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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Latex for Total Beginners

According to wikipedia  LaTeX  is a document markup language and document preparation system for the TeX typesetting program.
After Searching the internet I was not able to find a proper way to prepare the working environment for work with late, Though there are enough tutorials on how to use latex.  So lets see how to prepare the working environment for latex.

Step 1
  1. Download Miktex Setup From this url 
  2. Then install the setup which is pretty much straight forward task 
Step 2

You probably need a better text editor for process tex documents. It's actually like programming, you can go with the harder way by just using notepad or you can go with the east way using a better text editor.

There is a wide range of text editors such as Winefish LEd LyX Kile. They all much do the same and there are some small differences. All the latex editors as far as I know are not WYSIWYG editors. So each time you made a change you have to compile and build the pdf document to see how your document looks like.
So my personal recommendation is Texmaker. It is available for all the platforms Windows, linux and mac. So lets see how we create documets with texmaker editor.
After Downloading the Texmaker setup from the Download Page install it to your computer.

Creating a tex document seems to be little hard at the beginning. Once you have playing a while you'll get to know once you familiar with the tags. Because it's like programming in HTML. 

To check whether your installation was successful let's make a simple tex document. 

/*Taken from wikipedia*/

  \LaTeX{} is a document preparation system for the \TeX{}
  typesetting program. It offers programmable desktop publishing
  features and extensive facilities for automating most aspects of
  typesetting and desktop publishing, including numbering and
  cross-referencing, tables and figures, page layout, bibliographies,
  and much more. \LaTeX{} was originally written in 1984 by Leslie
  Lamport and has become the dominant method for using \TeX; few
  people write in plain \TeX{} anymore. The current version  is
  % This is a comment; it will not be shown in the final output.
  % The following shows a little of the typesetting power of LaTeX:
    E &= mc^2                              \\
    m &= \frac{m_0}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}
Now create a new document in Texmaker and copy this code to the editor. Then save it as a .tex document for example example.tex. 
Texmaker Editor
Then press F1 to quick build your document. In the View Log you'll see Process exited normally. which means your tex document build is success. If there is an error you'll probably see the errors in the View Log.
Then press F7 and you'll see your well formatted latex document. 

Now you know how to work with latex. Learn how to format your  documents :)

By the way  this is a fine tutorial for learn latex tags and attributes.

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