“Many people discover LaTeX after years of struggling with wordprocessors and desktop publishing systems, and are amazed to find that TeX has been around for over 25 years and they hadn’t heard of it.”
LaTeX is a free document preparation system that enables you to create beautifully typeset pages. It implements a set of commands designed to control TeX, the typesetting engine developed by Donald E Knuth. LaTeX stores the information about your documents as plain text, thus avoiding the risk of vendor lock-in and ensuring that your documents will still be editable twenty years from now. LaTeX processes the plain text data and, with pdfTeX working in the background, generates PDF output of the highest typographic quality—perfect for viewing on-screen or printing on paper. LaTeX runs on many platforms and is included as standard with most Linux distributions. Ready-to-run LaTeX systems are also available for Windows and Mac OS X.
Scott Pakin’s Comprehensive LaTeX Symbols List indexes 2826
symbols that are currently available in LaTeX.
www.ctan.org (PDF file, 2.4 Mb)
Formatting Information is a beginner’s guide to typesetting with LaTeX. Expertly written by Peter Flynn, this document does not assume any prior knowledge.
Tobias Oetiker teaches you how to write texts so that they can be processed by LaTeX. The scope of this introduction is sufficient to cover most applications of LaTeX.
www.ctan.org (PDF file, 2.2 Mb)
Why even bother with LaTeX? Andrew Roberts explains why learning LaTeX might be worth the hassle after all.
Based on a set of tutorials, the Indian TeX Users Group aims this document straight at the novice user. The LaTeX Primer is not currently available on CTAN.
sarovar.org (PDF file, 928 kb)
“The word processor is a stupid and inefficient tool for preparing text for communication with others.” Allin Cottrell outlines the comparative benefits of using LaTeX.