LaTeX The aid to research documentation

As a budding researcher, even before I sit down to write, the thought of getting the format right starts bothering me. I pick the font for the heading before I think of what my heading would be. It’s bothersome, since, basically you’re wasting your time on trivial things and half way through you feel exhausted and end up leaving the work unfinished. Even if you do finish your article after hours of designing and modifying and correcting there’s still something that could be better.

To put it simply, this generally has two results: authors wasting their time with designs; and a lot of badly designed documents!
Latex, a document preparation system for high-quality typesetting, is based on the idea that it is better to leave document design to document designers, and to let authors get on with writing documents.

Originally made for formatting medium-to- large technical and scientific documents, it can be used for any form of publishing. Although, since it follows rules for paper writing strictly, it is mostly preferred for research documentation. Nonetheless, one can always experiment and see how they can use the software for their needs.

Now, let’s delve into the technicalities of Latex. Latex works in layers. Each layer, predefined with its structure and purpose. The lower layers, say around 300 of them, are Tex primitives like \hbox or \vskip. On top of these layers comes the Latex kernel, which is a set of macros, a few examples are \documentclass, \usepackage or \begin. Each document that you write in Latex begins with the command \documentclass{name_of_the_file_you_want_to_load} which loads the file. Now, this file that has been loaded or, say, used at hand, is again a set of Tex primitives and macros from the Latex kernel. This class file can either aid you to load other classes to extend its own purpose or modify the existing macros that you are using to write your paper.

Latex also provides you with various packages that include other helpful tools to design your paper. All in all its almost like using HTML, it just has its own syntax and a different outcome, that is a fixed format for your research papers. Getting out of the technicalities, Latex is surely a big aid to all us writers and one could surely use it with ease. So, why don’t you let Latex help you next time you seem lost in getting the format of your paper right?

For tutorials on using Latex use the links given below:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-kXtWdjtmw
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoDv0qhyysQ&t=30s
Created By
Nikita Duhan
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