Main menu
What is LaTeX?

What is LaTeX?

Latex is a language for high quality editing documents, especially oriented to book composition, scientific and technical documents, that include formulas and high quality images. It consists on a set of Tex macros (one low-level language) and has become almost a standard for scientific publications in areas such as mathematics, physics and engineering, since we can have finer control over any typographical appearance of the document.

Latex is not a text editor, is a language for preparing documents and therefore its appearance is not equal. The latex editors differ of the WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get) because latex allows users to write a paper, focusing exclusively on the content without having to worry about the format details.

 

Advantages of Latex

  • Stable and multi-platform: the file format is more stable than the one in text editors, also there exist implementations for different platforms, and in all of them, the result is exactly the same.
  • High-quality equation editing: it can set the size of the parentheses, integrals, subscript and superscript, align elements in a matrices, constructed boxes, etc.
  • Ease-writing structured documents: it is possible to write texts dividing them into chapters, sections, subsections, controlling at all times numbering and cross-referencing. Automatic indexing of contents, tables or figures.
  • It's free.

 

Disadvantages of Latex

  • Slow learning curve: it requires a learning period before getting the first results. Even medium or advanced user always have a manual nearby.
  • The results are not seen until the file is compiled: no preview available until it is compiled. During this process, it is usual the appearing of compilation errors and it can be frustrating for beginners. The only solution is to be patient.

 

Using Latex

The document preparation normally requires two stages: the first is to create a source file using a text editor, which includes the appropriate commands and the text to be printed. The second is to compile the source file; this process consists on interpreting the written orders on the source file, leaving it ready to be sent to the corresponding output, either the screen or the pdf printer. Now, if you want to add or change something in the document, you must make the appropriate changes in the source file and compile it again.

 

Latex distributions

There are several latex distributions, e.g., TeXLive can be used on Linux, Mac and Windows, MacTex for OS X and MiKTeX is used in Windows. Another advantage of LaTeX is that the output is always the same, regardless of the device (printer, screen, etc..) or the operating system, and it can be exported to a variety of formats (Postscript, PDF, SGML, HTML, RTF, etc.).

 

Latex Editors

There are several applications that helps a person to write a document in a more visual way: Texmaker, LyX, TeXmacs, Texstudio, WinShell, Kile and others. Another easy way to edit and to produce the corresponding equations in latex code, is to use a Google Chrome browser extension called Daum Equation Editor.

 

Example of a Latex document

 

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage[spanish]{babel}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage[latin1]{inputenc}
\title{\LaTeX}
\date{}
% This is a comment, not be displayed in the final document.
\begin{document}
\maketitle
\LaTeX es un programa para preparar documentos con el sistema de tipograf\'ias \footnote{Seg\'un Wikipedia, la tipograf\'ia es el arte y t\'ecnica del manejo y selecci\'on de tipos, originalmente de plomo, para crear trabajos de impresi\'ion} \TeX. \LaTeX fue desarrollado originalmente por Leslie Lamport en $1984$ y se convirti\'o en el m\'etodo dominante para la manipulaci\'on de \TeX. La versi\'on utilizada para generar este documento es \LaTeXe.
\newline
% The following code shows the quality of LaTeX typesetting
$$E=mc^2$$
$$\oint F(x)dx$$
$$\iint \Phi(x, y)dxdy$$
$$\begin{matrix}A\xrightarrow{\;\;\;f\;\;\;}B\\\pi\downarrow{\;\;\;\;\;}\;\;\;\uparrow{} \phi\\C\xrightarrow{\;\;\;g\;\;\;}D\end{matrix}$$
\end{document}

 

This code will produce a document as in Figure # 1.

 

Figure # 1: Example of a Latex document.

 

Last modified onThursday, 22 September 2016 20:49
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Luis Sequeira

Luis Sequeira is an IT professional with experience in cloud environments, quality of service and network traffic analysis, who loves looking for solutions to engineering challenges, share knowledge. At work, the main challenge is to integrate different network and software technologies to provide solution in a wide range of areas, e.g., virtual network functions, machine learning, autonomous driving, robotics and augmented reality.

Website: https://www.luissequeira.com

Related items

More in this category: « How to install SPAN?

19 comments

  • Cialis
    Cialis Sunday, 10 August 2014 17:33 Comment Link

    Hi
    Good
    Thanks

  • ajax google apis
    ajax google apis Thursday, 13 November 2014 18:24 Comment Link

    I love it when people come together and share views. Great site, continue
    the good work!

  • google plus app development
    google plus app development Tuesday, 18 November 2014 05:03 Comment Link

    You can certainly see your expertise within the work you write.
    The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as
    you who aren't afraid to mention how they
    believe. At all times follow your heart.

  • chatline
    chatline Wednesday, 17 December 2014 22:44 Comment Link

    Enjoyed examining this, very good stuff, appreciate it. "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." by Archilocus.

  • Farming Simulator 2015 crack
    Farming Simulator 2015 crack Friday, 19 December 2014 19:44 Comment Link

    I completely really like all the Assassin's Creed games.

  • Alexis Texas
    Alexis Texas Monday, 29 December 2014 02:03 Comment Link

    What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious failiarity regarding
    unexpected emotions.

  • Game of Thrones Iron From Ice crack

    These applications have no respect for your on the internet perform.

  • basically cars
    basically cars Wednesday, 07 January 2015 18:43 Comment Link

    Hello there, just became alert to yopur blog through Google, and
    found that it's really informative. I'm goiing too watch out for brussels.

    I'll be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Lots oof people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  • sting englishman in new york
    sting englishman in new york Saturday, 17 January 2015 16:52 Comment Link

    Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be
    on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think
    about worries that they plainly do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined
    out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  • seguridad privada
    seguridad privada Monday, 19 January 2015 23:46 Comment Link

    por supuesto como su sitio web embargo usted necesita ver la
    ortografía en varios de tus mensajes. Varios de ellos están llenos de ortografía problemas y encontrar problemático decirle la realidad no obstante voy definitivamente venir atrás
    de nuevo.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

back to top

Facebook TwitterRSS