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2.1 Introduction 

Preparing documents with TeX or LaTeX is not easy. However, those who persevere are rewarded with a beautifully typeset document. There are at least two reasons why writing with the `aid' of TeX may cause some problems.

First of all there is the enormous number of possibilities that TeX offers. While this is one reason to use TeX in the first place, it has the disadvantage that many--at first puzzling and maybe hard to remember--commands have to be used. In principle this is a problem that you will have to live with. A thought to comfort you: many people have tried before you and most of them are by now enthusiastic TeX users.

The second reason why TeX may seem difficult to work with is of a more technical nature. Since TeX itself is only(!) a compiler, it needs several other programs and utilities to make a fully operational text preparation system. For example, at some time between conception and delivery of your document, you might need an editor, a previewer or a printing program. All these programs require time to be correctly installed and may need setting of environment variables and/or some parameters to co-operate in the way you want them to. This is, of course, just the type of thing about which you do not want to bother. Therefore, here is the good news: you don't have to!

For those who do not like to spend their valuable time discovering all these technicalities, there is now 4TeX. In its infant days, it did nothing more than constitute a simple menu for calling the TeX compiler or an editor and the like. Although it is a relatively young program and is still growing, we feel that by now it is powerful enough to justify the title workbench. In the next sections you will find a description.

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