{latex-project} is about LaTeX in general and the LaTeX Project. If possible, this tag should be avoided in favour of more specific tags.

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467
votes
31answers
42k views

How can I explain the meaning of LaTeX to my grandma?

I wrote a book about LaTeX, and my proud grandma wanted to have a copy. So she got it, said "What a beautiful picture on the cover!" and - "What is this, LaTeX?". She doesn't know Word, never used a ...
143
votes
23answers
7k views

Are there any open research problems in the world of TeX?

For a year-long capstone project in computer science, I have to do some 'original research.' I'm still not entirely sure what this entails, but it just struck me that perhaps I can do research and ...
110
votes
17answers
18k views

LaTeX in Industry

I know LaTeX is used a lot in academia to format papers and dissertations. How is LaTeX used in industry and what are some examples? I am wondering whether knowing LyX will give me a leverage when ...
100
votes
3answers
13k views

Where do I start LaTeX programming?

I'm interested in writing packages for TeX/LaTeX/XeLaTeX. I googled around, but all I found was guides or tutorials about how to prepare documents using LaTeX. I want to know how LaTeX works and how ...
88
votes
11answers
15k views

Alternatives to LaTeX

Are there any professional alternatives to TeX/LaTeX which produce equal or even better typesetting? Maybe expensive commercial ones. The software counts if it is comparable or superior to LaTeX ...
83
votes
17answers
28k views

Why should I use LaTeX?

I have heard a lot about LaTeX, but never used it myself. It is mainly used for typesetting professional research papers. But I am not writing research papers. Is LaTeX for me? If yes, why should I ...
78
votes
13answers
3k views

What have been the most important changes to LaTeX in the last five years?

I hope I will not be flamed for this question, but I have been out of the loop for the last five years. Therefore my question is: what do you consider the most important changes to LaTeX in the last ...
75
votes
5answers
19k views

What is the difference between TeX and LaTeX?

I know LaTeX and I've heard that LaTeX is a set of macros in TeX. But what does it exactly mean?
71
votes
5answers
4k views

Cunning (La)TeX tricks

Writing (La)TeX code sometimes requires a degree of guile. Here (in no particular order) are two of my favourite examples. Macros ending with spaces Pete asked how to see the implementation of ...
70
votes
3answers
9k views

How to write (La)TeX (with parentheses) [or any other TeX-related logo]

I'm looking after a macro to write the (La)TeX logo (with parentheses), i.e. something similar to \TeX, \LaTeX, but where the output includes ()'s.
69
votes
7answers
17k views

Visual comparison between LaTeX and Word output (hyphenation, typesetting, ligatures etc)

I really want to convince my friends and family that LaTeX is the choice for them when it comes to formatting and creating beautiful documents. I am aware of the major advantages that come with using ...
67
votes
5answers
1k views

How do package authors find the time?

Not sure if this question belongs here, on the main site, or not on TeX.SX at all. Let me know if it belongs somewhere else. I have recently made some leaps in my knowledge of LaTeX, in particular ...
66
votes
8answers
24k views

Why are there no alternatives to TeX, or, why is TeX still used? [closed]

I'm fairly new to TeX and LaTeX, having been drawn in by the Big Idea — creating a document programmatically. However, my experience of TeX (and its libraries — LaTeX, ConTeXt, …) has been almost ...
61
votes
45answers
9k views

What professions use TeX/LaTeX besides CS?

TeX and LaTeX are widely used in Computer Science. What other academic disciplines or professionals use it?
61
votes
5answers
4k views

What is best way to mention that a document has been typeset with TeX?

Is there any common way to mention that a document has been typeset by TeX? So non-TeXnicians (TeXperts) may become a little familiar with the TeX world. Update: It would be nice if one hero make a ...
59
votes
40answers
7k views

Most significant reasons that led us to (La)TeX

Looking back, what really convinced you to begin writing with TeX or LaTeX? This question is "community wiki", so there's no reputation to lose or to gain. Please don't write advantages of TeX and ...
55
votes
21answers
4k views

LaTeX vs Word; improvements of LaTeX over the years

When comparing MS Word vs LaTeX the proponents of Word often say that many advantages of LaTeX over Word from say 1997 disappeared over the years as Word evolved to the current 2013 version. For ...
54
votes
2answers
1k views

If LaTeX is only a macro package, why does it have its own executable?

