LaTeX Guide : Getting Started and other Guides
Creating a LaTeX Document
LaTeX documents can be created using any text editor. There are also editors specifically designed for LaTex. Once the text file is created, it then must be compiled or built using LaTeX. That usually results in a .dvi file which you then can convert to a .ps file or .pdf file. Some of the editors allow for the conversion easily and quickly in one step. While this sounds complicated, in fact it is very easy. Also, you can easily change the style output by merely telling LaTeX to use a different style. Many journals and other publishers have LaTeX styles available.
Comparison of LaTeX text editors- through Wikipedia
LyX - WYSIWYM interface for Linux, Windows and Mac environments.
TeXWorks - Works in Linux, Windows and Mac environments.
TeXstudio - Linux, Windows and Mac environments.
Kile - It is a KDE platform that works best in Linux.
TeXnicCenter - Windows only.
OverLeaf - Cloud based. Free for personal use. The UW - Math Department has a department subscription. You can login to the UW-Madison instance at: https://overleaf.com/edu/wisc Scroll down to the bottom, press login though my institution. If the user has a Math Department affiliation, you will get the professional license, which provides additional collaboration. There is a dissertation template in Overleaf. If you search for "Madison" you will find the template.