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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Typesetting with LaTeX

For the 80th Unix Geek blog post, I decided to talk about something that might make some people nostalgic.

On my Ubuntu machine I decided to try out typesetting, something for which Un*x has been famous since the 1970s. With graphical word processors of today, you can see what the result is gonna be and how it's going to look. You can even select templates to help you with your work. But what if you wanted more control over your document? The answer: typesetting.

LaTeX is similar to a programming language, but for writing documents. It is great for scientific and mathematical articles for its ease of use when it comes to writing formulas. For example, if I wanted to write the formula for photosynthesis, I would type this: $6H_2O + 6CO_2 \rightarrow{light} 6O_2 + C_6H_{12}O_6$ and it would give me a great result. If you want to try it out go to this website, type that in, and see what you think of it.

Since one can say LaTeX is similar to a programming language, let's try out the Hello World document!

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
Hello, World!
\end{document}

If you want to learn LaTeX (pronounced "Lay-Tek" or "Lah-Tek", by the way), follow this nice tutorial.

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