**Boris Burkov**
* Costandino Dufort Moraites*

Gautam Kamath

I remember when I first started hearing about Latex, I thought it was something new, but it is important to keep in mind that Latex has been around since the 80s! When thinking about picking up any new piece of technology, it's easy to be hesitant because you aren't sure if it will stick or be general enough to be worth your time learning it. Latex has already stuck and it is extremely general. You will not regret learning how to use it if you spend any significant amount of your time preparing technical documents.

Despite seeming daunting at times, there is nothing to be afraid about switching over to Latex for writing technical documents. It instantly makes your writing immortal and forever editable which is advantageous over paper mediums which inevitably get lost or misplaced, and which become difficult to edit without rewriting from scratch. Latex is designed for typesetting beautiful technical documents, a feature the equation editor in Microsoft Word or NotePad cannot boast. With Latex your writing starts off looking professional which makes the job of whoever will be reading your work much easier.

The first two sections will cover enough of the basics to get you to write your first document in Latex from scratch. From there, there are additional topics for more complicated things you may want to do when writing something. The basics include the general Section, subsection model, how to enter equations, and how to turn your tex file into a pdf.

Finally, I will say if after the next two sections you still feel intimidated by Latex, try using Lyx. Lyx is a GUI from Latex which abstracts away all of the TeX syntax. Lyx is available on all of the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. There is a short tutorial which comes with Lyx which will get you on your feet in about 30 minutes, and will help you to understand how to use Latex without being confused by the syntax. Throughout the first few sections I will scatter tangential remarks about Lyx but for the most part it works like any other GUI, it gives you menus to navigate through so you can figure out how to tell Lyx to give you a Latex document how you want it without worrying about the Latex markup language.

Oh! And this document is not intended to be all encompassing! Google is your friend!

Afterwards you should get output asking about the name of your input file or really just any output which isn't an error saying that pdflatex couldn't be found. pdflatex is the command you will use to convert your .tex files to .pdf files and it's all you'll need for most documents.

Installing everything you need to get started in a Linux based OS is extremely simple. The preferred package is texlive.

If you want the full texlive packages use (it might take a while to download):

At least for the basic tutorial, you won't need anything in the full package. Also, if you later find that you want additional functionality, you can simply install new packages, which is covered later.

In windows the preferred Latex packages are from MikTex.

**(i)**- Download the packages/installer here: http://www.miktex.org/2.9/setup (I'll assume you got the full packages, and be warned it will take a while to download.)
**(ii)**- From here run the installer.

The easiest method from this link: http://guides.macrumors.com/Installing_LaTeX_on_a_Mac is summerized below. For other more advanced methods see the link. Similarly, the simplest method is included here for completeness, but the address linked is a living document and more likely to be up to date.

Installing latex on Mac the easy way:

**(i)**- Download the MacTex Package here: http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/mac/mactex/MacTeX.mpkg.zip
**(ii)**- Unzip the downloaded file and run the .mpkg file to install latex.

Lyx is a GUI on top of Latex which behaves like traditional word processors. It abstracts away the Latex syntax and provides the user menus to help figure out what they want. If you are frustrated with straight Latex, give Lyx a try. It will help you see what is possible with Latex and has a somewhat more friendly learning curve. Lyx is available for all platforms mentioned in this guide.

Now we are going to go through the process of creating a simple latex document which will encompass all of the basic features you'll need to get by.

First create a new tex file. This simply means opening your favorite text editor (vim, emacs, notepad++, notepad, nano, gedit, etc) and save a file with a .tex extension. Be careful if you are using windows and you haven't enabled the display of file extensions in the explorer window manager. Doing this will make it easier for you to work with .tex files.

I'm using Ubuntu and I compose my tex in vim so to start my new document I simply do:

Below is a sample document with the basics. I recommend perusing it a bit, then going through the section on the bottom and typing the relevant LaTeX in to your example.tex so you can get a feel for how straightforward LaTeX syntax really is.

