Learn LaTeX in 5 minutes

Elevate your work to a professional level. Before this year I had never heard about LaTeX. That was until a new teacher wisely advised us that we should start learning LaTeX for our postgrad thesis. “Why can’t we just use MS Word?” I genuinely asked, to which he replied:

Before this year I had never heard about LaTeX. That was until a new teacher wisely advised us that we should start learning LaTeX for our postgrad thesis. “Why can’t we just use MS Word?” I genuinely asked, to which he replied:

“If you want your work to look professional, you use LaTeX”

He recommended us to use Overleaf, a nice free editor for LaTeX. Ironically the final exam of his subject was replaced by a project, and I used this opportunity to learn LaTeX and present my work with professional standards.

In this tutorial I want to share with you what I learned about LaTeX, so you can also elevate your work to a whole new level. I’m going to walk you through creating the following elements:

• Cover
• Index
• Titles & Subtitles
• Bold, Italic & Underline
• Bullet Lists
• Images
• Math & Equations
• Syntax highlighting

I recommend you follow this tutorial on Overleaf for its simplicity, but any other text / LaTeX editor is more than enough!

Cover

The first impression your readers will get from your work will undoubtedly be from its cover. Making a professional-looking cover for your work can’t get any simpler with LaTeX. The cover must be defined before the \begin{document} label, but later we shall call the construction of the cover from within the document. Covers usually are formed from the following elements:

Title

Hard to imagine a cover without a title, to define it just type \title{My First Article in LaTeX!\vfill} and give your work a title that suits it. For good measure, you should add \vfill at the end of your title. This label will push everything that comes after the title so it just fits within the same page. This way, we can ensure that while the title is at the top of the page, things like authors or date are left at the bottom.

Author(s)

Give credit where credit is due! Add as many authors as you need with \author{author1} . You can add more authors and display them all at the same height, possibly avoiding hurting egos, like \author{auhtor1 \and author2} . To add them verticaly, swap \and with \\ to make a line break between the authors.

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