|Q: What is LaTeX?|
A: LaTeX is a 'document preparation system'. Itdiffers from a wordprocessing application, such as MS Word, in that itdoes not provide a WYSIWYG interface. Instead a number of commands areused to indicate which areas of text are headings, figures, tables, etc.LaTeX allows you to produce high quality documents, and so is the standardformat for many conferences and journals. LaTeX is particularly usefulfor documents which have a large ammount of mathematical content.
Q: Why use LaTeX?
A: LaTeX is not for everyone. There is quite asteep learning curve involved, and you have to be ready to give controlof formatting to the program. However, documents prepared with LaTeX areusually more professional-looking and have consistent formatting. LaTeX,with its partner BIBTeX, provides a referencing system that allows youto easily control, and change, your bibliographic references. Also LaTeXhas many commands which allow you to present mathematical formulae properly.
Q: Are there any sample LaTeX documents?
A: Yes. A comprehensive document is the LaTeX thesistemplate which has been prepared by our friends in the Systems Lab. Thisis available from their
Resources webpage, and conforms to all known Departmental and University regulations.
Q: What spellcheckers are available for LaTeX?
A: There are several depending on what platform you are using:
Windows - TeXnicCentre (freeware with an integrated spell checker); WinEdt (one month free trial)
Linux - ispell (if using emacs, type M-x and then ispell-buffer); aspell (standard with linux)
Mac - TeXShop (integrates with the native spell checking system)
Other - for any OS, you can try to open the .tex file in yourfavorite tex editor
Q: Where can I find out more?
A: There are three main sources of informationin the lab:
- "LaTeX: A Document Preparation System - User's Guide and Reference Manual"by Leslie Lamport (a good introduction)
- "The LaTeX Companion" by Goossens, Mittelbach, and Samarin (more detailedinformation)
- Ask someone in the lab...