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I am in the research field and am new to the world of Tex and find it really fascinating.
I never knew about this, until I was asked to write my research results as tex files, that is in the LaTeX format.

Then I started finding LaTeX in other places too, for instance in the stack exchange sites.

I just find it as a documentation tool for documenting research work and sites like this. Other than this I would like to know for what other purposes/applications or applications does LaTeX serve?

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Have you seen tug.org/texshowcase and tug.org/mactex/src/Demos/XeTeX-showcase as examples of what the TeX family can achieve? –  ℝaphink May 26 '11 at 7:25
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LaTeX is typesetting software. You can easily infer its applications from that. –  Andrey Vihrov May 26 '11 at 7:31
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There are many applications for LaTeX. First of all, the separation of content and layout is useful for nearly every task. That's why it is used by most people who work professionally with texts. A core function is the proper display of mathematical expressions, that makes to the publishing standard in the scientific world. Another key feature for me is the possible automation. The .tex files are plain text, so you can work with them cross platform and its easy to handle them with programs.

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Beside from the scientific world, where (La)TeX, as you would know, has a predominant role, I believe it has many other applications:

first of all, it's a "typographic" markup language: meaning that it has embedded by default some pretty (typographically speaking) settings. For example I used it to prepare a draft for a book, which had nothing to do with science (it was the Kalevala, the finnish epic poem), and it behaved perfectly fine.

In my opinion TeX can be viewed as a solid alternative even to usual Word Processing programs, where users have less chance to come up with an ugly output :) (I have to note that I do not use such word processing programs anymore)

Nevertheless, it's just a tool which is extremely flexible for a person with a minimum computer knowledge, but kind of scary for a newbie. I hope this aspect is improved a lot in the future (teaching people, for example, or including it by default in OS)

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