Book Image

LaTeX Beginner's Guide

By : Stefan Kottwitz, Robin TUG
Book Image

LaTeX Beginner's Guide

By: Stefan Kottwitz, Robin TUG

Overview of this book

LaTeX is high-quality Open Source typesetting software that produces professional prints and PDF files. However, as LaTeX is a powerful and complex tool, getting started can be intimidating. There is no official support and certain aspects such as layout modifications can seem rather complicated. It may seem more straightforward to use Word or other WYSIWG programs, but once you've become acquainted, LaTeX's capabilities far outweigh any initial difficulties. This book guides you through these challenges and makes beginning with LaTeX easy. If you are writing Mathematical, Scientific, or Business papers, or have a thesis to write, then this is the perfect book for you. LaTeX Beginner's Guide offers you a practical introduction to LaTeX with plenty of step-by-step examples. Beginning with the installation and basic usage, you will learn to typeset documents containing tables, figures, formulas, and common book elements like bibliographies, glossaries, and indexes and go on to managing complex documents and using modern PDF features. It's easy to use LaTeX, when you have LaTeX Beginner's Guide to hand. This practical book will guide you through the essential steps of LaTeX, from installing LaTeX, formatting, and justification to page design. Right from the beginning, you will learn to use macros and styles to maintain a consistent document structure while saving typing work. You will learn to fine-tune text and page layout, create professional looking tables as well as include figures and write complex mathematical formulas. You will see how to generate bibliographies and indexes with ease. Finally you will learn how to manage complex documents and how to benefit from modern PDF features. Detailed information about online resources like software archives, web forums, and online compilers completes this introductory guide. It's easy to use LaTeX, when you have LaTeX Beginner's Guide to hand.
Table of Contents (21 chapters)
About the Author
About the Reviewers
Formatting Words, Lines, and Paragraphs

Time for action – writing our first document with TeXworks

Our first goal is to create a document that's printing out just one sentence. We want to use it to understand the basic structure of a LaTeX document.

  1. Launch the TeXworks editor by clicking on the desktop icon or open it in the Start menu.

  2. Click on the New button.

  3. Enter the following lines:

    This is our first document.
  4. Click on the Save button and save the document. Choose a location where you want to store your LaTeX documents, ideally in its own folder.

  5. In the drop-down field in the TeXworks toolbar, choose pdfLaTeX:

  6. Click the Typeset button .
  7. The output window will automatically open. Have a look at it:

What just happened?

You have just seen the first few minutes of the life of a LaTeX document. Its following hours and days will be determined by editing, typesetting, and so on. Don't forget to save your document frequently.

As announced in contrary to the classic word processor software, you cannot see the effect of changes immediately—but the result is just one click away.

Have a go hero – checking out advanced LaTeX editors

Do you have experience in working with complex programs? Do you like using a feature-rich and powerful editor? Then have a look at these LaTeX editors. Visit their websites to find screenshots and to read about their features:

The mentioned editors are free open source software.