January 09, 2018

How to get started with Latex?

Getting started with Latex nowadays is significantly more straightforward now than ever. You just need to know where to start. Here’s a simple tip that can get you started under 20 minutes.

1. Register your account at overleaf.com

The advantage of using overleaf is that you don’t have to install Miktex or Latex or any packages locally on your machine. The downside is that you have to work online. To overcome this limitation, Overleaf supports git so you can git clone the directory to your local folder and work on it offline before committing and pushing the changes back to Overleaf’s repository.

Overleaf also provides a number of templates that you can start with. Tempaltes for common proceedings like ACM, IEEE, and Elsevier are available. Just search for the Latex templates on Overleaf.

2. How to draw tables, write equations and more?

3. What about working in Latex offline?

Last but not least, if you want to work offline, instead of online using Overleaf, you can install Latex and all the associated packages using apt-get install in Ubuntu. Also, don’t forget to install xpdf so that you can view the generated pdf file.

sudo apt-get install texlive-full
sudo apt-get install xpdf

After that, to compile a Latex source file manually, say source.tex, you do the following if you use bibliographic references such as \cite:

pdflatex source
bibtex source
pdflatex source
pdflatex source

However, if you don’t have any bibligraphy, use the following commands instead.

pdflatex source
pdflatex source

You call pdflatex twice to make sure that the references are compiled correctly.

To view the generated pdf file, type:

xpdf source.pdf &

That’s all. Enjoy!