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How to Use LaTeX

A guide for installing and using the typesetting program \(\LaTeX\).

What is \(\LaTeX\)?

\(\LaTeX\) (usually typeset LaTeX and pronounced lay-tek or lah-tek) is free and open-source document markup language built on another typesetting system called \(\TeX\). LaTeX was created with the intention of simplifying the creation of attractively-formatted books and other documents, especially books that contain a lot of mathematics.

How can I Use LaTeX?

Making a document using LaTeX follows these general steps:

  1. Downloading and installing a TeX distribution (and editor)
  2. Writing a .tex file using a text or LaTeX editing program
  3. Compiling the file into a readable document

Getting the most out of LaTeX will also require the installation of LaTeX packages. These are small, open-source additions to a TeX distribution that add functionality or features.

Why Use LaTeX?

Below are a few links discussing the benefits of learning to create documents in LaTeX and a comparison of LaTeX to apps like Microsoft Word.

Wayne State University Theses and Dissertations in LaTeX