Just what is LaTeX?
• LaTeX is a comprehensive set of markup commands used with the powerful typesetting program TeX for the preparation of a wide variety of documents, from scientific articles, reports, to complex books.
• LaTeX is based on Donald E. Knuth's TeX typesetting language or certain extensions. LaTeX was first developed in 1985 by Leslie Lamport, and is now being maintained and developed by the LaTeX3 Project.
The enormous popularity of LATEX and its expansion into fields for which
it was not originally intended, together with improvements in computer
technology, especially dealing with cheap but powerful laser printers, had
created a diversity of formats bearing the LATEX label. In an effort to
re-establish a genuine, improved standard, the LATEX3 Project was set up
in 1989 by Leslie Lamport, Frank Mittelbach, Chris Rowley, and Rainer
Sch¨opf. Their goal was to construct an optimized and efficient set of
basic commands complemented by various packages to add specific functionality
As the name of the project implies, its aim is to achieve a version 3
for LATEX. However, since that is the long-term goal, a first step towards it
was the release of LATEX2e" in mid-1994 together with the publication of
the second edition of Lamport’s basic manual (Lamport, 1994) and of an
additional book (Goossens et al., 1994) describing many of the extension
packages available and LATEX programming in the new system. Since then,
two further books have appeared, Goossens et al. (1997) dealing with the
inclusion of graphics and color, and Goossens and Rahtz (1999) explaining
how LATEX may be used with the World Wide Web. Both these topics are
also dealt with in this Guide.
Initially updates to LATEX2e" were issued twice a year, in June and
December, but it has now become so stable that since 2000 the changes
are released only once a year, nominally in June.
LATEX2e" is now the standard version, and LATEX 2.09 is considered
obsolete, although source files intended for the older version may still be
processed with the newer one. In this book, unless otherwise indicated,
‘LATEX’ will always mean LATEX2e".
To Read more about LaTex. Here's the link