What is LaTeX?

LaTeX is a TeX macro package, originally written by Leslie Lamport, that provides a document processing system. LaTeX allows markup to describe the structure of a document, so that the user need not think about presentation. By using document classes and add-on packages, the same document can be produced in a variety of different layouts.

Lamport says that LaTeX « represents a balance between functionality and ease of use ». This shows itself as a continual conflict that leads to the need for such things as FAQs: LaTeX can meet most user requirements, but finding out how is often tricky.


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