Academic&ResearchComputing
GettingStartedwithLAT
E
X
L
A
T
E
XTutorial
Youcaneitherprintthisdocumentorfollowitonline.
AboutL
A
T
E
X
L
A
T
E
X(pronouncedeither“Lay-tech”or“Lah-tech”)isaportabledocument
formattingsystembasedonT
E
X(pronounced“tech”),atypesetting
languageoriginallydesignedespeciallyformathandscience.Itisalsoa
programminglanguage,whichmeansyoucancreateyourowncommands
tosimplifyandcustomizeit.T
E
XandL
A
T
E
Xusebydefaultafontfamily
called“ComputerModern,”whichincludesavarietyofstylessuchasserif,
sansserif,typewriter,andaparticularlyrichsetofmathematicalsymbols.
GettingStarted
Youwillfirstneedtocopysomefilesforusewhilegoingthroughthis
tutorial.
(Note:IfyouareusingL
A
T
E
Xinapubliclab(e.g.,VCCNorth),firstlogonusing
yourRCSUserIDandpassword,andwhenfinishedremembertologoff.)
Createanewfolder,thencopyintoitthefollowingexamplefilesfromthe
L
A
T
E
Xtrainingpage.(Gotothetrainingpageandscrolldowntothe
Examples.Rightclickonthenameofeachfile,choose“SaveLinkAs...”.)
Forexercises
Graphicsinfo
Imagefiles
basic.tex
graphics.tex
cat.eps
exart.tex
graphics.pdf
cat.pdf
ex2.tex
exrotating.tex
smokeblk.eps
ex3.tex
exrotating.pdf
smokeblk.pdf
1
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Academic&ResearchComputing
GettingStartedwithLAT
E
X
HowL
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T
E
XWorks
TouseL
A
T
E
X,youfirstcreateafileusingaplaintexteditor(suchas
WinShellorWinEdtonWindows)andgiveitanameendingwith
.tex
.In
thisfile,youtypeboththetextofyourdocumentandthecommandsto
formatit.Thentherearetwowaystoprocessandprintyour
.tex
file:
1. Thetraditionalwayistorunthe
latex
program,whichcreatesaDVI
(DeviceIndependent)file.Thisfileisinbinaryformatandnotviewed
directly.Youthenrunapreviewingprogramforviewingonscreen
and/orthe
dvips
programtocreateaPostScriptfileforviewingorfor
printingviaGSView.
.texfile
latexprogram
(creates.dvifile)
Preview.dvifile
(usingwindvi)
CreatePSfile
(usingdvips)
2. Alternativelyyoucanruntherelativelyrecent
pdflatex
programto
createaPDFfileforviewingorprinting.
.texfile
pdflatexprogram
(creates.pdffile)
Vieworprint.pdffile
(forexample,usingAcrobat)
Thesecondmethodismoredirectbutnotasquickorconvenientfor
previewingasthefirst.
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Academic&ResearchComputing
GettingStartedwithLAT
E
X
Tryit!
BeforegettingintothedetailsoftheL
A
T
E
Xlanguage,youcangetafeelfor
whatit’sliketoprocessandviewaL
A
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Xfilebytryingoutbothmethodson
thesimplestofthefilesyoucopied,
basic.tex
.
Double-clickon
basic.tex
.Youreditor/shellshouldopenthefile.We’ll
assumethatyouareusingWinShellandthatyourpreviewerisWindvi.
Tryoutmethod1
1. RunL
A
T
E
XbyclickingontheL
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T
E
Xicononthetoolbar.
2. PreviewtheresultingDVI(deviceindependent)filebyclickingonthe
DVIicononthetoolbar.TheWindvipreviewerwillopen.Youcan
zoominorouttochooseaviewingmagification.
LeavetheDVIwindowopenwhileyoureturntoyoureditortomake
changes;thewindowwillrefreshwhenyourerunL
A
T
E
X.
