Despite the explosion of online, e-book, and document publishing formats, TeX is still a cornerstone of academic, scientific, and technical publishing, as it has been since the late 1970s. TeX's mission has always been to make high-quality typesetting and publishing easy and consistent across platforms. LaTeX is the document markup language of TeX, and LaTeX editors are required to create TeX documents. ATG's Texmaker is a free LaTeX editor. It's an up-to-date, cross-platform-capable tool that integrates the features you need to prepare and create TeX documents in a single interface. It offers Unicode support and useful extras such as a spell checker, autocompletion, code-folding, and an integrated PDF viewer.
Texmaker's user interface bears a family resemblance to other program-specific text-editing tools, though with a sleek design that makes subtle use of color and highlighting to distinguish Texmaker from the old-timers still in use on workstations and desktops in academia, industry, and elsewhere.
The program initially launches with its Structure sidebar open next to the main view; we could toggle the sidebar open and closed as well as access the Messages/Log feature and Source Viewer from buttons along the lower edge. Texmaker includes many of its most important tools and extras in menus as well as toolbar icons and sidebar palettes. Some of the standouts are the Math menu, a Bibliography menu with submenus for Bibtext and Biblatext, and a Quick Build tool that offers not just LaTeX but also PDFLaTeX, MPost, Asymptote, and many other build languages. The Wizard menu's Quick Start, Quick Letter, Quick Tabular, and other wizards proved invaluable for learning to use Texmaker, with assistance from the User Manual, LaTeX Reference, and other items on the Help menu.
It's a tribute to Texmaker's design that we were able to quickly create a basic document, despite little experience with LaTeX. Texmaker is no more complex or difficult to use than many editing and desktop publishing tools aimed at the general user, and easier than some. The difference is that Texmaker is specific to LaTeX. If you regularly use LaTeX editors or work with TeX documents, give Texmaker a try.