Getting Started with LaTeX


by N. Kostin

Table of Contents

  1. What is LaTeX?
  2. Using LaTeX
  3. Resources for Learning LaTeX

What is LaTeX?

In short, LaTeX is a document preparation system, built off Donald Knuth's TeX typesetting system. The TeX typesetting system was first released in 1978, and it's source code is essentially in the public domain. Later on, in the 1980s, Leslie Lamport created LaTeX (which is the generalized set of TeX macros).

Using LaTeX

There are two main paradigms for writing LaTeX documents:

  1. using an online cloud-computing service to compile your documents, the most popular of which is overleaf, or
  2. compiling documents offline on your own computer.

I strongly recommend the latter over the former. And there's a number of reasons why:

That being said, you will need to install LaTeX in order to compile it locally. Here's how:

Once you've downloaded and installed that, you have a fully-featured LaTeX engine on your machine!

Resources for Learning LaTeX