by Forrest Sheng Bao http://fsbao.net
I hope to die before I have to use Microsoft Word - Prof. Donald E. Knuth, Dept. of Computer Science, Stanford University
LaTeX is an awesome stuff for scientific document typesetting. You don't need to worry about the layout. Just put whatever you wanna say, and LaTeX will place them as expected on the paper. If you use Word, you have to control the typesetting by yourself. And it can't do some intelligent stuff, like make the width of a table to be 1/3 of the page width, coz it can't compute. Besides, LaTeX is so awesome for embedding math formulas into the paper.
So, on Linux we have Kile and on Mac we have TeXshop. How about Windows? Don't worry. You download MikTeX as the LaTeX compiler and download WinEdt as the editor. Another easier way is to download this ftp://ftp.ctex.org/pub/tex/systems/ctex/2.4/CTeX-2.4.6-Full.exe Just follow the instructions and you are done.
The compiling is pretty easy. Just follow the numbers on the following picture, click 1-2-3. By default, the Adobe Reader will pop-up automatically to show you the generated PDF document. If not, click 4.