# How to use Latex

1. Jun 21, 2012

### Luke77

$\frac{5}{15}$

$\Sigma$

Is this what people mean by LaTeX. Just wondering. Thankyou.

Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
2. Jun 21, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

Small subset, just a starting point.

3. Jun 21, 2012

### jhae2.718

That's just mathematics typesetting in $\LaTeX$. You can typeset documents, presentations, posters, etc. with it.

4. Jun 21, 2012

### Luke77

Thanks

5. Jun 21, 2012

### D H

Staff Emeritus
Just to elaborate on what Borek and jhae2.718 already said, the mathematics aspect of LaTeX is just a tiny subset of the overall capabilities. People who have never written a mathematical equation in their life use LaTeX. I can tell at a glance whether some article was written with TeX or LaTeX via a very simple metric: Is it readable?

6. Jun 21, 2012

### jhae2.718

I always look for the cmr $\mathrm{R}$ when I'm unsure...it's very distinctive.

Continuing on, if I need to make any kind of document, I do it in $\LaTeX$.

7. Jun 21, 2012

### Pythagorean

Other convenient thing in latex: You can reference all of your equations, figures, and references by some nickname you give them, and when yo compile the document, it will number them all for you, so you don't have to keep changing numbers throughout your document to reference different figures, equations, and references.

8. Jun 21, 2012

### jhae2.718

BibTeX is also wonderful for citations; it's a standard format that you can automatically generate a bibliography formatted to almost any style (e.g. AIAA, AMS, IEEE, etc.)

Documents are plain text, so you can keep them under version control (like git) and you never have to worry about having the wrong version like .doc or .docx.

LaTeX does the formatting for you; it's What You See Is What You Mean, as opposed to What You See Is What You Get. This abstracts the formatting process from the writing process, so you focus on the content and structure.

There's the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN) that has packages (add-in to make LaTeX handle more formats, features, etc.) where you can find almost everything you would ever need.

9. Jun 24, 2012

### Stefan_K

Hi Luke,

if you would like to learn something about LaTeX, perhaps have a look at LaTeX-Community.org. There's a large collection of articles, news posts and feed, and a very active LaTeX dedicated user support forum.

Stefan

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