Chapter 1. Introduction

LaTeX is not just a system for typesetting mathematics. Its applications span the one-page memorandum, business and personal letters, newsletters, articles, and books covering the whole range of the sciences and humanities, ... right up to full-scale expository texts and reference works on all topics. Nowadays, versions of LaTeX exist for practically every type of computer and operating system. This book provides a wealth of information about its many present-day uses but first provides some background information.

The first section of this chapter looks back at the origins and subsequent development of LaTeX.1 The second section gives an overview of the file types used by a typical current LaTeX system and the rôle played ...

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