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2012-2013

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

- Mathematics course offerings: F12
- Course descriptions
- Mathematics advising info

Miscellaneous

**What is LaTeX?**

LaTeX is a mathematics typesetting program that is the standard for most professional mathematical writing. It is based on the typeseting program TeX created by Donald Knuth of Stanford University (his first version appeared in 1978). Leslie Lamport was responsible for creating LaTeX, a more user friendly version of TeX. A team of LaTeX programmers created the current version, LaTeX2e.

**How do I pronounce LaTeX?**

Usually it is pronounced "LAY teck" or "LAH teck." It is never pronounced "LAY tex" (like the rubber in doctors' gloves).

**Can I see an example?**

Here is a typical LaTeX file: sample.tex (in order to typeset this file you will also need the file saddle.pdf). The final product is sample.pdf. This file contains many of the typical ingredients in a mathematics paper.

**How do I start?**

Here's a template you can use. It contains a lot of the basic header info (you should uncomment those pieces that you would like to use) template.tex.

**How do find the Latex code for a particular mathematical symbol?**

Most LaTeX software has a menu of commmonly used symbols; using this is probably the easiest option. There are many resources online. Use Detexify to draw your symbol and see the code for it. Or use the following applet to generate the LaTeX code for some mathematical expressions.

**Where can I find more information?**

There are many LaTeX resources (both on the web and in print). Here are a few links to information on the web.

- Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN) - this is the most imporant LaTeX resource. There are many, many add-on packages available that allow a user to do virtually anything with LaTeX.
- TeX Users Group (TUG) - the central location for TeX and LaTeX information.
- A TeX/LaTeX FAQ
- A list of LaTeX symbols
- The (not so short) introduction to LaTeX2e (pdf), an online LaTeX reference by Oetiker, Partl, Hyna and Schlegl
- Getting Started with LaTeX, by David R. Wilkins
- Information about the amsmath LaTeX package and
*AMS*-LaTeX (pdf files)

**Where do I get LaTeX?**

There are freeware, shareware and commercial packages available for various computer platforms. We provide links to a few of them below.

Macintosh |
PC |
Linux/Unix |

- TeXShop (recommended)
Freeware Easy to use Won the Apple Design award in 2002 Need to download LaTeX engine separately (MacTeX). Follow instructions on TexShop page. - iTeXMac
Freeware OSX only TeXShop spin-off, much more customizable Need to download LaTeX engine separately - OzTeX
Shareware Any Mac OS LaTeX engine included Needs separate text editor (such as AlphaX or BBEdit)
Other links: TeX on Mac OSX, Mac LaTeX web site |
- TeXnicCenter
Freeware Need to download the LaTeX engine separately (MicTeX - install MicTex first, then TeXnicCenter)
MathType (the people who make Word's equation editor) produce TexAide - (free) software that automatically generates LaTeX code that can be pasted in to a LaTeX document. |
LaTeX can be run from the command line or directly from Emacs |

For a more complete list of products see the following page on the AMS web site.