Outside of Pressbooks, Latex is commonly used for journal papers, theses, and dissertations. In addition to handling equations, plots, and multi-lingual documents, Latex is popular for academic writing because Latex elegantly integrates sectioning documents and creating tables of contents, Latex supports BibTex a free reference manager to create easy and flexible bibliographies, and Latex allows you to precisely specify almost any aspect of the document format.
Choosing an Editor
If you are interested in typesetting stand-alone Latex documents, there are a variety of free Latex editors. They range from providing a word-processor style interface to programs which look more like an editor for code. Here is a helpful Quora post which covers many popular editors and their tradeoffs. While the title says the editors are for Windows, most are also available for Mac. In particular, I’ll highlight Overleaf, which is an online editor. Overleaf is free and offers free templates, well-written tutorials, and options for online collaboration.