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What is Latex?

LaTeX is pronounced as 'lah-tech' or 'lay-tech.' which is distributed under the LPPL (Latex Project Public License). It is based on TEX, a typesetting language designed for science and math. Both LATEX and TEX contain a variety of font styles, such as serif, typewriter, and a set of mathematical functions. It is an open-source and powerful document preparation system. It is high-quality typesetting, which can be used for any publishing. It is often used for scientific publications and medium to large technical documents. It is not a word processor or any word document, but it is an efficient way for the publishers and the authors to organize their materials. It gives a unique appearance to the system. It saves the time for designing as well as the efforts used for the documents.

The Latex system handles the layout and formatting of the structures using familiar concepts of the section, table, figure, chapter, etc. It follows the philosophy of separate presentation, i.e., separating the writing contents and the visual appearance so that the authors can focus more on the content rather than its appearance. It is named as the standard for the communication and publication of the technical or scientific documents.

Features of Latex

  • Latex is a markup language and free license software. It includes a set of built-in commands.
  • It is a mode of mathematical and special symbols.
  • LaTeX is generally distributed along with plain TEX, i.e., it provides a set of macros for TEX to interpret. The other macros for TEX are Plain TEX, GNU Texinfo, etc.
  • LaTeX is not compatible with the GNU (General Public License). It is available on most of the operating systems like UNIX, BSD, Linux, Windows, DOS, etc.


TeX is a typesetting system or the formatting system written and designed by Donald Knuth released in 1978. It is the most used typographical system. It performs many typesetting tasks, especially Latex. It is popular in mathematics, computer science, engineering, physics, statistics, economics, etc. It was developed to produce high-quality output. The books published in TEX are Addison Wesley, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, etc. It was primarily designed for typeset mathematics.

History of Latex

Latex was created by the American computer scientist named Leslie Lamport in 1983 when he was working at SRI International. LATEX was created as an addition to the Tex typesetting system and to make it easier to produce books and articles within TEX. Leslie Lamport was writing TEX for his use, while he thought that a little more effort could lead this to use by others as well. A person who convinced Leslie to write LATEX's user manual publication was an editor at the Addison-Wesley named Peter Gordon.

This publication came out in 1986 and sold thousands of copies while its LATEX macros version was released in 1984 and 1985. On August 21, 1989, Lamport turned over his maintenance and development of LATEX to Frank Mittelbach at the TUG (TeX Users Group) meeting at Stanford. The Latex3 team was formed when Mittelbach, along with Chris Rowley and Rainer Schopf, started working together. In 1994, the current standard version LATEX 2e was released while continue working on version Latex3.

The Latex3 is currently under a long term development project. For the Tex system, there are numerous applications, some of which may have extra additional features like telephone support and typefaces.

The first paper of Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, was published in 1968, which used a Monotype machine for typesetting. After that second edition was published in 1976, the whole book was again typeset because the phototypesetting replaced the Monotype machine. The original fonts were no longer available after this edition.

Donald Knuth was not satisfied with the second edition, so he was motivated to design his typesetting system. He saw the high-quality output of digital typesetting and became interested in it. On May 13, 1977, he had written a memo, which describes the basic features of TEX. The first version of Tex was written in the SAIL programming language. A new version of Tex called TEX82, which was published in 1982.

The current version of TEX is 3.14159265, which was updated on January 12, 2014. The design was frozen after the version 3.0, and all the newer version contains no other additional features, but only contains the bug fixing feature.

You need TEX live to write into the Latex. But if you want to compile your document to a single PDF and edit with the syntax colorization, you must need the Latex editor.

Below is the TEXMAKER, which is a cross-platform Latex editor, with an integrated PDF viewer.

The screen of the TEXMAKER will look like the image shown below:

What is Latex

TeX Maker Versions:

The version, which will be used in this tutorial is 5.0.3. The image is given below:

What is Latex

The various versions of TEXMAKER are given below:

Versions Updated on
Texmaker 5.0.3 October 31, 2018
Texmaker 5.0.2 August 13, 2017
Texmaker 5.0.1 July 27, 2017
Texmaker 5.0.0 July 25, 2017
Texmaker April 29, 2017
Texmaker 4.5 October 29, 2015
Texmaker 4.4.1 November 26, 2014
Texmaker 4.3 August 1, 2014
Texmaker 4.2 May 1, 2014
Texmaker 4.1.1 January 4, 2014
Texmaker 4.1 October 29,2013
Texmaker 4.0.4 August 30,2013
Texmaker 4.0.3 August 3, 2013

Requirements for TeX Maker:

  • Windows 8 or later is required if you want to install the version 5.0 or later.
  • For the 32-bit installation, you need to download the versions before 5.0.
  • Any version before to 5.0 needs to be uninstalled, before downloading the latest versions.

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