LaTeX was originally written in the early 1980s by Leslie Lamport at SRI International.
TeX is a typesetting system designed and mostly written by Donald Knuth and released in 1978.
…it is is popular in academia, especially in mathematics, computer science, economics, engineering, physics, statistics, etc…
LaTeX is a set of macros for TeX that aims at reducing the user’s task to the sole role of writing the content, LaTeX taking care of all the formatting process. A number of well-established publishers now use TeX or LaTeX in order to typeset books and mathematical journals. It is also well appreciated by users caring about typography, consistent formatting, efficient collaborative writing and open formats.
Aspects of LaTeX
- Separation of Content from Style/Layout
- Focus on logical structure w/o distraction of visual style
- Output – PDF
- Professional High-Quality Typesetting
- Automatically manages section numbering, table numbering, figure numbering
- Excellent granular control of cross-references
- Table of Contents
Benefits of LaTeX
- Professionally crafted layouts are available, which make a document really look as if “printed.”
- The typesetting of mathematical formulae is supported in a convenient way.
- Users only need to learn a few easy-to-understand commands that specify the logical structure of a document. They almost never need to tinker with the actual layout of the document.
- Even complex structures such as footnotes, references, table of contents, and bibliographies can be generated easily.
- Free add-on packages exist for many typographical tasks not directly supported by basic LATEX.
- LATEX encourages authors to write well-structured texts, because this is how LATEX works—by specifying structure.