Jumpstarting: Learn LaTeX in 3 minutes

Inspired by the learn x in y minutes tutorials, here comes my contribution to starting LaTeX quickly. If you want to jumpstart learning LaTeX, open your Overleaf account (or get one, they just require your email, no other info, takes 30 seconds) and open a blank or example project.

A blank project will give you the following output:


\title{\LaTeX in 3 min}
\author{Your name}
\date{January 2019}




You can now start typing text. Wherever you want, but for now, preferably below \section{Introduction} and in between \begin{document} and \end{document}.
The stuff before is the settings which don't interest you just yet. There you can see fields for title and author which \maketitle uses to make a title. This is what you can use to generate a title page later on.

Now type a sentence below \section{Introduction}, then hit space twice. Write another test sentence. Hit space twice and write \subsection{test}.

To see your changes, you need to 'compile' this source code into an output PDF. Do this in Overleaf by clicking the 'Compile' or 'Recompile' button or by using the CTRL+s shortcut (which is actually 'save' but will trigger a compile).

Now add \tableofcontents below \maketitle. Cool, huh?

\textit{makes text italic}, a similar but different effect is achieved with \emph{which highlights}. Make some \textbf{bold} statements and don't forget the ``quotes''\newpage will cause a manual pagebreak. Now copy this sentence into your test document.

Add \usepackage{hyperref} below the other \usepackage. Then add \href{http://latex-ninja.com}{\LaTeX{} Ninja} in the text.

With that, I think my 3 minutes are more than over and you are ready to go and do some exploring on your own.


the LaTeX Ninja

PS: You might also be interested in the the Visual FAQ, a document showing things you might want to achieve with LaTeX which you can just click and it will redirect you to a TeX-FAQ tutorial where the chosen thing is explained. This is great if you want to get going as quickly as possible and learn as you go. Which you will have to or I won't keep my promise of an intro to LaTeX in 3 minutes 😉

PPS: The goal of this tutorial was not to give the illusion one could learn complete LaTeX in 3 minutes but rather to give you a quick "jumpstart" into LaTeX. In learning new things, people often don't try things out because the initial hurdle is too big. This post, on the opposite, is supposed to get you actively using LaTeX straightaway.



Visual FAQ

I like LaTeX, the Humanities and the Digital Humanities. Here I post tutorials and other adventures.

9 thoughts on “Jumpstarting: Learn LaTeX in 3 minutes

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