% comments in LaTeX start with a % % This is my preample, it sets up my margins and includes any packages I'll need % Both will be discussed in more detail later. \documentclass[12pt]{article} % (1) include the extra packages I'll need \usepackage{amstext, amsmath, amssymb} % (2) set up my borders \addtolength{\oddsidemargin}{-1.0in} \addtolength{\evensidemargin}{-.875in} \addtolength{\textwidth}{1.75in} \addtolength{\topmargin}{-.875in} \addtolength{\textheight}{1.75in} %(3) every document begins with \begin document and ends with %\end{document} \begin{document} %(4) \title{Hello World! \\ The Basics } \author{Cadmium \\ Cadmium } %terminate lines with \\ \date{} %this tells LaTeX to use today's date \maketitle %this tells LaTeX to format the code above as the title of the document \section{The definition of Convergence!} %(5) This is how you declare a new section We will start with a section on the definition of convergence. Then a section discusing its properties. \subsection{Definition} %(6) This is how you give a section subsections The nth partial sum, $S_{n}$ of a sequence $\{a_{n}\}$ is the sum of the first n terms of the sequence. %(7) so this is an example of inline equations A series $\{a_{n}\}$ is said to be convergent when the sequence of its partial sums, $\{S_{1},S_{2},...\}$ converges. A series converges if there exists a limit $L$ such that for any $\epsilon>0,$ there exists $N$ such that for all $n\geq N$. \begin{equation} %(8) and here is a sample equation broken out from the text \left|S_{n}-L\right|\leq\epsilon \end{equation} \subsection{Reflection} (9) Note the relationship here to compactness. Every infinite sequence in a compact space is convergent, ie taking an infinite number of steps in a compact space means most of the steps need to be relatively close to each other! \end{document} (10)

Borders and packages will be covered more later. Right now just see that there is a sample of something you can play with if you don't like my margins and the packages I included are the ones I tend to use for typesetting my equations. Feel free to use the same packages or look around for others which you think suit your needs more.

The text of a document begins with

\begin{document}and ends with

\end{document}Make sure you have these or latex will bark at you.

Notice how you can use \\to terminate lines and how specifying date with no date will pick up today's date.

Unlike HTML, you don't have to close nodes. They close themselves in reasonable ways. Keep in mind there are also subsubsections!

Here is probably the most useful part, and certainly the most liberating part if you are used to using various other equation editors. There are two main ways of inserting equations in LaTex: by enclosing things with dollar signs for in-line equations and by enclosing equations with the equation environment (\begin{equation} ... \end{equation}) for equations broken out from the text.

You get exponents with a caret (^) and subscripts with an underscore (_) for arguments to the exponent or subscript, be sure to enclose them in { and }! You insert special symbols with \SYMBOLNAME for example \epsilon (), \gamma (), \geq (), and \in ().

Alright. That should be enough to get you started. Give it a shot. It really isn't so bad and the resulting beautifully typeset documents are worth it.

\begin{tabular} {| l | c || r |} \hline 1 & 2 & 3 \\ \hline 4 & 5 & 6 \\ \hline 7 & 8 & 9 \\ \hline \end{tabular}which yields:

1 | 2 | 3 |

4 | 5 | 6 |

7 | 8 | 9 |

Let's break down the different parts of this syntax and discuss what they do. The line

`\begin{tabular} {| l | c || r |}`

puts us into the tabular
environment, and declares that we will be creating a
table with 3 columns. One that is left justified, one that is center justified
and one that is right justified. The vertical lines between and around the
columns indicate what kind of borders we want the table to have between columns.
In this case, we put a double line between the 2nd and 3rd columns and a single
line between each other column and on the outside of the table.
If we wanted to have more columns, we would just have to specify more column
items here. For instance, if we were to have written:
`\begin{tabular} {l c c c c r}`

here, that would give us a table with 6 columns and no lines acting as
borders between any of them.
The remaining 5 lines:
\hline 1 & 2 & 3 \\ \hline 4 & 5 & 6 \\ \hline 7 & 8 & 9 \\ \hline \end{tabular}fill out the data in the table. The

`\hline`

s put a horizontal line at the
location we are currently at in the table, the numbers fill out the columns of
the table and the `&`

and `\\`

serve as column and row delimiters,
respectively.
We could just as easily put words instead of numbers into the table, for
instance if we wanted to label the columns and rows. If we wanted to put entire
paragraphs, we would replace the column names like `l, c,`

or `r`

with
`p{width}`

. Where `width`

denotes the maximum width of the paragraph
column in some measurement like inches or centimeters.

