So, I'm learning about Latex, I've read the entire TeX and LaTeX wikipedia pages, trying to understand what is this all about. Already installed TexWorks and MikTex in my windows. I know how to create PDF articles with nice math notation, and beamer presentations, but in essence I don't really know what I'm doing. I know that TexWorks isn't really necessary, I could use only the MikTex.

What I want to know is: what's the difference of TeX and LaTex, and what's the really minimum setup that I could use to just display a simple math equation. I don't really need complicated editors, it could be just via command line. I'm asking this because I want to understand the inner working of TeX or LaTex so I can develop something that I'm thinking would be nice. So, I'm here to learn.

I don't know where or what type of program I'm running on my computer, who or what compiles the .tex file, and how my article is transformed to PDF. I'm really lost. I appreciate any kind of help. I'm tired of installing programs and lots of packages without knowing what they do, so I would really love to learn about the LaTeX inner workings.

  • @Sverre that's not my entire question – Mr Janiqua May 2 '14 at 16:23
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    We tend not to ask multiple questions within one post. I detect two questions in your post. The first is answered in the link I gave. Please edit your question and remove that so that one question remains. The last paragraph, in which you would like to "learn about the LaTeX inner workings", is not answerable, because it's not a specific question. – Sverre May 2 '14 at 16:28
  • Alan Munn's answer to What TeX software to write technical papers with? might be something you want to look at. – Adam Liter May 2 '14 at 16:48

Nice, interesting but not simple question.

Mr Janiqua first you use TexWorks as you can use many IDE to write and compile java code - for example - but again you could use notepad instead; and later compile it using Windows Command Line java yourfile.jar.

You actually can do the same with TeX and LaTeX (we must consider we have pdfTeX, pdfLaTeX, XeTeX, LuaTeX…)

What I mean is you can easily type and compile your (TeX or LaTeX) work with any Editor and find errors and warnings in the process, as you can with java when working with NetBeans or Eclipse.

But if you are certain what you are doing and know your stuff you can use notepad and compile the *.tex file via command line.

  • And what do I need to install so I can compile things? What's the minnimum program set that I need to install? – Mr Janiqua May 2 '14 at 16:24
  • @MrJaniqua Since your OS is windows you can go with MiKTeX (miktex.org) or TeX Live (http://www.tug.org/texlive/acquire.html). I have use both MiKTeX on my Windows Laptop and TeX Live on my MacBook Pro, in your case you should go with TeX Live. – Mauramz May 2 '14 at 16:31

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