of books and articles that contain complex multilingual materials, such as Arabic and Greek. LaTeX uses the TeX typesetting program for formatting its output, and is itself written in the TeX macro language.
LaTeX can be used as a standalone document preparation system, or as an intermediate format. In the latter role, for example, it is sometimes used as part of a pipeline for translating DocBook and other XML-based formats to PDF. The typesetting system offers programmable desktop publishing features and extensive facilities for automating most aspects of typesetting and desktop publishing, including numbering and cross-referencing of tables and figures, chapter and section headings, graphics, page layout, indexing and bibliographies.
Like TeX, LaTeX started as a writing tool for mathematicians and computer scientists, but even from early in its development, it has also been taken up by scholars who needed to write documents that include complex math expressions or non-Latin scripts, such as Arabic, Devanagari and Chinese.
LaTeX is intended to provide a high-level, descriptive markup language that accesses the power of TeX in an easier way for writers. In essence, TeX handles the layout side, while LaTeX handles the content side for document processing. LaTeX comprises a collection of TeX macros and a program to process LaTeX documents, and because the plain TeX formatting commands are elementary, it provides authors with ready-made commands for formatting and layout requirements such as chapter headings, footnotes, cross-references and bibliographies.
LaTeX was originally written in the early 1980s by Leslie Lamport at SRI International. The current version is LaTeX2e (stylised as LaTeX2ε), first released in 1994 but incrementally updated starting in 2015. This update policy replaced earlier plans for a separate release of LaTeX3 (LaTeX3), which had been in development since 1989. LaTeX is free software and is distributed under the LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL).
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