MacTeX Technical Working Group:
What is TeX?

What is TeX ?
TeX, a new typesetting system intended for the creation of beautiful books---and especially for books that contain a lot of mathematics.
-- Donald E. Knuth,   [The TeXBook, Preface]
David Salomon provides and excellent TeXplanation in "The Advanced TeXbook". An excerpt of this is provided by Blue Sky Systems on its What the heck is TeX? page. More information is also available in the TeX FAQ originated by UK TeX Users' Group (UK TUG).

Where is TeX Used?

TeX is used in many academic areas for publishing papers in journals and books in such fields as Astronomy, Astrophysics, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geography, GeoPhysics, Humanities, Linguistics, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, etc. It is used not only to prepare documents in English, but also in almost every language around the world. For example in countries such as:
Asia China, India, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam
Europe Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden
Middle East Egypt, Iran, Israel
It is also used as part of systems for preparing complex documents containing Bibliographies, Cross Referencing, Dictionairies, and Indexing. Some lesser-known areas where it is used (secretly) are: DataBase Publishing, BackEnd Post Processing.

There are 27 TeX Local User Groups (LUGs) around the world with approximately 7700 members (as of 2004). The user groups provide technical support and funds for development of projects such as TeX Live and TeX fonts, among others. The TeX Merchandising Project, helps to raise the public awareness of TeX as well as raising funds for the user groups.

TeX Typesetting
The TeX showcase
contains examples of what you can do with TeX, the typesetting engine from Donald E Knuth, the creator and Grand Wizard of TeX. Professor Knuth, a world famous mathematician and computer scientist, is the author of the series of books on The Art of Computer Programming for which TeX was written. The examples include material prepared not only with plain TeX, but also with macro packages and related programs such as LaTeX, ConTeXt, pdf(La)TeX, and MetaPost.
The ConTeXt showcase
This link brings you to the ConTeXt showcase, a suite of pdf documents that contains manuals and examples made by ConTeXt and Metafun. There are documents for print and screen, and many of them are interactive.

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