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 special characters in our text

We will write a very short example printing out an amount of dollars and a percent number, then we shall try more symbols:

  1. Create a new document and enter the following lines:

    Statement \#1:
    50\% of \$100 makes \$50.
    More special symbols are \&, \_, \{ and \}.
  2. Typeset and view the output:

What just happened?

By putting a backslash before such a special symbol, we turned it into a LaTeX command. This command has the only purpose of printing out that symbol.


The command for printing a backslash is \textbackslash. If you would like to know what \\ might be used for, it is used as a shortcut for a line break command. That's a bit odd, but line breaks occur frequently whereas backslashes are rarely needed in the output, therefore this shortcut has been chosen.

There's a wealth of symbols that we can use for math formulas, chess notation, zodiac signs, music scores, and more. We don...