Using LaTeX
( McCann )
Last Revision: August 2017

In the 1980s Computer Science professor Donald Knuth created a low-level document formatting package that he named TeX. The letters are supposed to be the Greek letters tau, epsilon, and chi, which is why "TeX" is pronounced "tech."

To make TeX easier to use, another computer scientist, Leslie Lamport, wrote a group of TeX macros and called the combination LaTeX (pronounced "LAH-tech" or "LAY-tech," but never "LAY-techs"). The current version is 2e, and has been the current version since 1994. LaTeX allows authors to create documents much like web page designers can create web pages in HTML: LaTeX is essentially a mark-up language. It is definitely not a word processor.

Why learn LaTeX? In the sciences and engineering fields, many conference papers and journal articles are created using LaTeX. It was created to construct documents that include complex mathematical expressions that are often difficult to create using ordinary word processing applications.

LaTeX Resources



Do you have a comment on this page? I'd like to hear it; you can email me at mccannl@acm.org.