Pages created and updated by
August 26, 2014
Contact me if you have any other suggestions for examples to include.
For what it's worth, I work on a Linux system using
which is also available for Windows,
but many students may
work with these examples on Windows systems using
some other flavour,
, and some work
. That's why I
have three versions of the source files. (Any one will work fine
, but some text editors will have a problem with
the wrong version.)
LATEX by example
can be learned somewhat like HTML; by looking
at some simple examples of
source code and the resulting output, even beginners can quickly get the
idea of how various things work. The examples use pdflatex to produce
since there are many features available in pdf documents.
Since these examples use complete source files, some of which are from
real documents of mine, sometimes certain elements, (such as
), will show up in several
examples, even though they don't fall under that specific topic heading.
By the way, the proper way to write
as straight text is LaTeX
A note about these LATEX file examples
I use pdflatex to produce the output for all of my work, so that is how
these examples are set up. For each of the examples, if you place all of
the files (for whichever operating system you prefer) from one example in
the same directory, then if you have pdflatex installed, you should be
able to produce the pdf output shown. For the first example,
that would mean typing
from the directory in which the files are placed.
(You don't need to include the '.tex' extension.)
If you get errors indicating pdflatex cannot be found, try typing
PATH=%PATH%;"C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.9\miktex\bin"
PATH=%PATH%"C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.9\miktex\bin;"
at the command prompt after installing MiKTeX.
how a document
is taken from a text file to a pdf file.
(The example is on a Linux system, but the process should be very
similar on other platforms.)
Simple LATEX file examples
Note that in this case, you can see how
works differently in an article
and a report
A line beginning with a percent sign is a comment
it is ignored by
but may be useful to you.
of document structure elements
You could make the abstract a section
like any other, but the abstract
handles it more like the way
professional journals do.
Note the differences between an article and a report.
This simplifies editing large documents, especially when different
parts of the document are logically distinct, such as chapters in
Another useful occasion for this is when you have common
definitions which will be used for many documents, such as this
LATEX examples of math mode
This also shows how a numbered equation can be referenced
elsewhere in a document. (The tilde character is used in
to produce a non-breaking space
; i.e. a space
between two things where a line break will not be
LATEX examples with other elements; lists,
tables, figures, etc.
This includes both ordered
There are entire books written about typesetting tables,
not only in
, but this will
give a brief introduction to the basics.
If you're trying to get graphs from Excel into
, do this:
Select the graph and copy it into the clipboard.
Open Paint and paste it in.
Save the file as a PNG.
Rename the file so that png is in
lower case, not upper case. (
LATEX is case sensitive.)
Import as in the following example.
In order to make the graph look better, turn off all background
shading, and don't put a legend, titles, or axis labels on the
graph. Adding all of the text in
will make the result look a lot better.
Creating references and bibliographies in
If you're doing much of this, BibTeX is the way to go. Sometime I
may add more here about it if I get the time. If you just have to do an
occasional reference, the following will get you through.
Importing spreadsheets from other applications into
This is a plugin for Excel to simplify producing
tables from spreadsheet tables.
Note that it doesn't get all of the lines from the
original, and which ones it gets depends on what part
of the spreadsheet you select.
Here is a plugin to simplify producing
OpenOffice spreadsheet tables.
In contrast to the previous example, this one tends to get
lines than in the original spreadsheet.
I've taken the
for many math features and added one line
to the file. Now all of the labels in the file become hyperlinks,
so that in the PDF output, you can click on references to tables
and figures and the viewer will jump to the link. (See the
I've taken the
and changed all of the equations to use the equation
environment so they can have labels.
The last page of the document has links to each equation
to show them working.
Other LATEX resources
This is an interesting site with actual LaTeX code for lots of equations
which you can cut and paste into your documents.
Online Postscript to PDF converter
For those rare occasions when you want to make a figure from a package
that can't produce .PNG or .JPG output. Select a postscript printer (even
if you don't actually have one), and
print to a file rather than to the printer. Then use the converter to
turn the output into a .PDF file which you can incorporate into a pdflatex
Cambridge University Help on LaTeX Commands
More Cambridge university LaTeX help
Also nicely indexed
Getting Started with LaTeX
This one displays everything on HTML pages, so it doesn't need a PDF viewer
to see the examples of output
LaTeX Tutorial in PDF format
This is another one that starts with the basics
The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX
Starts from the beginning
Gives a few useful tips on using the
Examples include lots of bells and whistles if
you really want to push the envelope
Deadly sins; The most severe mistakes in using LaTeX2e
gives some tips on the best way to do things like adjust line spacing in
User's guide for the amsmath package
shows the best way to typeset
many things (particularly equations) in
The LaTex style file for the Canadian Journal of Physics
Excel2LaTeX:a package to convert Excel tables to LaTeX tables
Download page for MikTeX
If you're using Windows, this is a version of LaTex you can download
Download page for MacTeX
If you're using a Mac, this is a version of LaTex you can download
Get Crimson Editor
a freeware editor for Windows with syntax highlighting for several
languages including LaTeX
Here are some bits of cut-and-paste HTML code for getting the
logo in the headings and within regular paragraphs.
Here's the stylesheet you need for the LaTeX logos above.
February 13, 2007