How to start LaTeX

  1. Download and install.
    • [Windows] Download and install TeX Live. Install FULL.
    • [Mac OS] Download and install MacTeX. Install FULL. (MacTeX is a redistribution of TeXLive, so they are pretty much same.)
  2. An editor called TeXworks is included in your installation. Use it to open .tex file and edit. (Mac users can use TeXShop, also in your installation.)
  3. Use this sample tex file as a quick start guide.
  4. Read this document. (This is available in many languages including English, Korean, Persian, and Chinese.
  5. Start using it.

You may want to watch this video beginners tutorial.

Template and Tutorial

One simple template is provided:

Sample Tasks to Complete for Beginners

After reading the this document, you may try to complete the following tasks:

  • Produce a final PDF file.
  • Include a PDF image file (not JPG, GIF, PNG, EPS, etc) to the document.
  • Write a table.
  • Learn how to manage .bib files. I recommend JabRef. (Mac users can use BibDesk.)
  • Using .bib and bibtex, cite a reference and create a final PDF file that includes a bibliography.

There are several ways to create a final PDF file and include images. I just prefer ‘pdflatex’ and PDF image formats to other methods and formats.

Installing a Spell Checker for TeXworks


Thesis/Dissertation Templates

Useful Tools

  • JabRef- Java GUI for managing BibTeX and other bibliographies
  • Excel To LaTeX Conversion – You can create LaTeX codes for tables from an Excel spreadsheet directly.
  • Detexify – Drawing a symbol will give you the LaTeX code for it.
  • HeVeA - A good HTML translator for LaTeX.
  • TeX4ht - The best HTML translator for LaTeX that I know of. The HTML version of my CV is created by the htlatex command of TeX4ht.



Citation and Bibliography

Converting to HTML and DOCX

This may not be the best way, but it has worked pretty well to me. No conversion is perfect. If you find any better way, please let me know!!

  • Download this “myxhtml.cfg” file, and save it in the same folder of your filename.tex file.
  • Run the following command:
    htlatex filename.tex myxhtml
  • You will obtain filename.html.
  • Open filename.html in Windows(!) and copy all contents and paste in a blank Word document.
  • Save it as filename.docx.

The configuration file “myxhtml.cfg” does two things:

  • Convert all mathematical expressions to PNG graphical files.
  • Convert PDF graphics to PNG files. For this purpose, you should specify the file extension in your .tex file. For example

    If your PDF graphic files are not converted, you should install ImageMagick to your system..

If you receive error messages during conversion in Step 2, try to press the enter key several times to ignore errors. To make smoother conversion, try to minimize using packages and create tables as simple as possible. “Standard” packages such as amsmath works good enough.

Grammar Check

One missing functionality in LaTeX is a grammar checker, while Microsoft Word has the best grammar checker. To use MS Word’s grammar checker, follow the above guideline for conversion. Then you can use MS Word’s powerful grammar checker.


Beamer is to generate presentation slides.


- Times Roman ```latex \usepackage{mathptmx} ``` - Palatino ```latex \usepackage{mathpazo} ``` - Helvetica ```latex \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} \usepackage[scaled]{helvet} \renewcommand*familydefault{sfdefault} ``` ### CV Templates - Dario Taraborelli's template: A very good template. My CV is based on this template with some modifications. - The CV Inn - LaTeX template for resume/curriculum vitae - a stackexchange entry