Introduction To Cryptography, Fall 2003:

A brief introduction to LaTex

LaTeX (pronounced la-te-k) is a "document preparation system"; The LaTeX compiler takes files with specific structure (i.e., LaTeX files) and produces output graphic files with typeset text and figures. It is relatively easy to add mathematical equations and figures to LaTeX documents; LaTeX also has extcellent page formatting and styling.

LaTeX files have the suffix ".tex", and are plain text files that can be edited with any text editor.
Emacs ( and XEmacs ( have LaTeX-modes for editing LaTeX files more easily.
For beginners, it is easier to use a LaTeX-specific editor, such as WinEdt for windows (it is a shareware and has a free trial period).

Required tools

Example files

Writing LaTeX files

There are many resources that can help you write LaTeX files easily.
Some LaTeX editors will save you alot of time (again, WinEdt is a great example).
There are several good tutorials and introductions. You can use the following links:

The LaTeX project home:

Once you can compile the example documents, and want to learn more on writing LaTeX, you can read The not so short introduction to LaTeX which also contains tables of LaTeX symbols (pages 58-64).
Other symbols tables can be found at, and at

More tips on LaTeX:

Simple example and numerous links:

Latex Help:

And more sites:

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