# LaTeX

## Document Preparation System

LaTeX is a document-preparation system, widely used in the scientific and engineering communities, that was devised in the mid-1980's by Leslie Lamport to make the creation of professionally typeset documents a little easier. LaTeX is built on top of a typesetting system called TeX created by Donald Knuth. While TeX is very good at positioning characters on a page in a manner that creates an aesthetically pleasing document, most writers do not want to deal with such a low level of detail. LaTeX is a collection of TeX macros that allow authors to concentrate more on the content of their files, rather than worrying about the exact formatting characteristics required by their publisher.

## LaTeX Availability

• LaTeX2e (teTeX 2.0.2) is available on the UNIX platforms that ITS supports.
• Although ITS does not currently support it, a version of LaTeX, based on teTeX, for the Windows platform called MiKTeX is available for download free of charge.
• The “AMS-LaTeX” extensions for LaTeX are part of the LaTeX installation and can be accessed with the command \usepackage{amssymb,amsmath} in the LaTeX document.
• The LaTeX slide environment Prosper is also available to create scientific presentations in PDF format.
• TeX/LaTeX is also available for Mac OS X. A version that is easy to install can be obtained at http://www.rna.nl/tex.html.

## Getting Started with LaTeX

### Access From UNIX Platforms

• The filesystem /common should be mounted to the UNIX platforms that you are logged into. In addition, the directory for the appropriate platform (e.g., /linux) should also be mounted and a symbolic link created from the uva subdirectory of the platform directory (e.g. /linux/i386/glibc2.1/uva) to /uva on the host machine. This is done by default on all ITS maintained UNIX machines.
• Make sure/uva/bin is part of your PATH variable.
• Use a file editor like emacs, jove, vi, or nedit to create a LaTeX formatted file (say filename.tex). Many of these editors can be configured specifically for LaTeX format file creation. A WYSIWYG LaTeX document processor called LyX can also be used.
• Compile the file with the command latex, e.g. latex filename.tex This will generate filename.dvi.
• Assuming you are logged into your account using an X-window graphical user interface, you can preview the document using the xdvi command: xdvi filename.dvi
• To generate a postscript version of your document, type: dvips filename.dvi This will generate a postscript file named filename.ps.
• To print the postscript file to the printer printer_name type: lpr -Pprinter_name filename.ps

### Access From Windows

• Users who wish to use LaTeX on a PC running Windows can download and install the MiKTeX package free of charge.
• A LaTeX compatible file editor that can be used on the Windows platform is Winedt and can be downloaded for a nominal fee. The WYSIWYG LaTeX document processor LyX has also been ported to the Windows platform.
• WinShell is a free graphical user interface for working with LaTeX or TeX. Another is TeXnicCenter. Both are integrated development environments that include a text editor, different tool bars and user configuration options. Both require an additional LaTeX package for Windows such as MiKTeX.
• Although not licensed through UVa, Scientific Word, Scientific Workplace and Scientific Notebook are commercial products for working with LaTeX and TeX. Academic rates are available and these products may be purchased from Mackichan Software.

## Getting Help with LaTeX

• You can access information on LaTeX (teTeX) on UNIX platforms via the man command. The “man” command provides information in UNIX manual format and you must first modify your MANPATH variable (e.g. in your .variables.ksh) to include the path /common/teTeX1.0/man. You can then access the online information (e.g. for xdvi) by typing “man xdvi” at the UNIX prompt.
• LaTeX book titles:
• A Guide to LaTeX by KopKa and Daley
• The LaTeX Graphics Companion by Goossens, Rahtz, and Mittelbach
• The LaTeX Web Companion by Goossens, and Rahtz
Tutorial Documents

If users cannot find the answers to their questions in the online documentation, they can email their questions to ITS Research Computing.

## LaTeX Examples

• LaTeX for Word Processor Users
In addition to the examples contained in the tutorial links above, the following link is to a PDF formatted document containing main types of LaTeX templates.

Page Updated: Thursday 2013-07-25 17:08:39 EDT

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