LaTeX for Beginners

by Tom Schneider

The goal of this page is to provide a very simple start for people to begin using LaTeX the powerful typesetting language. If you find something on this page confusing, please email me.

Setting Up

Setting up LaTeX isn't too hard. You can learn about it from LaTeX Bibliography and other resources. Here are several methods I've used:

To test my LaTeX installation I typed in (or cut and paste) this small file: A test page for demonstrating LaTeX typesetting.  It
reads: 'a buncha stuff', the mathematical symbol pi
surrounded by a square root and '(1)' on the same line as
an equation.  The bottom of the page has the page number


a buncha



I called it test.tex. Then I did this:

latex test
xdvi test
The first line ran LaTeX and the second one poped up a viewer. It worked fine.

On Ubuntu I also did:

latex test
dvips test
I found I needed to install gv - that took only a few seconds. So I was able to get LaTeX running on Ubuntu in about 5 minutes, mostly waiting for the download. The last step made a PDF for me and double clicking on it in the graphical window opened it in evince.


Some simple rules for typesetting in LaTeX:

Advanced stuff

color bar Small icon for Theory of Molecular Machines: physics,
chemistry, biology, molecular biology, evolutionary theory,
genetic engineering, sequence logos, information theory,
electrical engineering, thermodynamics, statistical
mechanics, hypersphere packing, gumball machines, Maxwell's
Daemon, limits of computers

Schneider Lab

origin: 2000 February 16
updated: 2014 Nov 10
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