### What are the AMS packages (AMSTeX, *etc*.)?

AMSTeX is a TeX macro package, originally written by Michael Spivak for
the American Mathematical Society (AMS) during 1983–1985 and
is described in the book “The Joy of TeX”.
It is based on Plain TeX, and provides many
features for producing more professional-looking maths formulas with
less burden on authors. It pays attention to the finer details of
sizing and positioning that mathematical publishers care about. The
aspects covered include multi-line displayed equations, equation
numbering, ellipsis dots, matrices, double accents, multi-line
subscripts, syntax checking (faster processing on initial
error-checking TeX runs), and other things.

As LaTeX increased in popularity, authors sought to submit papers to
the AMS in LaTeX, so AMSLaTeX was developed. AMSLaTeX
is a collection of LaTeX packages and classes that offer authors most of
the functionality of AMSTeX.
The AMS no longer recommends the use of AMSTeX, and urges
its authors to use AMSLaTeX instead.

*AMSTeX distribution*- macros/amstex (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*AMSLaTeX distribution*- macros/latex/required/amslatex (or browse the directory); catalogue entry

*This answer last edited: 2011-06-01*

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