3. If/whenyouwanttoprint(probablynotnow),dosobyusingGSView:
FromWinShell,clicktheDVIPSicon.After
dvips
runs,clickthe
GSViewicontoopenthe
.ps
file.FromtheFilemenu,selectPrint....
Tryoutmethod2
1. RunpdfL
A
T
E
XbyclickingonthepdfL
A
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E
Xicononthetoolbar.
2. ClickthePDFViewicononthetoolbartoviewthePDFoutputin
AcrobatReader.IfyouwanttorerunL
A
T
E
X,youwillhavetoclosethe
filefirst(justclosethefile,notAcrobatReader)becauseARwillnot
allowyoutowriteonanopenfile.AfterrerunningL
A
T
E
X,openthefile
againtoviewyourchanges.
3. Toprint,selectPrint...fromAcrobat’sFilemenu.Beforeprinting,be
surePageScalingissetto“None”inthePrintwindow.
3
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Academic&ResearchComputing
GettingStartedwithLAT
E
X
StructureofaL
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XFile
\documentclass[
options
]{
article
}
Preamble
(forL
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E
Xcommandsonly)
\begin{document}
Documenttext
(textwithembeddedL
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E
Xcommands)
\end{document}
TheDocumentclassdeterminestheoveralllayoutofthedocument.In
additiontoarticleclass,whichisagoodall-purposeclass,other
commonly-usedclassesare:
report–forlongerdocumentscontainingchapters
thesis–forwritinganRPIthesis(seePreparingaThesiswithL
A
T
E
X).
book–forbooks
letter–forletters
slides–formakingtransparencies
Amongotherthings,theclassesprovideheadingcommands,suchas
\part
,
\chapter
,
\section
.
4
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Academic&ResearchComputing
GettingStartedwithLAT
E
X
DocumentClassOptions&Packages
Adocumentclassmaybemodifiedbyusingoptions:
\documentclass[options]{article}
Commonly-usedoptionsinclude:
11pt
Printsdocumentin11pttype(default10pt)
12pt
Printsdocumentin12pttype
Example:
\documentclass[11pt]{article}
L
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X
Packages
containextradefinitionsthatprovideadditional
formattingfeatures.Toloadapackage,includeinthepreamblethe
command:
\usepackage{packagename}
Somecommonly-usedpackagesare:
setspace
Provideseasywaytochangelinespacing
graphicx
Providescommandstoincludegraphicsfiles
fancyhdr
Customizesheadersandfooters
rotating
Providesrotations,especiallyforfigures&tables
color
Providesawaytousecolors
5
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Academic&ResearchComputing
GettingStartedwithLAT
E
X
L
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E
XBasics
Thebackslash“
\
”isusedtobeginallL
A
T
E
Xcommands.
Intheinputfile(.texfile),wordsareseparatedbyoneormoreblank
spaces,paragraphsareseparatedbyone(ormore)blanklines.
Commandsarecase-sensitive.Commandsarealllowercaseunless
there’sagoodreasontouseuppercase.Forexample:
\Delta→∆
\delta→δ
Somecommandstakearguments,whichareenclosedinbraces:
\textbf{this text t will be e bold}
CertaincharactershavespecialmeaningtoL
A
T
E
X.Thecompletelistisin
TextFormattingwithL
A
T
E
X;themostcommonarelistedbelow.
Char
Input
SpecialT
E
Xmeaning
#
\
#
Parameterinamacro
$
\
$
Usedtobeginandendmathmode
%
\
%
Usedforcommentsintheinputfile
&
\
&
Tabmark,usedinalignments
\
Usedinmathmodeforsubscripts
6
Academic&ResearchComputing
GettingStartedwithLAT
E
X
SomeL
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E
XVocabulary
Commands producetextorspace:
\hspace{2in}
and
\textit{some italic words}
Declarations affectthefollowingtext:
\large
printsthefollowingtextinalargerfont.
Grouping
{ }
isoftenusedtolimitthescopeofadeclaration:
{\large only this text is big}
Environments receivespecialprocessingandaredefinedby
\begin{
name
} ...\end{
name
}
.
