Introduction to LaTeX
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1. How might typsetting with LaTeX be useful to me?
Write up academic papers with pre-formatted templates
Write up solutions, papers, and other assignments for your classes
Produce assignments for your students with beautiful equations like this...
A much more extensive introduction to LaTeX can
be found here.
2. The basics...
This PDF document goes over the basics you will need to get started typesetting documents with LaTeX. Here is the .tex file which typesets to the above PDF document (you will need to install the aastex package to get it to typeset properly).
There are a bunch of different ways to typeset your documents, but one of the easier ways is to use an application that lets you see the .tex file and the typeset result side by side (as in the image below).
Here are a few different applications that do this...
TeXworks (Windows/PC, Linux)
3. Citations with BibTeX
Using BibTeX is way to keep all of your citations in one file that can be accessed by any .tex file so that you don't have to rewrite the bibliography for each paper. BibTeX is especially useful if you find yourself citing the same papers over and over again. However, you may need to typeset your document a few times (typeset with LaTeX x2, then typeset with BibTeX, then typeset with LaTeX again) before your document will recognize the references.
The citation information is kept separately in a .bib file like this one. Here is the .tex file which typesets to the PDF document above.