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Degree symbol Latex

Latex software short guide?

This is a short guide that tries to explain — especially for new users — what Latex is, what it’s for, and why you should (or shouldn’t) use it.

What is Latex?

Latex is a document preparation system. With it, you can prepare manuscripts, magazine articles, letters, theses, presentations and any type of document that you would like to print on paper or show on the screen.

Degree symbol Latex

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Why should I use Latex?

With other more conventional alternatives for producing documents, such as Microsoft’s Word, it is natural to wonder why one should take the trouble to learn to use Latex. On the surface, one of the advantages of Latex is the professional quality of the documents that you can generate. This is particularly true for documents that contain formulas or equations, but Latex has many applications beyond mathematics. Documents on chemistry, physics, computing, biology, law, literature, music, and any other topic you can think of can still take advantage of Latex’s excellent print quality. Below is Latex code.

\ documentclass [10pt, a4paper] { article }

\ usepackage [utf8] { inputenc }

\ usepackage [francais] { babel }

\ usepackage [T1] { fontenc }

\ usepackage { textcomp }

\ usepackage { amssymb }

\ DeclareTextSymbol { \ deg } { T1 } { 6 }

\ DeclareTextSymbol { \ deg } { OT1 } { 23 }

\ usepackage[left = 4cm, right = 4cm, top = 4cm, bottom = 4cm] { geometry }

\ begin { document }

\ degre C et \ degres C et \ deg C

\ end { document }

Degree Symbol Latex Advantage

A less obvious, but perhaps more important, an advantage is that Latex allows you to clearly separate the content and format of your document. As a scientist, researcher or writer, this gives you the opportunity to focus on the ‘what’, in the creative part of your work, in generating and writing ideas. For its part, the system will take care of the ‘how’ to do to visually translate these ideas into a document. Latex also automatically performs many tasks that might otherwise be tedious or cumbersome: numbering chapters and figures, including and organizing the appropriate bibliography, maintaining indexes and cross-references.

Finally, what for some is also a plus, all the software you need to edit, produce, view and print your documents is free. This also means, for pragmatists, that to install and use Latex on your computer you don’t have to spend a single penny.

Why should you not use Latex?

The purpose of this guide is, of course, to convince you to give it a try and try to learn how to use Latex. However, it is also useful to know the cases in which looking for another alternative may be the most recommended.

Do not use Latex if:

You don’t have time to learn it. Before you can use Latex, you have to learn how to use Latex. These pages try to help you, precisely, to overcome this learning curve as quickly as possible. Still, it is not advisable to try to learn Latex to write a document that you have a commitment to deliver in less than, say, 24 hours.

You already have your document written. It is common, for example, that a student wants to convert their thesis, already written in Word, to the Latex ‘format’ to make it look ‘prettier’. Although technically this is possible, I do not recommend it as it is not easy and the results are usually of very poor quality. Latex is much more than a ‘format’ for saving documents, it is a complete tool whose main advantages start with the process of creating the document itself.

latex degree symbol

What you’re interested in is document design. If your interest, more than content, is in the visual design of documents, Latex may not be the right tool for you. This is not why I want to scare designers and tell them that they should not use Latex, Latex also needs designers and typographers! However, I don’t recommend using Latex as a design tool, rather than a platform that designers could use to create ‘templates’ for documents with their own designs.

How do I get Latex?

Depending on your operating system, read the instructions for Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. Whatever your system, you will essentially need the following three components:

A text editor. It is the interactive application that you use to write documents .tex. Any simple text editor works for you, but specialized Latex editors can offer you quick access to the most common commands to process and view the documents you generate.

A Latex distribution. This is the engine that is responsible for converting your Latex source files into portable documents .pdf.

A document viewer. This is the application that allows you to view and print your documents generated by Latex.

How do I use Latex?

Also sometimes asked as: And what is this eaten with?

  • Since you have installed Latex, the next step is to learn how to generate a document. There are three main operations you have to do: edit, compile and view the document.
  • The first step is to use your selected editor to generate a finished file .text that contains the Latex code describing the structure and content of your document. Check out the Latex course where you can find a simple example and an introduction to the Latex language.
  • Compiling is the process, performed by the Latex engine, that converts your files .texinto formatted documents .pdf that can be printed and viewed on-screen.

Degree symbol latex compiling

Make sure you choose the right option to directly generate .pdf documents. In TeXnicCenter for Windows, for example, choose the option in the toolbar Latex => PDFand press the button to compile. TeXShop on OS X is already configured to generate documents .pdf and has a “Typeset” button that starts the compile action. On other systems make sure that the command used to compile is pdfLatex.

Visualize. Once the document has been compiled, and if there were no errors, you can view the document generated by Latex. In TeXnicCenter, for example, there is a button that allows you to start the document viewer, while in TeXShop the internal viewer is automatically activated when the compilation finishes without errors.

latex degree

This cycle — edit, compile, view — is the one you have to repeat during the production of your document. Normally you write a bit of code, then compile and visualize the result to check that you get the expected result. And so on, each time writing a little more of the document and checking the results.

During this process, sometimes the compile step can generate some errors. This occurs when the code you have written contains an error, and Latex has not been able to understand what you have wanted to say. If this happens, carefully read the information that Latex gives you to identify the problem and correct the errors in your code. Don’t ignore the errors and let them accumulate, this only causes frustration and makes Latex begin to behave more and more unpredictably. If this gives you headaches, you can also read some tips to resolve errors when compiling with Latex.

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