What is TeX and LaTeX?
TeX is a program for quality typesetting. It was developed by
Knuth in the years 1978-88, and it has the following
The TeX program is fully described in
- TeX is not a WYSIWYG (`what you see is what you get') system.
The text is interspersed with commands that control the
typesetting process. The command langauge is extensible, so the
user can define his or her own commands.
- TeX produces typeset documents of the highest quality. It is
particularly strong on complicated mathematics.
- The TeX program runs on just about every kind of computer in
existence today, from 286 PCs and upward.
- There are free implementations available on all these
computers, as well as a few commercial installations; see
the page describing available
- There is a large user base, so there is no shortage of helpful
experts; some are organize in user groups like
NTUG. The news group
comp.text.tex is also
a good source of help and information.
Donald E. Knuth: The TeXbook
Addison-Wesley 1991, ISBN
LaTeX is the most widely used extension of TeX; it was
developed by Lesley Lamport in 1985 and has the following
A good book for LaTeX beginners is the originator's own introduction
- LaTeX is a structure oriented system in which the user combines
text and structure commands; the same idea is used in SGML and
- The actual typesetting is done according to a style sheet
(called a `document class' in LaTeX) defining the layout. Many
document classes exist, and the user can easily make his or her
- LaTeX is free, and it is very easy to install on top of a running TeX
- LaTeX is well documented; see for instance the excellent
Navigator and the
help with LaTeX.
Leslie Lamport: LaTeX -- a document preparation system --
user's guide (2nd edition)
More advanced users will benefit from
Addison-Wesley 1994, ISBN 0-201-52983-1.
Michel Goossens, Frank Mittelbach, and Alexander Samarin:
The LaTeX companion
Addison-Wesley 1994, ISBN 0-201-54199-8.
- The TeX staff at Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan have developed
(in Swedish) with useful hints for TeX and LaTeX users. These
pages are in Swedish.
- Ling-TeX is a forum for
discussing linguistic issuses in the context of TeX. All
information in this group is in English.
Maintained by Dag Langmyhr.
Last updated 2004/12/23.