LaTeX Information: Training Materials, Examples, Links

Instructional Material

Academic and Research Computing (ARC) provides materials for self-paced on-line instruction in LaTeX. These materials were originally used in a 2-hour class taught first on RCS Unix workstations and then on Windows computers. LaTeX is currently installed in VCC North, and instructions for running LaTeX on Windows in that lab are in the file readme.txt, found by opening the Instructional Software folder, then the TeX-LaTeX folder.

The on-line Tutorial
Windows users: Go through the tutorial for Windows. Note that you will be asked to download some of the example files at the bottom of this page, as several of them are used in the class exercises. You can use LaTeX in VCC North if you haven't installed it on your own computer.
Unix users: Go through the tutorial for UNIX. you can use any system with LaTeX installed. Most Linux systems come with LaTeX. For instructions on running LaTeX on UNIX, look at the 2-page document Using LaTeX on UNIX systems (formerly Quick Study #20).

Introductory Documentation
To complement the on-line tutorial, there is an introductory document, Text Formatting with LaTeX (formerly Memo RPI.109), prepared at Rensselaer. This document (about 60 pages) is usually available in printed form in the racks outside the VCC Help Desk.
For additional material on including graphics, see the "graphics" and "exrotating" links in the Example section below.

Installing LaTeX

LaTeX is available for just about any computer system. See ARC's Installing LaTeX web page for information and instructions for installing free distributions of TeX/LaTeX on Windows, Macs, and UNIX systems.

Preparing a Thesis

If you are writing a thesis, see the LaTeX thesis web page . There you will be able to download the Rensselaer LaTeX thesis class and template files.

You will also find links to helpful documents, such as:
Preparing a Thesis with LaTeX
(formerly Memo RPI.110), tells you how to use the RPI thesis document class and includes an example using the templates.
Creating a PDF File from a LaTeX Thesis, shows you how to make the PDF files required for electronic submission. (This 4-page document is also useful to anyone who wants to convert a LaTeX document to PDF format.)
Manual for thesis preparation and submisssion, guidelines prepared by the Office of Graduate Education.

Preparing a Resume

A group of resume templates of different styles, originally designed by the Rensselaer Career Development Center, are available in LaTeX format. You can view the styles and download the LaTeX files from the resume page .

Example Files

You can download these files to work with locally. If you want to view the .tex files with your browser and it doesn't know how to open them, try specifying Wordpad or Notepad.
basic.tex (minimal LaTeX file, used in class)
exart.tex (article class example, used in class)
ex2.tex (environment examples, used in class)
ex3.tex (math examples, used in class)
ex3-sol.tex (solution to exercise 3, used in class)
exrep.tex (report class example)
exlet.tex (letter class example)
exbook.tex (book class example)
graphics.tex (how to include graphics)
graphics.pdf (view this file to see the output after processing graphics.tex with pdfLaTeX)
exrotating.tex (examples showing how to include landscape figures or tables)
exrotating.ps (view this file to see the output after processing exrotating.tex with LaTeX and dvips)
exrotating.pdf (view this file to see the output after processing exrotating.tex with pdfLaTeX)
cat.eps or cat.pdf (sample graphic used in graphics.tex and exrotating.tex)
smokeblk.eps or smokeblk.pdf (sample graphic used in exrotating.tex)

More On-line Information about LaTeX

There is a searchable TeX/LaTeX FAQ originated by the UK TeX Users' Group (UK TUG).
See also the Visual FAQ. Click on a hyperlinked example, and your Web browser will go to the appropriate page in the UK FAQ.
For a LaTeX tutorial, similar to Rensselaer's introduction but more complete, see The Not So Short Introduction to LATEX2e.
For information on using AMSLaTeX, which provides additional math environments, see The Short Math Guide for LaTeX.
An excellent detailed treatment of math, including both standard LaTeX and AMSLaTeX is Math mode by Herbert Voss (~100 pages).
For a complete treatment of including graphics, see Using Imported Graphics in LaTeX2e.
The University of Pennsylvania has a nice LaTeX Command Reference.
There is also a comprehensive list of symbols, which shows all the possible symbols and the packages required to access them. Or, see LaTeX symbols.pdf for a more manageable and very useful list.
To get started using BibTeX, an auxiliary program for managing bibliographic references, see the excellent tutorial by Andrew Roberts.
A longer, more complete document covering both LaTeX's basic bibliography method and BibTeX is Tame the BeaST by Nicolas Markey.
The TeX Users Group (TUG) Web site is a good starting point for finding lots of information.


Academic and Research Computing,  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), 110 8th St., Troy, NY 12180 - 3590
Last modified June 2007