My LaTex setup


  1. Install TeX Live

    TeX Live is a TeX distribution to get up and running with the TeX document production system. To install it, once you're in the terminal, enter the following command:

    # Arch Linux Family
    sudo pacman -S texlive-most
    # For Ubuntu
    sudo apt update && sudo apt install texlive-full
    # Fedora
    sudo dnf install texlive-scheme-full
  2. Install Visual Studio Code with the LaTeX-Workshop extension.


Special symbols

  • % - mark the line as comment
  • \ - escape character; remove special meaning of special symbols to make them display as text, or add special meaning to texts to make them a command. Use $\setminus$ to write an escape character as text.
  • $ ... $ - add math mode
  • { ... } - contain parameters for commands
  • ~ - generate a unit of whitespace that cannot be broken between two lines for word wrapping. Use either \~ or $\sim$ to insert the tilde symbol into document
  • ^ - add superscript in math mode
  • _ - add subscript in math mode
  • & - vary depends on context
  • # - vary depends on context

Formatting commands

In-line formatting commands

These commands only format a little bit of text at a time.

  • \textbf{ ... } - write text in bold
  • \textit{ ... } - write text in italics
  • \underline{ ... } - write text with underline
  • \sout{ ... } - strike out text (need to use the ulem package)
  • \textsc{ ... } - write text in all capital letters without "shouting"

\begin ... \end environments (i.e. block formatting commands)

The \begin{ <FORMAT COMMAND> } ... \end{ <FORMAT COMMAND> } environments format the large amount of texts using the given format command.

\begin and \end can be seen as commands that accepts other format commands as parameters. Not all commands can be passed as parameters.

Some examples include,

  • \begin{center} ... \end{center} - centers a large amount of texts
  • \begin{flushright} ... \end{flushright} - moves large amount of texts to the right side
  • \begin{flushleft} ... \end{flushleft} - moves large amount of texts to the left side
  • \begin{verbatim} ... \end{verbatim} - types everything character for character, including commands. Ideal for a large amount of texts containing a lot of special symbols such as programming code.
  • \begin{tiny} ... \end{tiny} - write texts in a really small size
  • \begin{huge} ... \end{huge} - writes texts in a really large font size

In addition to formatting commands, \begin and \end are used for special segments of the document, including

  1. creating lists.

    Bulleted lists are created as

    \item ...
    \item ...
    \item ...

    Numbered list can be created as

    \item ...
    \item ...
    \item ...

    Labelled lists where each item starts with an emphasized word provided in brackets like \item[word]. The brackets after the command \item can be used for the other list environments.

  2. wrapping paper in the \begin{document} and \end{document} environment.

  3. creating a table using {tabular}

  4. creating a special Math Mode that gets its own line that can present larger symbols as following


    And its shortcut is


Other special commands

  • \newline or \\ - indicate a line break

Sections and subsections

\section{title} - defines larger sections that have a single number and the title
\subsection{title} - defines the smaller sections within the section mostly recently declared in the .tex file. They have two numbers separated by a period.


Packages are libaries that provide additional commands. To install a package, download it and place it in the same directory as the .tex file. To use the package in a document, the command \usepackage{packageName} must appear after the \documentclass command. Some packages have special parameters that appear in brackets before the package name.