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Learning LaTeX, Second Edition

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by David F. Griffiths and Desmond J. Higham


2016 / Approx. x + 103 pages / Softcover / 978-1-611974-41-6 List Price $29.00 / SIAM Member Price $20.30 / Order Code OT148


This second edition replaces Learning LaTeX (OT55, 9780898713831).

This is a very good brief introduction to LaTeX, with a good balance between breadth and depth. . . . I was skeptical that such a short book could really be comprehensive enough for everyday work, so I ran a test. . . . The book did very well on this test, and all could have been typeset well, although in some cases not exactly as I set them.
- MAA Reviews, April 2017

Do you need equations in your document? Close Equation Editor and learn LaTex---the de facto standard for typesetting mathematics. Griffiths and Higham have updated their concise and example-filled LaTex introduction to include bibliographies, posters, presentations slides, and essential online resources. The text is perfect for both (i) the self-studier starting with the basics and (ii) a short introductory course for students at any level.
- Paul G. Constantine, Colorado School of Mines

For years, my only system for training students to LaTex has been to hand them a copy of Learning Latex and to tell them to start writing. This has worked without fail for dozens of students. I never would have thought it possible, but the new edition is a substantial improvement with the additional coverage of BiBTeX, Beamer, and posters. Learning Latex should be handed to new graduate students in mathematical sciences along with their office key and ID card.
- Don Estep, Colorado State University

Learning LaTeX by Higham and Griffiths, is a wonderful, clear, short and simple introduction to LaTeX. It is particularly well-suited for undergraduate or postgraduate students in engineering, science and mathematics who would like to learn LaTeX quickly without reading lengthy works of reference. Readers should be ready to write their first LaTeX document within just a few hours! The material in the book is well structured and presented with many concrete and coherent examples. The authors start with a motivation on why one should learn LaTeX and how it is run and move from basic LaTeX commands via mathematical typesetting to features like inserting pictures and making bibliographies. A strength of the book is the appendix with concise samples of an article, a report, a presentation and a poster (the latter two are new features of the second edition). Should readers wish to do so, they can go straight to these samples and use them as templates for their own documents. A very comprehensive book and an easy read which I strongly recommended for both absolute beginners as well as for experienced users as a work of reference due to an excellent index.
- Melina Freitag, University of Bath

Hurrah, my favorite beginner's guide to Latex has been updated and improved and is as concise and fresh, and funny, as ever. It has been near my computer since its first release in the previous century. David and Desmond (whose friendly headshots can be found on the sample poster) will get you and your students up to speed with, as they correctly claim, "a minimum of fuss", and great examples and handy templates. \latex \rule\s, still.
- Margot Gerritsen, Stanford University

There is something for everyone -from LaTeX beginner to experienced LaTeXnicians -in this excellent and entertaining book. The examples are punchy and drive straight to the point to get people using LaTeX the way it was meant to be used. The authors highlight many small issues and typographical faux pas without preaching. Learning LaTex is comprehensive and covers all of the elements of LaTeX that you are likely to encounter in the vast majority of standard use. I cannot imagine a better reference for anyone!
- David F. Gleich, Purdue University

A quick-start guide for LaTeX beginners that will have readers off and TeX-ing in no time. Highly recommended for newbies, though veterans will also appreciate it as an essential reference. There are many examples throughout Learning LaTex, and the appendices feature detailed examples of an article, a report, a beamer presentation, and a poster. Everyone will enjoy the light-hearted section on "LaTeX Through the Years". Highly recommended as part of every professor's lending library and every student's essentials.
- Tamara G. Kolda, Sandia National Labs


Here is a short, well-written book that covers the material essential for learning LaTeX. It includes incisive examples that teach LaTeX in a powerful yet abbreviated fashion. This is the handbook to have if you don’t want to wade through extraneous material. This manual includes the following crucial features:

  • numerous examples of widely used mathematical expressions;
  • complete documents illustrating the creation of articles, reports, presentations, and posters;
  • troubleshooting tips to help you pinpoint an error;
  • details of how to set up an index and a bibliography;
  • information about online LaTeX resources.

Why do you need to learn LaTeX? LaTeX has become an extremely popular typesetting system and is widely used throughout the sciences. As a student, you may need to typeset reports and theses in LaTeX (particularly if you are a graduate student in any mathematics or computer science discipline). Or you may be someone who had planned to “eventually” get around to learning LaTeX, but you are still using older or less appropriate methods of typesetting. Procrastinate no more!

This second edition of the well-regarded and highly successful book includes additional material on

  • the American Mathematical Society packages for typesetting additional mathematical symbols and multi-line displays;
  • the BiBTeX program for creating bibliographies;
  • the Beamer package for creating presentations;
  • the a0poster class for creating posters.

About the Authors
David F. Griffiths   Now retired, David originally trained as an applied mathematician and, after a brief spell at New York University, spent his academic career at the University of Dundee specializing in the numerical solution of differential equations. He has published 3 books and over 50 scientific articles on differential equations. David was joint organizing secretary of the Dundee Biennial Conferences on Numerical Analysis from 1983 to 2005.

Desmond J. Higham is a numerical analyst at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He has research interests in stochastic computation, network science and city analytics. He is a SIAM Dahlquist Prize winner, a SIAM Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


ISBN: 9781611974416

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