Lee White

My Personal and Professional Life


LaTeX  (pronouced lay-tek or la-tek) is a typesetting language/system used to create documents from text and graphics.  To create a LaTeX document you need a compiler, an editor and a viewer.  Here are the basics:

Install MikTex 2.8 or later: http://miktex.org/2.8/setup
Install TexMaker http://www.xm1math.net/texmaker/download.html or another editor
Open TexMaker and type:

% this is how you insert a comment
Hello world!

Save document as ‘universe.tex’
Click Tools>PDFLaTeX or hit F6
Click “View PDF”

Here is a good beginning site: http://www.math.jmu.edu/~arnoldea/latex_setup_and_tutorial.htm If you get stuck try looking at the log file and googling your errors.  Otherwise one of the lab members who uses LaTeX can help you.

Class Files

You can do a lot of advanced stuff using LaTeX.  One reason it is popular is its utilization of class files which specify the layout of a document type.  These ‘class files’ allows you to focus on the content of your paper or proposal.  Typically you will download a pair of files, one .tex, one .cls.

Some useful .cls files

NIH grant proposals: http://www.cs.duke.edu/brd/NIH/tips/

IEEE papers: http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/IEEEtran/

Figures and Video

you will need to include the graphicx package.  With it you will be able to include figures in your document.  .png files produce the best results.  .jpg/,jpeg also work.  .bmp and .tif don’t work.  .eps can be used but they require a different compilation scheme.

You can include video in your LaTeX document using the movie15 package http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/movie15/doc/movie15.pdf.  Read up on it for more info and compatible viewers and file types.


LaTeX also allows you to track sources with ease.  Download and install JabRef from http://jabref.sourceforge.net/ It produces .bib files from which you can cite.  TexMaker will automatically produce bibliography sections in your document based on the references you actually cited.  When you compile  a document that references .bib files you typically need to run the PDFLaTeX and BibTex commans multiple times.  I suggest:

Run PDFLaTeX or F6

Run BibTeX or F11

Run PDFLaTeX or F6

Run PDFLaTeX or F6

You can also make a Quick-build macro.

3D Models in Documents

You can even include 3D models that a viewer can play with without the need for sophisticated 3D modeling software.  Here is one such .pdf:  universe.pdf

To make such a document:

Create a 3D model of the part using Solidworks or another 3D modeling software.

Save the part as a .stl file

Download and install MeshLab: http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/

Open the .stl file in MeshLab.  Click ‘Save-As’ and choose .u3d as the file type.  This will produce a .u3d file and a .tex file demonstrating how to place the model in your document.

copy the needed code into your .tex file, making sure to include the needed packages (\usepackage[3D]{movie15} and \usepackage[colorlinks=true]{hyperref})

Compile and you are done!

Useful sites:





Lee White produced this design and document.

A PDF produced using TexMaker, MikTex, Solidworks, and MeshLab.

LaTeX | 2010 | Projects, Research | Comments (1)

1 comment en “LaTeX”

  1. HTTP://Bit.ly/ says:


    Lee White…

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