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Essential LaTeX Tools

Essential LaTeX Tools

LaTeX is a document preparation system and document markup language for high-quality typesetting. The system was originally developed by Leslie Lamport in the early 1980s. LaTeX is based on Donald E. Knuth's TeX typesetting language. Lamport says that LaTeX “represents a balance between functionality and ease of use”.

LaTeX is often used for technical or scientific documentation, particularly because it generates well formatted papers with beautifully crafted formuale, but the system can be used for any form of publishing. It employs beautifully crafted typesetting algorithms. Academic journals will often accept submission in this format.

Using the LaTeX system leads the author to concentrate on the structure of the document rather than its appearance. The author therefore focuses on what he/she wants to say, instead of fretting over page borders, font attributes, or formatting. Moreover, the author will be guided in the organisation, structure, and flow within the document.

The recommended LaTeX distribution is the one that comes with TeX Live, the replacement of its counterpart teTeX. This is a general TeX distribution that is actively maintained by the TeX Users Group.

Almost any editor or wordprocessor can be used to write LaTeX documents, but many users of the system prefer to use software specially designed for LaTeX.

The purpose of this article is to identify our favorite open source software that works in conjunction with the LaTeX system. Featured in this article include excellent LaTeX editors, bibliography tools and more.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 11 high quality Linux tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who wants to make their writing look great.

Now, let's explore the 11 tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

LaTeX Tools
LyX Combines the power and flexibility of TeX/LaTeX with an intuitive graphical interface
TeXmacs WYSIWYG mathematical text editor using TeX fonts
SiSU Documents - structuring, publishing in multiple formats and search
AUCTeX Environment for editing LaTeX, ConTeXt, docTeX, Texinfo, and TeX files
Kile KDE Integrated LaTeX Environment
Texmaker Integrates many different tools
BibLaTex Programmable bibliographies and citations
JabRef Graphical frontend to manage BibTeX databases
RefDB Reference database and bibliography tool for SGML, XML, and LaTeX documents
TeXstudio Fully featured open source LaTeX editor
LaTeXila Integrated LaTeX Environment for the GNOME desktop

Return to our complete collection of Group Tests, identifying the finest Linux software.

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Last Updated Sunday, June 01 2014 @ 03:06 AM EDT


We have written a range of guides highlighting excellent free books for popular programming languages. Check out the following guides: C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, HTML, Python, Ruby, Perl, Haskell, PHP, Lisp, R, Prolog, Scala, Scheme, Forth, SQL, Node.js (new), Fortran (new), Erlang (new), Pascal (new), and Ada (new).


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