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Logo TeX TeX and LaTeX Logo LaTeX

TeX is a typesetting system released by Donald E. Knuth in 1982; despite of its age, it is a virtually perfect and bug-free piece of software. Some years later, following the indications of some TeX users, LaTeX has been released; it is a set of macros which made TeX more immediate less difficult to understand and use.
The main use of TeX (though nowadays LaTeX is mainly adopted) is the processing of texts containing several mathematical formulae; it is also used for documents of ancient literature, archaeology, musicology (just to mention some examples).
The main difference with the most common word processors is that LaTeX does not allow to modify the graphical look of the document while typing, but the work is done with a pure ASCII text that, according to a predefined syntax, is processed by TeX; the text file is then converted to a DVI file and then viewed by a dedicated program.
The main advantage of LaTeX is that you can focus on the logical structure of the document, rather than on its graphic look (which anyway shows itself to be excellent); it is then very adviceable to use for scientific publications, Ph.D. thesis (not necessarily in scientific or technological fields) and much more else.
Various implementations of TeX and LaTeX (the one that I am using and I strongly recommend is TeX Live) for several operating systems (Win, Linux, Mac, etc.) can be downloaded from


or mirrors. For other information you can check the documentation available online, for instance

"A (not so short) Introduction To LaTeX2e" ftp://ftp.dante.de/tex-archive/info/lshort/english

The files contained here can be viewed with Postscript, PDF or DVI viewers.
Another useful location is the LaTeX Project home page.

Last update: Sat May 29 22:21:36 2010

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