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Citation Styles & Tools

A brief explanation of citation fundamentals and a guide to useful resources.

What is LaTex?



What is LaTex?

LaTeX, which is pronounced as ‘Lah-tech’ or ‘Lay-tech’, is a document preparation system for high-quality typesetting. It includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation. It is the de facto standard for the communication and publication of scientific documents. LaTeX is not a word processor! Instead, it encourages authors not to worry too much about the appearance of their documents but to concentrate on getting the right content.

What LaTeX inputs look like: How it looks in plain text:


\title{Cartesian closed categories and the price of eggs}

\author{Jane Doe}

\date{September 1994}



   Hello world!


Or, in English:

  • This document is an article.
  • Its title is Cartesian closed categories and the price of eggs.
  • Its author is Jane Doe.
  • It was written in September 1994.
  • The document consists of a title followed by the text Hello world!

Its commands are all about giving a structure to the content of your document (e.g., sections, emphasis, tables, indices, etc.).

Who would be interested in using this software?

  • Scientists, statisticians, mathematicians, or other students or professionals belonging to the STEM discipline would be interested in using this software.


Information used from the LaTex website.

Where can you get LaTex?

Where can you find this free software?

LaTeX is not a stand-alone typesetting program in itself, but document preparation software that runs on top of TeX typesetting system. TeX distributions usually bundle together all the parts needed for a working TeX system and they generally add to this both configuration and maintenance utilities. LaTeX is basically an input, and a TeX distribution such as TeX Live is used to produce an output file (such as PDF or DVI) suitable for printing or digital distribution.

LaTeX is typically distributed along with plain TeX under a free software license: the LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL). You don't have to pay for using it. As free software, LaTeX is available on most operating systems. If you’re new to TeX and LaTeX or just want an easy installation, get a full TeX distribution. The TeX Users Group (TUG) has a list of notable distributions that are entirely, or least primarily, free software.

TeX distributions are available for:

Using LaTex

How do you use it?

The first step is to install a complete TeX system with LaTeX itself. Depending on what TeX distribution you have, the display of the input and output document may vary. The following document example is produced through Overleaf.

In order to start a project, Overleaf provides LaTeX templates for journals, CVs, resumes, papers, presentations, assignments, letters, project reports, and more. Pick the template you need to work on. The following is an original ‘presentation’ template with input on the left side, and output on the right side.

LaTex Version How it Looks

Description automatically generated A picture containing graphical user interface

Description automatically generated

As a macro package, LaTeX provides a set of macros for TeX to interpret. When TeX "compiles" a document, it follows (from the user's point of view) the following processing sequence: Macros → TeX → Driver → Output.

Start typing your information in the given input spaces. For example, replace “Your Presentation” on number 5, to “LaTeX – A Document Preparation System.” The following input data is shown in the bottom left image.

After you are done typing, click on the green ‘Compile’ option, on the top right corner of the screen. It will convert your input data into a complete output data. The file can be saved and downloaded.