# What is LaTex exactly?

• Aug 10th 2010, 07:33 PM
qcom
What is LaTex exactly?
Hello,

I am a little confused about LaTeX in general, but let me se if I can get this right:

From what I can understand, it is a way that a user is able to enter mathematical expressions by certain keystrokes, and have them display with some consistency under most platforms.

Now, it appears to be waay more powerful than this, and I have heard that people can "program" LaTeX? What does that mean exactly?

I'm just looking for an introduction, or a link to one if necessary.

Thanks!
• Aug 10th 2010, 09:19 PM
earboth
Quote:

Originally Posted by qcom
Hello,

I am a little confused about LaTeX in general, but let me se if I can get this right:

From what I can understand, it is a way that a user is able to enter mathematical expressions by certain keystrokes, and have them display with some consistency under most platforms.

Now, it appears to be waay more powerful than this, and I have heard that people can "program" LaTeX? What does that mean exactly?

I'm just looking for an introduction, or a link to one if necessary.

Thanks!

Are you looking for something like this: LaTeX - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
• Aug 10th 2010, 10:04 PM
qcom
Yes, actually that is nice, thanks.

Just wondering mainly, as a high school student, can it provide me with anything special to help in my math courses?
• Aug 11th 2010, 10:41 AM
wonderboy1953
My short explanation on LaTex
LaTex is a tool for producing math notation. For example it can transform x^2 into \$\displaystyle x^2\$ (click on the second notation).
• Aug 11th 2010, 11:30 AM
Ackbeet
If you have aspirations to becoming a mathematician or physicist, learn LaTeX! The best way is to simply turn in all your homework in LaTeX format. This advice is particularly useful for an undergraduate who wants an advanced degree with a thesis, but I think it couldn't hurt to learn LaTeX in high school.
• Aug 11th 2010, 02:14 PM
qcom
What is the best way to learn LaTeX to where I can easily write the notation wonderboy posted.

Is that just a few keystrokes or something like that?
• Aug 11th 2010, 02:19 PM
wonderboy1953
Quote:

Originally Posted by qcom
What is the best way to learn LaTeX to where I can easily write the notation wonderboy posted.

Is that just a few keystrokes or something like that?

There are two stickies with LaTex tutorials at the top.
• Aug 12th 2010, 07:51 AM
Stefan_K
LaTeX
Quote:

Originally Posted by qcom
can it provide me with anything special to help in my math courses?

Here's a list of introductions concerning maths: Mathematics with LaTeX.
Here are more general tutorials: Introductions and Guides to LaTeX.

Stefan
• Aug 16th 2010, 03:54 AM
HallsofIvy
If you are referring to a "LaTex engine" that will enter the code for you, there is one here:
Online LaTeX Equation Editor