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How do i go about learning LaTeX

  • Thread starter JasonJo
  • Start date
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how do i go about learning LaTeX, i recently had to write up a mathematical paper for my analysis course, and it just took so long, not because i didnt get the mathematics behind the paper, but because it was a nightmare to type up. i heard LaTeX has a higher than average learning curve, but once you learn it, it becomes like second nature. also, what's a good LaTeX package?
 
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Anyways. There are lots of tutorials available online for LATEX. When I was first learning LATEX, I compiled a list of sites that were really helpful for me. Here they are:

About LATEX:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaTeX
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TeX

General Tutorials:
http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/LaTeX/AoPS_L_GuideLay.php [Broken]
http://www.andy-roberts.net/misc/latex/latextutorial1.html

Page Setup in LATEX:
http://www.iam.ubc.ca/~newbury/tex/page-set-up.html#margins [Broken]

List of LATEX Symbols:
http://osiris.sunderland.ac.uk/~cs0pdu/pub/mat118/lshort2e/node61.html

Latex Equation Editor(Very Useful!):
http://www.hamline.edu/~arundquist/equationeditor/

Latex Online Compilers:
http://dev.baywifi.com/latex/Default.aspx [Broken]
http://nirvana.informatik.uni-halle.de/~thuering/php/latex-online/latex.php?sprachauswahl=2&aufruf=9306 [Broken]

And yes it is true that LATEX is the BEST! :biggrin:
 
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You can use LATEX in two ways.

1) The professional way: you can download some LATEX softwares. This is kinda the hard way to do it because you would have to compile your documents and stuff and it sometimes gets overwhelming and using LATEX this way has a high learning curve. But definitely, this is the way to go if you going to be writing a lot of mathematical documents in the future.

2) The beginners way: you can use online LATEX softwares to type some equations in LATEX and generate a jpeg image and then just copy/paste that image into you word file or whatever. This way is definitely a lot more easier and has a tiny learning curve. I would recommend using this way until you know how to write equations in LATEX especially if things like programming and typing long lines of codes turn you off or something.
 
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JasonJo said:
also, what's a good LaTeX package?
I am not sure what you mean. You use a lot of different "packages" in LATEX depending on what type of equations you are gonna use. You use whichever ones you need.
 
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2) The beginners way: you can use online LATEX softwares to type some equations in LATEX and generate a jpeg image and then just copy/paste that image into you word file or whatever. This way is definitely a lot more easier and has a tiny learning curve. I would recommend using this way until you know how to write equations in LATEX especially if things like programming and typing long lines of codes turn you off or something.
IMO this is terrible advice. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing it the right way.

LaTeX may have a learning curve, but it is more than worthwhile to learn. It is far easier to use than a word processor, and much faster. People rarely distinguish between easy to learn and easy to use. Word processors are easy to learn. LaTeX is easy to use.
 

Dr Transport

Science Advisor
Gold Member
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Depending on the platform you are working with, you can get some really good LaTex gui's. If you are working with Windows, I'd say that you should start with TechnicCenter which uses MikTex. Once you get a format working you can use it over and over by including the format file in your document.

If you are using Linux, try Kile, it seems to be stable and pretty easy to use. The down side is that it replaces a driver in Fedora Core 3 which keeps you from upgrading automatically.

The best thing about the gui's is that you do not need to know all the commands, they are programmed in for you and you just point and click to insett them.
 
Like Dr Transport recommends, it's nice to use a gui if you need to look up the Tex commands. In Windows, I use the MikTes version of LaTex, and use a program called "WinEdt" as an editing platform. This is initially free with a trial period, but eventually you can pay something like 20 bucks for it if you find you like it.
 
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winEdt is your friend.
 

Dr Transport

Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,232
391
The really great thing about the gui's is that they are point and click. You need to havce a reference for the page formats only, almost everything you need for writing papres is point-and-click.
 

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