Example:
\begin{quote}
...
\end{quote}
Mandatoryarguments areincludedinbraces :
\hspace{2in}
needs
theinformationprovidedbytheargumenttogeneratethespace.
Optionalarguments areenclosedinbrackets[]:
\documentclass[11pt]{article}
givesyou11-pointtype.
(Thedefaultis10-pointtype.)
indicatesavariationonacommandorenvironment.
\\
indicatesalinebreak
\\*
indicatesalinebreakwhereapagecannotbebroken.
7
Academic&ResearchComputing
GettingStartedwithLAT
E
X
Exercise1
1. CloseWindviandGSVieworAcrobatifyouhaven’talready.
2. InWinShell,close
basic.tex
,open
exart.tex
andnotethe
following:
useoftheheadingcommands
useof
\textit{..}
,
\textbf{..}
,
{\small..}
howtogetvariousdashesandquotes
3. Runlatex(clicktheL
A
T
E
Xicon)orpdflatex(clickthePDFL
A
T
E
Xicon).
4. PreviewtheresultbyclickingontheDVIicon(forlatex)orthePDF
icon(forpdflatex).
5. LeaveWindviopen,orinAcrobat
clickthe“x”toclosethefile,and
returntoWinShell.Makethefollowingchangestotheexart.texfile:
addtheoption
[12pt]
to
\documentclass
addtothepreamblethecommand:
\pagestyle{empty}
%nopagenumbers
change
\section
and
\subsection
headings
to
\section*
and
\subsection*
6. Runlatexagain,andbringWindvitothefront.Orrunpdflatexagain,
andinAcrobat
,gototheFilemenuandunderHistory,clickon
exart.pdf
toreopenthefile.
Notethedifferencesintheformattedresult.
ForashortcuttoclosingandreopeningafileinAcrobat,youcanclosethedisplaywith
Ctrl-W
andreloadthefilewith
Alt-←
(leftarrow). Alternatively,youcanconfigureyour
editortoviewPDFfileswithGSViewinsteadofAcrobat.GSViewcanrefreshthedisplay.
8
Academic&ResearchComputing
GettingStartedwithLAT
E
X
RespondingtoErrorMessages
WhenL
A
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E
Xfindsanerror,theCommandwindowwillremainopen,andyouwill
seeamessagesuchas:
! Undefined control sequence.
l.9 \secton
{Introducing LaTeX}
?
Thismeansthe
\section
commandwasmisspelled,andtheerroroccurredon
line9oftheinputfile.
Othercommonerrorsincludeunmatchedbracesoraspecialcharacter(e.g.,$,#,
%)inthetext.Youcanrespondwith:
hforhelp
xforexit
presstheReturnkeytoignoreit,hopeforthebest.
Ifitstopswitha*prompt,itoftenmeansyouhaveforgotten
\end{document}
.
Enteritattheprompt(andfixthefilelater).
IfyoumistypedthefilenameorforsomeotherreasonL
A
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E
Xcannotfindafile,it
willaskforanotherfilename.Ifyoudon’twanttoenteranewfilename,quitthe
programbytyping“x”.Anotherhandy“Emergencystopsequence”isCtrl-z.
IMPORTANT:DonotsimplyclosetheCommandwindowwithoutresponding!
ThewindowmaydisappearbutL
A
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E
Xisstillrunning,whichwillcauseconfusion
whenyourunitagain.
9
Academic&ResearchComputing
GettingStartedwithLAT
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X
Exercise2
1. QuitWindviorAcrobat.
2. InWinShell,close
exart.tex
andopen
ex2.tex
.
3. Notethefollowing:
Howtousethecenterenvironment
Howtousethequoteenvironment
Howtomake3kindsoflists
4. Runlatexorpdflatexbyclickingontheappropriateicon.
5. PreviewtheresultbyclickingontheDVIorPDFicon.
6. ReturntoWinShellandaddasectionattheendillustratingthe
itemizeenvironment.
HINT:Seethecommentsattheendofthefile.
10
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