\includegraphics{PATH_TO_IMAGE}where we would like the image. The path can be either a relative path starting from where the .tex file defining the document is or an absolute path. We can also provide options in square brackets to scale the image:

\includegraphics[scale=0.75]{PATH_TO_IMAGE}This will render the image scaled uniformly by a factor of 0.75. Other options include translation, rotation, cropping, and much more.

A few short notes on installing packages. In general, installing packages can be compicated, but we focus on the simplest case where the package simply consists of a few .sty files.

In this case, installing a new package, such as the algorithmic package for including really snazzy pseudocode in your write-ups is a two step process:

- Find the appropriate .sty files (in this
case algorithm.sty and algorithmic.sty).
- Run texhash on the directoy where you want to install the packages. In my case in /texmf, where I put the .sty files in /texmf/tex/latex.

Now we discuss each step in a little more detail. For the algorithmic example, you can download the relevant .sty files here: http://texcatalogue.sarovar.org/entries/algorithms.html

And after downloading and unzipping the files, you need to place them in the correct directory. I use Ubuntu and on Ubuntu it is common to install new packages either in the packages directory of my texlive install, or in the directoy /texmf/tex/latex/PACKAGENAME. Note that if this is your first time installing a package you may have to create the directories texmf, tex and latex. If you are on Windows, this directory will be something like ProgramFiles/MikeTex 2.7/texmf-local/tex/latex/PACKAGENAME. In general, your latex install should add the command 'texhash' to path so if you are having trouble finding where to put your newly downloaded packages, run texhash from a terminal with no arguments. In the output of texhash, you will see texhash looking in some directories for new packages, and that is where you should put the new packages you want to install.

If you are having still trouble finding this directory, you can go here for the full details on package installation: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/Packages/Installing_Extra_Packages

In any case, let's say I put the files algorithmic.sty and algorithm.sty into /texmf/tex/latex/algorithm. Now all I have to do is run the command:

This installs the algorithms environment and now I can use the algorithms package with a

\usepackage{algorithm, algorithmic}

With this use package statement,

\begin{algorithmic} \IF {$i\geq maxval$} \STATE $i\gets 0$ \ELSE \IF {$i+k\leq maxval$} \STATE $i\gets i+k$ \ENDIF \ENDIF \end{algorithmic}

Will look like this:

For more help with the algorithmic environment, see here: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/Algorithms_and_Pseudocode

`thebibliography`

environment. To generate the very simple
bibliography that follows, we use the following LaTeX:
\begin{thebibliography}{9} \bibitem{mac_install} http://guides.macrumors.com/Installing\_LaTeX\_on\_a\_Mac \bibitem{ubuntu} https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LaTeX \bibitem{example} Boris, Constantin, Gautam 2011: A simple dummy bibliography entry \end{thebibliography}Each bibitem corresponds to a new entry in your bibliography, and the argument passed in to bibitem is called a cite key. This allows you to later just throw in

`\cite{CITE_KEY}`

to add a citation wherever you want, which I will do
at the end of this sentence. [3]
- 1
- http://guides.macrumors.com/Installing_LaTeX_on_a_Mac
- 2
- https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LaTeX
- 3
- Boris, Constantin, Gautam 2011: A simple dummy bibliography entry

This document was generated using the
**LaTeX**2`HTML` translator Version 2008 (1.71)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996,
Nikos Drakos,
Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds.

Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999,
Ross Moore,
Mathematics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney.

The command line arguments were:

**latex2html** `-split 0 tutorial2.tex`

The translation was initiated by cinohpa on 2011-02-15

cinohpa 2011-02-15