LATEX Guidance

Installing LATEX on your computer

LATEX mathematical symbols

Scott Pakin’s comprehensive LATEX symbols list

Russian letters in LATEX

Bash script to convert UTF-8 to LATEX   (useful if one forgets how to typeset something like “Erdős”)

Javascript LATEX character recognition software

For those who like to learn by example, here are some LaTeX files, along with the output they produce.

LATEX file for solutions to a linear algebra final exam     Output produced

LATEX file for solutions to an old Putnam exam     Output produced

LATEX file for a research paper     Output produced

Further LaTeX samples can be found on George Bergman’s “publications and preprints” Web page.  Click on the leftmost part of the title of any of Professor Bergman’s recent papers to see the LaTeX file; click on the rightmost part of the title to see the output in PDF format.

A wealth of additional examples can be obtained from the ArXiv preprint server.  First go to the ArXiv cookie configuration page, from the “Select preferred download format” menu choose “Source,” and click “Set Cookies.”  Subsequently, go to the ArXiv mathematics preprint page, find the subfield of mathematics you would like to browse, and click on “new,” “recent,” or “current month.”  You will see a list of preprints.  In square brackets at the end of the line above the title of each preprint, you will see a list of the formats in which the preprint can be downloaded.  If available, click on “src.”  In the typical case, where the author has uploaded the preprint as a single LaTeX file, you will be able to download the LaTeX file for the preprint.  (The situation where the author has uploaded the preprint as multiple files, such as when using BibTeX or including encapsulated Postscript figures, is a bit more complicated: clicking “src” will download a tar archive—deceptively not labeled with a .tar suffix—that comprises the author’s LaTeX file plus all other source files.)  You can, of course, click on “pdf” to see the preprint in PDF format. 

Remark.  A LaTeX source file will typically take up about one third as much disk space on your computer as the corresponding PDF file.  (LaTeX files have further advantages, such as being easily searchable using regular expressions.)  In Mac OS X, you can quickly compile and view a LaTeX file by including this function in your .profile file.  In Linux, you can achieve the same effect by including this function or this one in your .bashrc file.  In Windows, you can probably click on something.


American Mathematical Society TEX Programs and Resources

“The Not So Short Introduction to LATEX 2ε

David R. Wilkins’s introductory LATEX manual

Introduction to TEX and LATEX

Mathematics Subject Classification 2010

Mathematical exposition section of The Chicago Manual of Style

Terence Tao’s advice concerning mathematical writing

… and some reflections on writing by Bertrand Russell

(Free software for reading the PDF documents on this page can be located at the following Web site:

Greg Marks