Guide to LaTeX

What is LaTeX?

LaTeX (pronounced lay-tek) is a document creation system for high-quality typesetting. It is most often used for technical or scientific documents (such as a thesis), but it can be used for almost any form of publishing, such as letters and resumes.

LaTeX follows the design philosophy of separating presentation from content, so that authors can focus on the content of what they are writing without attending simultaneously to its visual appearance. LaTeX is free software which works on Windows, Mac and Linux machines. The learning curve is steep compared to programs such as Microsoft Word. However once you surmount that initial curve, you will be able to efficiently create beautiful documents, with easy cross references and bibliographies, and clear equations.

We hold several face to face workshops each year to teach students who wish to learn. Keep an eye on our events page for future workshops.

We've put together some resources to help you learn LaTeX, in case you can't attend our workshops. Ideally LaTeX should be learnt through experimentation. An important assignment with a strict deadline is not the best choice for a first attempt at LaTeX.


Reading through this guide and working through the examples is a great way to learn. You don't have to watch the accompanying video, but they do complement each other.

Each year we hold a few workshops to teach LaTeX in person. Here is a recording of one of this year's workshops.



The slides and LaTeX examples for the video are in the files below: