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t-suarez
t-suarez

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What is LaTeX?

LaTeX (pronounced LAY-tek or LAH-tek) is a largely academic tool used to generate documents with markup language. It's counterintuitively written in plain text instead of formatted text (as seen in word processors like Microsoft Word). Using markup, the content author would mold the formatting and stylize text.

In academia LaTeX is used in the communication and publication of research and educational documentation, including the fields of physics, math, chemistry, computer science, and more. LaTeX is written in the TeX macro language and uses its typesetting program for formatting output.

LaTeX is an example of a WYSIWYM (What You See Is What You Mean) tool. The user focuses on the content and leaves the formatting to the computer. The formatting in this way allows the intuitive, programmatic input of mathematical formulas and is extremely useful for the author.

Creating your first LaTeX document:

Create a new document on your computer with the .tex extension (the dedicated LaTeX file extension).

\documentclass[14pt, letterpaper, twoside]{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

\title{Hello world}
\author{This programmer}
\date{December 16th, 2021}

\begin{document}
\maketitle

Hello world!

\end{document}
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We can do further styling, like bold and italics, by using their respective commands:

\textbf{bold text}
\textit{italicized text}
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Stylization syntax can also be nested:

\textit{\textbf{bold and italics}}
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We can also add comments using the LaTeX comment symbol, %.

% This delineates a line comment and will not print to the document.
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Using a Google Chrome TeX editor/viewer extension, I took the above code and rendered it to a PDF using the formatting provided and this is the result:

LaTeX example

This is a very brief look into the widely used LaTeX formatting language. Please delve further into these topics and expand your knowledge to the world of markup languages! See you next time, thanks for reading.

Discussion (2)

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dinhanhx profile image
Dinh Anh Vu • Edited on

LaTeX (pronounced LAY-tek or LAH-tek) is a largely academic tool used to generate documents with markdown language.
with markdown language

According to Wikipedia/Markup language/TeX for formulas
, LaTeX is a markup language. You can find more the differences between Markup and Markdown here.

LaTeX is an example of a WYSIWYG

LaTeX is not wysiwyg Wikipedia, Quora, LaTeX Tutorial, OverLeaf. The more concise example is Microsoft Word. LaTex and related tools should be classified as What You See Is What You Make/Mean.

Using a Google Chrome TeX editor/viewer extension

Why not OverLeaf?

Edit many times because the more I read the more mistakes I found.

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tsuarez profile image
t-suarez Author

Thank you very much, my friend