Programming Tutorials

Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn LaTeX

LaTeX is a professional document preparation system and document markup language written by Leslie Lamport. It’s a very mature system with development starting more than 30 years ago.

LaTeX is widely used in the publication of scientific documents in many disciplines, such as mathematics, statistics, physics, economics, political science. It helps an author produce professional looking documents, papers, and books that are perfectly typeset. The formatted works are consistent, accurate, and reusable. It’s particularly suited to the production of long articles and books, as it has facilities for the automatic numbering of chapters, sections, theorems, equations etc., and also has facilities for cross-referencing. LaTeX is not a WYSIWYG system.

LaTeX uses the TeX typesetting program for formatting its output. LaTeX is a set of macros for TeX that aims to help the user concentrate on the content, rather than the formatting.

Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn LaTeX. If you’re looking for free LaTeX programming books, check here.


1. LaTeX Tutorials: A Primer by Indian TeX Users Group by Indian TeX Users Group

Packed with fully explained examples, LaTeX Tutorials: A Primer is a hands-on introduction quickly leading a novice user to professional-quality results. It’s published by the Indian TeX Users Group.

If you are about to write mathematical or scientific papers, seminar handouts, or even plan to write a thesis, this book offers you a fast-paced and practical introduction. Particularly during studying in school and university you’ll benefit enormously, as a mathematician or physicist as well as an engineer or a humanist.

Contents of the book:

  • The Basics – what is LaTeX, simple typesetting, fonts.
  • The Document – describes how an entire document with chapters and sections can be produced.
  • Bibliography – the BibTeX program is examined.
  • Bibliographic Databases – the reader is shown how to create a bibliographic database.
  • Table of contents, Index and Glossary.
  • Displayed Text – shows the reader various constructs for displaying text depending on the nature of the displayed text.
  • Rows and Columns – keeping tabs, and tables are examined.
  • Typesetting Mathematics – including custom commands, new operators, and symbols.
  • Typesetting Theorems – using the declaration \newtheorem.
  • Several Kinds of Boxes – LR boxes, Par, Rule.
  • Floats – a good tutorial on the thorny problem of figures.
  • Cross References in LATEX.
  • Footnotes, Marginpars, and Endnotes.

Read the tutorials


2. LaTeX for Beginners by IS

This is an absolute beginners guide to writing documents in LATEX using TeXworks. It assumes no prior knowledge of LATEX, or any other computing language.

Read the workbook


3. Getting to Grips with LaTeX by Andrew Roberts

A collection of 12 useful tutorials.

Read the tutorials


4. The very short guide to typesetting with LaTeX by Silmaril Consultants

This is a 4 page guide covering the basics of the language.

Read the guide


5. A Beginner’s Guide to LaTeX by David Xiao

This document is for people who have never used LaTeX before and just want a quick crash course to get started. It’s a mere 6 pages in length.

Read the guide


All tutorials in this series:

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