From other answers on this site and the FAQ of the TeX User Group my understanding is that: TeX is the original typesetting program, written by Knuth Omega, eTeX, pdfTeX, XeTeX, LuaTeX are engines. ...
51
votes
5answers
18k views

What is the correct pronunciation of TeX and LaTeX?

Is it tex(tech)? Or Is it tex(like touch)? Lay-TeX? or La-TeX? Should I use TeX pronunciation in LaTeX?
50
votes
5answers
3k views

What are TeX and LaTeX?

I'm surprised no one else has asked this question. It's not explained very well in the FAQ or site descriptions either. I know many of you will think "LMGTFY", "RTFM", or "ask wikipedia", but I'd ...
47
votes
13answers
17k views

What are the benefits of writing resumes in TeX/LaTeX?

Today, I've written my resume in LaTeX and it looks great and all It took me about 2 hours to get everything right But I've been thinking, what benefits do I get from writing it in LaTeX rather than ...
47
votes
5answers
2k views

How best to procrastinate and learn LaTeX?

Slightly tongue-in-cheek this one but written in good faith... I am a competent user of LaTeX and use it with Eclipse as IDE, MacTexlive as install, and XeTeX as engine to author my PhD. However, ...
45
votes
5answers
1k views

Separation of content structure and style in LaTeX?

In HTML, over the last decade or so, there has been a strong push toward complete separation of content structure and style. Most websites are now built using HTML for structural mark-up, and CSS for ...
44
votes
5answers
1k views

How to tell people why packages become deprecated and shouldn't be used anymore?

I'm working with LaTeX for a while now. Writing more and more documents I've learned that there are packages that should not be used or got replaced by others. Looking into files my friends or ...
43
votes
7answers
9k views

Best Way to Start Using LaTeX/TeX?

I'm not really a programmer but am quite interested in learning how to use LaTeX/TeX. I've looked it up on Wikipedia and scanned through it and the documents created through this way of editing is ...
39
votes
6answers
2k views

How do packages work ? Why aren't they all pre-initiated?

I have been using LaTeX for about a month now and whenever I have a question, most answers involve adding new packages to the preamble. My question is, how do these packages work? Are they all ...
38
votes
7answers
7k views

File extensions of LaTeX-related files

In addition to the .tex and .dvi or .pdf files, TeX/LaTeX/ConTeXt produces and uses lots of other files. What do they do? Which ones are used to create the document and which ones are automatically ...
38
votes
3answers
14k views

Difference between LaTeX, LaTeX2e, LaTeX3 ?

I was wondering, what is the difference between LaTeX, LaTeX2e and LaTeX3. Are the 2 higher versions available for use? I use LaTeX. How can I use the other 2 on Windows 7?
38
votes
2answers
3k views

Styleguide for LaTeX similar to the Google styleguides?

Even though I don't work at Google, the Google Styleguides have been very helpful for me in adopting consistent, readable style conventions for my code. Unfortunately, there is no Google Styleguide ...
36
votes
2answers
1k views

List of higher-level LaTeX commands corresponding to TeX commands

Since LaTeX is a format built on top of TeX, it surely has several high level abstractions that perform similarly to TeX commands, with some added error-handling functionality, for example. I always ...
35
votes
3answers
3k views

Submitting a journal article as a single tex file

Although many academic journals readily accept submissions in some format of TeX, indeed some enlightened ones insist on it, it is rare that one can simply send exactly the same document that one has ...
34
votes
2answers
638 views

How are (La)TeX projects financed?

Not sure if this is appropriate for TEX.SX, but I'll ask anyway. Though not a question on the use or feature of (La)TeX and friends, this question is relevant inasmuch as it is about the financial ...
34
votes
1answer
502 views

Static analysis of LaTeX documents?

