This lesson is still being designed and assembled (Pre-Alpha version)

Working with LaTeX: Setup

Obtain lesson materials

  1. Download [zipfile1][test].
  2. Create a folder called LaTeX-Intro on your Desktop.
  3. Move the downloaded .zip file into the newly created LaTeX-Intro folder.
  4. Unzip the files.

You should now see the new folder called buildingblocks in your LaTeX-Intro directory on your Desktop.


If you’re using a Unix shell application, such as Terminal app in macOS, Console or Terminal in Linux, or Git Bash on Windows, execute the following command:

cd ~/Desktop/LaTeX-Intro/buildingblocks

On Windows, you can use its native Command Prompt program. The easiest way to start it up is by pressing Windows Logo Key+R, entering cmd, and hitting Enter. In the Command Prompt, use the following command to navigate to the buildingblocks folder:

cd /D %userprofile%\Desktop\LaTeX-Intro\buildingblocks


Option 1: Start Overleaf Project

Overleaf is an online service which allows for collaborative LaTeX document creation and editing. It is free to use for individuals. On the website, register an account and/or log in.

Start a new document by clicking on New Project and choose Blank Project. Enter a title like LaTeX-Intro.

You can edit the document directly on the source page which comes up. It will compile as you go along.


Option 2: Launch Plain Vanilla Text editor

To start working with LaTeX, we need to launch a program that will allow us to edit our LaTeX commands. This will likely be the default text editor on your system. In a unix terminal, we will use the simple nano editor.

$ nano

To interpret the code we have written, we will need to execute code in the terminal. We do this with the pdflatex command.

$ pdflatex %ourTeXfile%