LaTeX Course (2013)

2011 course materials (these materials are more extensive than the 2013 course)

Schedule for the course:

Tuesday 2nd of April 15.00-17.00

- Introduction to LaTeX. What is LaTeX and why do you need it. How
to install it and general outline of LaTeX document

Wednesday 10th of April 11.00-13.00

  • LaTeX basics: sectioning, packages, figures, tables, formatting and mathematical formulae.

 Lecture 1: Introduction

Lecture 2: Basics of the LaTeX language

Here is a small .tex file to play around with that contains most of the codes discussed in the slides:

Very useful for writing equations:

LaTeX Distributions

I recommend the following LaTeX distributions.

LaTeX editors

LaTeX documents can be edited with any plain text editor. Some of these editors are specifically aimed at the LaTeX language while others are aimed at any programming language.

A good editor for LaTeX has at least:

  1. A customizable shortcut for compiling documents
  2. Line numbers
  3. Syntax highlighting

What editor you want depends on your needs and experience.


TeXworks is a very basic LaTeX editor. It does the above three things and not much else. It is a very stable editor and usually comes together with a LaTeX distribution.

It can be downloaded from:

Recommended for learning the basics of LaTeX. A benefit is that it also comes with the portable MikTeX distribution for editing LaTeX documents wherever you are. Another benefit of TeXworks is that it can be used on Windows, Mac and Linux.


A solid LaTeX editor that comes with a menu with a lot of shortcuts to command. Works somewhat similar to WYSIWYG editors like MS word, LibreOffice or in that you can select text and press a button to apply something to that text (the proper code is added into the document).

It is only available on Windows, and can be downloaded from:

The default options seem to have compatibility problems with Adobe Reader 10, to solve these see this link:

TeXnicCenter is highly recommended for beginners in LaTeX since it has a familiar interface.


A crossplatform LaTeX editor similar to TeXnicCenter. Has less options but a cleaner interface. Is very clear in reporting errors. It can be downloaded from:


A very light-weight plain text editor for Windows. You probably want to have this installed in case you ever need a plain text editor to do anything (and seriously, notepad is not a good alternative). Has LaTeX syntax highlighting and line numbers, I am not sure about a compile shortcut.

Emacs + AucTeX

A very sophisticated cross platform plain text editor that is used by many programmers to do everything they want. Is considered an IDE (interactive development environment) in that it can run programs such as R (through ESS). Some even consider it a operating system

Emacs is hard to learn but well worth it if you have to work much in plain text editors. It can be downloaded from:

Contact me for more details.


Another sophisticated cross platform editor that is used by many programmers. I don’t have experience with it but I am sure it has excellent LaTeX support. It can be downloaded here:


The official Gnome text editor. Use the External Tools plugin to create command line shortcuts for LaTeX.


Do you like LaTeX but miss seeing your end result as you would in a WYSIWYG editor? Then maybe LyX is for you! It can be used to edit LaTeX documents in a WYSIWYG editor. Has native Sweave support as well.


Additional Links

A short guide for Mac users written by Alexander Savi:

Free books:

The stackoverflow site dedicated to TeX, has an active community of helpfull people waiting to answer your questions:

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