For programming languages like C, C++, C#, Java and so on there always exist some kind of static analysers, tools that check the sourcecode for unreachable code, unused variables, memory leaks and ...
33
votes
8answers
1k views

Prerequisites for using LaTeX efficiently

I am a student (still in high school) who wants to start using LaTeX more regularly, however, I have on major problem: I know nothing about computer science or computer programming. And I mean ...
31
votes
6answers
514 views

How can I ensure that old documents will compile in the future?

I was looking through some old files recently, and it occurred to me that they might be obsolete in the future. Are there any steps that I should take for "archiving" my documents so that they will ...
29
votes
1answer
489 views

What is .tex file in TeX Live for?

If I run kpsewhich .tex I get /usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/tools/.tex This file belongs to LaTeX core files and is nearly empty: %% %% This is file `.tex', %% generated with the ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it still worth it to learn TeX?

I think I've reached the stage to where I can't get any better at producing documents that look the way I want them to unless I put serious effort into learning how to write the kind of ...
27
votes
5answers
853 views

When does it make sense to use TeX only and skip LaTeX?

In what applications doesn't LaTeX give you much?
26
votes
4answers
9k views

Why is LaTeX used as the defacto standard for math equations?

In almost every application I've ever seen that uses math equations, it always supports LaTeX. If LaTeX does so much more than just math equations, why is it the defacto standard for math equations? ...
26
votes
6answers
6k views

Would using LaTex instead of LibreOffice benefit me for writing my dissertation?

I am a complete LaTeX/TeX novice. I know nothing about it and have never used it. I have been reading about it today as it was been recommended to me but I can't work out if it is suitable for my use ...
26
votes
3answers
941 views

Why are there lowercase letters in TeX and LaTeX?

Notice that the letters here are all uppercase. Is there any reason why we write TeX and LaTeX respectively? Is it for emphasis? Or does it just make it look similar to the staggered lettering of ...
25
votes
2answers
470 views

List of agreed transliterations for TeX related logos for ebook publications?

Addison-Wesley is currently looking at providing an ebook version of The LaTeX Companion and while this is fairly simple if one provides it as a PDF document, any reflowable format, such as epub, ...
25
votes
1answer
221 views

Which primitives does LaTeX2e rename/move?

TeX's primitives can be renamed by macro formats/packages: this allows new/altered features or behaviours. Usually this is done such that the originals are still available ('renamed'): certainly ...
23
votes
6answers
768 views

Why do we use the Latex logo when referring to Latex in text? [closed]

It seems standard practice, when typesetting with Latex, to put the Latex logo in the text whenever we are referring to Latex itself (usually through the \LaTeX command). Why do we do this? It's ...
23
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a comprehensive and complete LaTeX reference?

When I dived into Python, I went through the beginner's tutorials. Of course, these tutorials cover only the basics and present only a shallow exhibition of what I can do with Python. Right now I'm ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

What would draw a student of the humanities to (La)TeX systems?

I've been given permission to put up a poster in the campus writing center. The primary users of this writing center are from the humanities—those students who need to write rather long papers on a ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

5 year time bomb in LaTeX-Distributions?

There is a very weird thing: Five years after installation or release, TeX in various distributions seems to refuse to compile for no other reason than being old. We've had a question here this ...
22
votes
2answers
426 views

Will LaTeX work on any TeX?

As I understand it, latex is simply a macro package for tex, as in tex the program, not the format. (Again, weird, but I understand LaTeX to be a format of TeX.) Does this imply that LaTeX the ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there any way to generate custom errors/warnings in LaTeX?

I want something like \ifmmode\else\GenerateWarning{The command \backslash uzuka is supported only in math mode.}\fi, which is supposed to generate a warning "The command \uzuka is supported only in ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

What is missing in LaTeX?

I have been reading this article and started to think about the position of LaTeX amongst the current competitors. Currently, I am using it (or XeTeX) even for ‘casual writing’ and sometimes I spend ...