What is TeX?
The TeX typesetting system
This powerful typesetting system was created byDonald Knuthof Stanford University. Authors and publishers worldwide use TeX to producehigh-quality technical books and papers. TeX does a superior job of formattingcomplex mathematical expressions.
The power of TeX lies in its ability to handle complicated technicaltext and displayed mathematical formulas. When coupled with ahigh-quality phototypesetter, TeX produces results equal in qualityand appearance to those produced by the finest traditional typesettingsystems.
TeX input files are ASCII-coded representations. They are easily transported,thereby facilitating manuscript sharing among authors, editors, reviewers,and publishers. This capability enables research results to be publishedand distributed electronically.
More details, including some history, can be found inWikipedia, the freeon-line encyclopedia,
An excerpt fromThe AdvancedTeXbook, by David Salomon, gives a more technical overview.
Implementations of TeX exist for a wide variety of computing environments; thisincludes almost every current platform, and most older platforms still in use,often with multiple choices available for the most popular equipment.Implementations range from freeware and shareware (support may be offered via adedicated mailing list) to commercial offerings (comprehensive, ready-to-runpackages that include installation support). Nonetheless, the general ruleapplies that, regardless of implementation, the same input and processingsetup (fonts, hyphenation patterns and the like) will yield the same output,subject only to the resolution of the output device used.
The AMS offers a collection of mathematical symbol fonts and two collections of style files -- AMS-LaTeX and AMS-TeX -- for use with TeX. These style files provide easy ways to code mathematical expressions. All these items areavailable by anonymous FTP or via a Web link from the AMS TeX web pages