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3.3 TeX and 4TeX 

Preparing documents with TeX or LaTeX is not easy. However, those who keep trying can be 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 strange looking 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. Also, there is an on-line help system.

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 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 you do not want to bother about. Therefore, here is the good news: you don't have to!

For those of you who do not like to spend their valuable time discovering all these technicalities, there is now 4TeX. While in its infant days, it did nothing more than constitute a simple menu for starting TeX or an editor and the like. With almost 7 years of experience and with many enthusiastic users all over the world we feel by now that 4TeX has enough to justify the title `workbench'. In the following sections you will find a description.

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