Here are some quick links into the TeX User Group Frequently Asked Questions pages for people to find out more about this software and its uses. If Goldsmiths students want some help and support in getting started with TeX then drop me an email and I’ll do my best to help you!
What is TeX? – TeX is a typesetting system “intended for the creation of beautiful books”
Why don’t I see what I am going to get? – WYSIWYG is a marketing term (“What you see is what you get”) for a particular style of text processor, e.g. Microsoft Office. WYSIWYG systems are characterised by two principal claims: that you type what you want to print, and that what you see on the screen as you type is a close approximation to how your text will finally be printed. The simple answer to the question is, of course, that TeX was conceived long before the marketing term. There is a real conceptual difference between the word processor model of the world and the model TeX uses — the idea of “markup”. Markup expresses a logical model of a document, where every object within the document is labelled according to what it is rather than how it should appear.
On my Mac laptop I’m running the MacTeX distribution.