You must be wondering what LaTex is and why it is widely accepted as a document preparation system. Well, LaTeX is a very efficient typesetting tool used by researchers and scholars to prepare various papers without worrying about formatting and designing on the go. Primarily it is used for making medium-to-large scientific and technical documents. I want to mention one thing that Latex is not a word processor; instead, Latex is a tool that encourages the author to concentrate on getting the right content rather than worry about the appearance of their documents.

Unlike other word processors, in Latex from the first day itself, you’re focused on writing the document rather than concentrate on styling and designing. The author shouldn’t be worried about the task of a designer and writer. In this article, we shall introduce you to Latex’s essential concepts and will walk you through the installation process.

Note: LaTex is based on the idea that it is better to leave document design to document designers and let the author get on with document writing.

## Is LaTex Better Than MS Word?

You must be very clear about the typesetting tool Latex, but why is it preferred over other famous word processor tools such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. Below are the benefits of using LaTeX over Word,

• Efficient text formatting: The algorithm of LaTeX allows you to format the input text gracefully. As documents are compiled using TeX, the typographical errors while typesetting is almost nil. The end-product looks professional as the characters, words, lines, and paragraphs are spaced better.
• Ease of working with citations/references: Working with citations/references in your manuscript would be more effortless with LaTeX.
• Extensive online support: If you ever catch an error or warning message, you can find enormous volumes of documentation available online.
• Fully automated text formatting with template classes: The text formatting is fully automated with LaTeX template classes. All you need to do is declare a block of text as a heading, another block as sub-heading, body, list, etc.
• Formatting scientific notations: LaTeX has built-in compatibility to format complex scientific notations, including chemical formulae and mathematical equations.
• LaTeX script is platform-independent: MS Word files are backward-incompatible and dependent on the version; on the other hand, LaTeX is completely platforms-independent.

There are endless benefits of LaTeX over word processors such as MS Word. Let us go through one example to understand the efficiency of LaTeX. Some of the salient features are,

• Multi-lingual typesetting.
• Using PostScript or Metafont fonts.
• Advanced typesetting of mathematics with AMS-LaTeX.
• Automatic generation of bibliographies and indexes.
• Inclusion of artwork and process or spot color.

Let’s consider a simple paragraph mentioning heading and author name as mentioned below,

Cartesian closed categories and the price of eggs
Jane Doe
September 1994
Hello world!

In Latex, you need to follow specific guidelines and syntax so that the TeX processor formats everything automatically. Here is the Latex version of the above paragraph,

\documentclass{article}
\title{Cartesian closed categories and the price of eggs}
\author{Jane Doe}
\date{September 1994}
\begin{document}
\maketitle
Hello world!
\end{document}

The outcome of the above Latex paragraph is,

This document is an article.
Its title is Cartesian closed categories and the price of eggs.
Its author is Jane Doe.
It was written in September 1994.
The document consists of a title followed by the text Hello world!

## How To Install LaTex?

You can download the LaTeX’s latest distribution by following the documentation mentioned here,

• We are installing the MiKTeX on Windows 10; the same distro is available for other operating systems as well,

You are done instllating LaTeX in your system using the available distribution, in our case we used MikTeX.

## Explore LaTeX IDE

• Search for the “TeXworks” in the start menu and open the IDE.
• Copy and paste the above example in Tex format to the code editor and press the green run icon to compile the tex file as mentioned below,

Here you can see the output of the LaTeX file in pdf format which is rendered so beautifully with absolutely minimum effor,

## Conclusion

In this tutorial, we introduced you to the world of LaTeX and eventually explained why to choose LaTeX over MS Word. We have walked you through the steps to setup LaTeX in a Windows system via MikTeX distribution, and finally we have shown you a small example along with power of LaTeX by “writing less and doing more”.