LaTeX is free software used for producing technical and scientific documents.
- LaTeX supports mutliple languages, including cyrillic fonts.
- Supports advanced textual formatting, such as mathematical formulas, subscript, superscript, etc.
- LaTeX is extensible through the use of programmable macros which are bundled together in packages.
- These packages can be added to a LaTeX installation to provide additional, non-standard functionality.
- LaTeX allows the authors to worry about creating content. Document preparation tags may be added as the document is created or afterward.
- Available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BSD, Unix, DOS and other operating systems, as well as via HTML. It is free software, available under the LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL).
- LaTeX is the de-facto standard for preparing academic documents and texts, as it can be used to generate very complex documents with headings, subscript, superscript, footnotes, chapters, bibliographies, charts, pictures, graphs, etc.
- Learning LaTeX is similar to learning a programming language. You must learn the tags and commands and enter them appropriately into the document in order to produce the desired document.
- LaTex requires a functional version of TeX in order to produce a printable output file.
- There are many versions of LaTeX as well as many versions of TeX. There could be compatibility issues between the installed versions which may cause problems during document generation.
LaTeX is a document preparation system. It is a pre-processor for the TeX typesetting system developed by Donald E. Knuth in 1978, and it relies on having a functional TeX distribution installed for LaTeX to work. The goals of TeX are to make document preparation easy and to facilitate creating identical documents on different computers running different operating systems. TeX is well-known for its use in the publication of academic literature, and is especially well suited for typesetting complex mathematical formulae. LaTeX is an overlay on top of the TeX system, and it enables the author to focus on content. The author inserts "tags" or "markup" language to note the structure of the document, to format the text and to add citations or footnotes. Using LaTeX, the author can easily integrate text, formulae, pictures or images, numbering, chapter headings and sub-headings, and other common document components. The TeX system then processes the document and produces an output file which is ready for printing. LaTeX provides a more intuitive interface for interacting with the underlying TeX systems. The author uses standard commands and tags for preparing the document, and LaTeX translates the commands and tags into TeX when the document is generated. LaTeX provides a programmable interface of sorts through which the document author can automate many portions of the preparation and publishing process. The LaTeX system separates the document content creation from the preparation and publishing processes. This is different than current word-processing programs, which present the finished product as the content is created, which is commonly referred to as "What you see is what you get" or "WYSIWYG." Instead, LaTeX provides a creation-preparation-publish process, where the raw text document is prepared in LaTeX and published in TeX.