This is a guide to the LaTeX typesetting system. It is intended as a useful resource for everybody, from new users who wish to learn, to old hands who need a quick reference.

TeX and LaTeX

TeX is a typesetting computer program created by Donald Knuth, originally for his magnum opus, The Art of Computer Programming. It takes a "plain" text file and converts it into a high-quality document for printing or on-screen viewing. LaTeX is a macro system built on top of TeX that aims to simplify its use and automate many common formatting tasks. It is the de-facto standard for academic journals and books in several fields, such as mathematics and physics, and provides some of the best typography free software has to offer.

This book is organized into different parts:

  • Getting Started will provide you with the very first steps to print your first document, from installing the needed software to basic concepts and syntax.
  • Common Elements discusses common features you would expect from a document processor, including fonts, layout, colors, lists, and figures.
  • Mechanics are some topics that are not really necessary to write a basic document, but could help you understand how some parts of the system work. These topics are required for fine-tuning documents. Use them as support for various chapters, as they are often being referred to.
  • Technical Text focuses on different specialized matters, mostly for scientific work.
  • Special Pages is for the structured pages usually put in appendices.
  • Special Documents: this part tackles other kind of documents different from the classic article style.
  • Creating Graphics is for the process of writing graphics from a LaTeX document.
  • Programming or how to create your own macros and packages.
  • Miscellaneous contains everything that does not fit in the previous parts, like project management and other subjects related to LaTeX but not inherent to LaTeX itself.
  • Help and Recommendations : the FAQ encompasses very common pitfalls and important recommendations for everyone, we urge you to read it; the Tips and Tricks are much more specific matters.
  • Appendices.

Contents edit

If you have questions related to LaTeX, ask at the Q&A.

Edit the TOC or the stages

  1. Getting Started
    1. Introduction  
    2. Installation  
    3. Installing Extra Packages  
    4. Basics  
    5. How to get help  
  2. Common Elements
    1. Document Structure  
    2. Text Formatting  
    3. Paragraph Formatting  
    4. Colors  
    5. Fonts  
    6. List Structures  
    7. Special Characters  
    8. Internationalization  
    9. Rotations  
    10. Tables  
    11. Title creation  
    12. Page Layout  
    13. Customizing Page Headers and Footers‎  
    14. Importing Graphics  
    15. Floats, Figures and Captions  
    16. Footnotes and Margin Notes  
    17. Hyperlinks  
    18. Labels and Cross-referencing  
    19. Initials  
  3. Mechanics
    1. Errors and Warnings  
    2. Lengths  
    3. Counters  
    4. Boxes  
    5. Rules and Struts  
  4. Technical Text
    1. Mathematics  
    2. Advanced Mathematics  
    3. Theorems  
    4. Chemical Graphics  
    5. Algorithms  
    6. Source Code Listings  
    7. Linguistics  
  5. Special Pages
    1. Indexing  
    2. Glossary  
    3. Bibliography Management  
    4. More Bibliographies  
  6. Special Documents
    1. Scientific Reports (Bachelor Report, Master Thesis, Dissertation)  
    2. Letters  
    3. Presentations  
    4. Teacher's Corner  
    5. Curriculum Vitae  
    6. Academic Journals (MLA, APA, etc.)  
  7. Creating Graphics
    1. Introducing Procedural Graphics  
    2. MetaPost  
    3. Picture  
    4. PGF/TikZ  
    5. PSTricks  
    6. Xy-pic  
    7. Creating 3D graphics  
  8. Programming
    1. Macros  
    2. Plain TeX  
    3. Creating Packages  
    4. Creating Package Documentation  
    5. Themes  
  9. Miscellaneous
    1. Modular Documents  
    2. Collaborative Writing of LaTeX Documents  
    3. Export To Other Formats  
  10. Help and Recommendations
    1. FAQ  
    2. Tips and Tricks  
  11. Appendices
    1. Authors  
    2. Links  
    3. Package Reference  
    4. Sample LaTeX documents  
    5. Index  
    6. Command Glossary  

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