LaTeX help

Getting Started

If this is your first experience with LaTeX, we recommend you start with the following resources.

Getting Started with LaTeX, by the 15-299 staff.
This short introduction gives an overview of the basics: creating and processing a LaTeX document, fundamentals of LaTeX syntax, and dealing with errors.
A 15-299 homework template (with corresponding Postscript).
This is an example LaTeX document. You may want to use it as a starting template for your written homework.
Inessential Latex, by MIT SIPB.
This excellent 30-page tutorial includes a reference showing the mathematical symbols that LaTeX can generate. Some of the instructions in this document are specific to MIT's computer system ("Athena").

Other Examples

The best way to learn LaTeX is by seeing how it's done. Take a look at these documents (the source and the output side by side), and you should have enough to get going:

The "official" LaTeX sample source (with corresponding Postscript), by Leslie Lamport.
Taken straight from the LaTeX distribution.
15-299 handouts.
Many of our handouts are written in LaTeX. You'll find that their LaTeX source has been posted along with the Postscript. If you're having trouble duplicating the mathematical symbols that we used in a homework assignment, try looking at the source.


Lamport, Leslie. LaTeX: A Document Preparation System. Addison-Wesley, 1994.
The official LaTeX reference manual. It's on reserve at the E&S library here. If you're serious about learning LaTeX, you might want to buy it.
Latex Help 1.1
A comprehensive reference manual to LaTeX commands and environments, indexed by command name. Useful if you want to know the parameters to a particular command.
Knuth, Donald. The Texbook : A Complete Guide to Computer Typesetting With Tex. Addison Wesley, 1988.
A reference manual for TeX, the typesetting system on which LaTeX is based.


LaTeX (and its companion programs xdvi and dvips) are installed on all Andrew Unix workstations. If you want to run LaTeX on your PC or Macintosh, these links may help you. (The course staff haven't tried any of this software -- we don't know if it works or not.)

IBM techexplorer
A web browser plugin that displays LaTeX and TeX files. For Netscape or Internet Explorer on Windows 95/NT. (Thanks to Nathan Strom for this link)
TeX/LaTeX and the associated utilities (METAFONT, BibTeX, dvips, etc.) for 95/NT. (Thanks to Geoff Washburn)
Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN)
CTAN is a rich archive of software, styles, and help for TeX and LaTeX. Drill down into its "systems" subdirectory and you'll find ports of TeX/LaTeX for MS-DOS, Macintosh, OS/2, Win32 (which is Windows 95/NT), Amiga, ...

Other Links

LaTeX Resources
A page similar to this one at Syracuse University.

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