# Few questions about LaTeX as a layman

I have never used LaTeX before and do not know how to use it either. But, I know cursorily that it does similar work of writing mathematical expressions as the Mathtype in MS-Word does.

My questions are:

1. How is LaTeX useful in general, and also it's advantage over Mathtype?
2. In which field/area does learning LaTex benefits substantially?
3. How much time would it take me to learn LaTeX for basic use?
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You can start from the question showcase-of-beautiful-typography-done-in-tex-friends –  percusse Dec 9 '11 at 5:16

1. LaTeX is much more useful than Mathtype because:

• Once you get used with it, it's much faster and more convenient to write math formulae in LaTeX than in Mathtype.
• LaTeX renders math formulae more nicely than Mathtype, especially with complicated formula.
• Also, it's like a scripting language which means you can control a lot of different things by writing some simple lines of code. Once you master it, it gives you more power than relying on other people's code (Mathtype) (although I'm not there yet :) )
2. As far as I know the main advantage of LaTeX is with math formulae.

3. I'm also learning LaTeX now. And from my experience, the fastest way to learn it is to practice. You can never remember all the syntax unless you use them a lot again and again. So you can start by googling for some latex templates and then change them the way you want and see what you get.

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One more thing, you cannot use Mathtype to write your question here or in other math forum but you can use latex :) –  chepukha Dec 9 '11 at 5:08
Thanks chepukha. Would you recommend any source for learning LaTeX to start with? –  S_H Dec 9 '11 at 22:14
You're welcome, S_H. You may try these links: tutorial , another tutorial, and wikibook. Let me know if that helps. –  chepukha Dec 10 '11 at 7:55