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LyX is a document processor[?] which breaks, according to the developers, the tradition of WYSIWYG word processors. The developers claim to follow the WYSIWYM (what you see is what you mean) paradigm they developed for their project, which means that the user only has to care about the structure and content of the text. The formatting is performed, according to the structure given by the user, by LATEX. LyX handles documents ranging from small articles to books with lots of cross-references and illustrations. Recent versions of the software support right-to-left languages like Hebrew and Arabic. A separate release for Chinese, Japanese and Korean language support is available.

LyX acts as a front-end to LaTEX, an advanced typesetting system. Specific knowledge of the LATEX document processing system is not necessary but may improve editing with LyX significantly.

The LyX document processor is available for various operating systems like several Unix platforms including MacOS X, OS/2, Windows/Cygwin and Linux.

LyX was first published under the name Lyrix, but had to be renamed because of a word processor by SCO of the same name. The name LyX was chosen because the file-suffix for Lyrix-files was already '.lyx'.


  • GUI with menus
  • Standard operations like cut/paste, spell-checking
  • Different textclasses similar to the \documentclass[arguments]{theclass} command in LAtEX
  • BibTeX Support
  • Table Editor (WYSIWYG)
  • Math Editor (WYSIWYG)


  • Matthias Ettrich started developing the shareware programm Lyrix in 1995(?).
  • Soon after this it was announced on USENET where it received great attention during the subsequent years.
  • Shortly after the initial release Lyrix was renamed to Lyx due to a name-clash with some commercial software. In this course it was also GPL'd, which opened the project to the open-source community.
  • Version 1.0.0 of the software was released in 1999.

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