A Quick Guide to LaTeX

I created the following video to give a quick introduction to LaTeX—what it is, why you might want to use it, and what some of its features are. By the end of the video, you will be ready to create your own beautiful LaTeX documents.

Here are the topics in the video:

• What is LaTeX, and why should I use it?: 0:16
• The structure of a typical LaTeX document: 4:20
• Entering basic (nonmathematical) text: 6:30
• Special characters (#, %, \, etc.): 8:05
• Stylized text (italics, boldface, and underlined): 8:42
• Itemized and enumerated lists: 9:53
• Comments: 10:46
• Labels and references: 11:17
• Inline and display style mathematics: 13:05
• Typesetting mathematics: 14:42
• Common problems: 18:39
• Matrices, tables, etc.: 22:42
• Figures: 28:14
• Bibliographies: 29:35
• Compiling your document: 31:37
• What next?: 33:28

I created a compact two-page introduction to LaTeX for my students: A Quick Guide to LaTeX (source code).


It has been translated into French by Vincent Panteloni (pdf, source) and German by Jakob Prange (pdf).

You can also download this zip file, which contains a sample LaTeX file that you can compile and play with.