IntroTeXLaTeX

IntroTeXLaTeX - A TEX and LTEX For the Uninitiated A LTEX...

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T E X and L A T E X For the Uninitiated * L A T E X file: IntroTeXLaTeX — Daniel A. Graham <[email protected]>, August 4, 2007 The name T E X, pronounced “tech”, actually stands for τ χ , the beginning of the Greek word for art . It is not a word processor but rather a text-formatter for documents. You can use any editor (or word processor) you like to compose a text (ascii) file that is then processed by T E X. The output from T E X is either a device independent .dvi file or a page description format .pdf file which can be printed on virtually any printer or displayed on the screen or sent to other personal computers, workstations or mainframes. Why might you be interested in T E X? It produces typographically beautiful documents. For typesetting mathematics, in partic- ular, it has no peer. It is universally available. It is standard on UNIX systems and versions exist for MAC and MS-Windows. It is supported by a large number of individuals world wide and by a number of Usenet groups. It is free. Complete versions for any platform can be obtained from a number of FTP sites. It is extremely easy to use for anyone who speaks “mathematics”. T E X documents are small, ascii files which can be edited by any editor. This means that you can change editors without changing your files. You can quickly send your doc- uments via email without having to “uuencode” or “uudecode” them at either end or worrying about whether your colleague has the right version of the right word processor for your file. You can also use standard utilities such as find, grep, or perl to make your collection of files an easily searched and indexed database. T E X was designed by Donald E. Knuth, of computer programming fame, in the late 1970’s so that he might have a typesetting program worthy of his computer science textbooks. The effort took eight years but was worth it. One writer described the result as the most significant event in typesetting in this century and ranked it near the introduction of the Gutenberg press in terms of importance. It has, in fact, become the lingua franca of the scientific community. Scientific papers are routinely prepared and distributed using T E X or L A T E X. Although T E X itself is concerned with the low-level formatting task of laying out text on the page, it is very extensible. Of the many extensions intended to provide higher-level elements such as chapters, sections and footnotes, the two most important have been AmsT E X and L A T E X. AmsT E X was developed for the American Mathematics Society and articles submitted for publication in top mathematics journals must now be submitted as AmsT E X files. L A T E X was * If you already know much about T E X you shouldn’t be reading this.
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originally intended to provide somewhat less support than AmsT E X for specialized mathemat- ics but more for other document features such as cross-references, tables of contents, indexes and bibliographies. With the advent of the the new L A T E X, called L A T E X 2 ε
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