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ZDNet: LaTeX: A diamond in the rough

Jan 04, 2001, 23:43 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Leibovitch)

"LaTeX is a free typesetting application with superb output, but it's not for the timid."

"Without a major Linux kernel release, user-friendliness and word processing made some of the best news in the open source world last year."

"The free software communities focused much attention on StarOffice, WordPerfect, AbiWord, KWord, and the like. Meanwhile, most have ignored one of the best-kept secrets in the world of document creation. Though it ships with almost every Linux distribution, and has been around longer than Linux itself, the LaTeX typesetting system remains a hidden gem."

"Quite likely the most powerful document creation and management system available, LaTeX (and its underlying typesetting engine, TeX) is favored in academia and is the required format for many scholarly papers. It takes typesetting issues such as line-breaks and inter-character spacing very seriously, and it arguably has no peer in the task of formatting complex math equations. It's been ported to just about every major platform and a bunch of minor ones."

"So why isn't LaTeX right up there with all the other word processors? Well, if you think that Linux has a problem with user-friendliness, wait until you try LaTeX. Calling LaTeX "esoteric" is a bit of understatement."

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