I've recently stumbled upon LaTex and I'm really interested in it. I did a quick search to see if this question has been previously asked and didn't seem to find anything. I was wondering which typesetting system would be best to learn first. Is it a case by case basis? Is it all by preference? I was told to ask questions that can be answered and not just discussed so I guess my official question is:

Is choosing a typesetting system to use all based on preference or is it on a case by case basis? If it is not either of those, and instead there is a type that is best for beginners, which type would that be. Thanks!

(Thanks to Ethan for fixing my tags)

Edit: I was asked to elaborate my goals so here you go.

The reason I wish to learn a typesetting system (language?) is so that I can:

  • Increase my basic skill-set
  • Create more consistent documents for school (a lot of assignments I turn in have the same or a similar layout
  • Get a better understanding of what goes into document creation
  • Attain the ability to create nicer looking documents using a system that I am more comfortable with (Word requires too much mouse movements to create nice looking documents. I had previously learned how to effectively use VI and VIM so I like being able to just use the keyboard)

I hope that helps you guys help me a bit better.

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    Whether or not to learn LaTeX depends on what you will be writing and other things. Can you edit your question to elaborate on your goals? The topics you will write about? Search :"learn latex" on this site and browse some of the answers there. – Ethan Bolker Apr 28 '16 at 13:47
  • LaTeX requires more time investment to learn initially (compared to Word), but it produces nicer looking documents, and is versatile. The use of user-written "packages" allow one to enhance the basic LaTeX structure for particular tasks. LaTeX itself is a collection of macros that is built upon the underlying TeX language, which is more primitive in its syntax. Welcome to the site. – Steven B. Segletes Apr 28 '16 at 13:48
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    See tex.stackexchange.com/questions/94889/…, entitled "How can I explain the meaning of LaTeX to my grandma?" – Steven B. Segletes Apr 28 '16 at 13:50
  • Welcome! LaTeX as opposed to what? That is, what options are you considering? Also, asking questions which can be answered is definitely the idea! Whoever told you not to ask questions which can be answered here is deeply wrong. – cfr Apr 28 '16 at 13:56
  • @cfr I was under the impression that there was TeX, LaTeX, and I think LaTeX3. (and when you go to type in the title of the question, on the right of the page it says ask questions which can be answered, not just discussed) – Matthew Apr 28 '16 at 13:59

The details you've added to your question suggest to me that you will like LaTeX

I recommend trying it out for one of your assignments (be sure to leave enough time to deal with possible startup glitches). You can do that online - https://www.sharelatex.com/ is one such website. If you like what you see and enjoy the new typesetting language you can the install TeX on your own system and use the editor or editing environment of your choice. (There are comparisons elsewhere on this site.)

If there's any mathematics in your documents then you should definitely learn LaTeX.

  • Thank you for your answer! I will look into that website and will begin to learn LaTeX, I'm excited :D – Matthew Apr 28 '16 at 16:44

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