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Tufted Titmouse

Joined: Dec 15, 2011
Posts: 48

 Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:02 pm    Post subject: LaTeX info?? like for real I'm having one hell of a time finding fundamental information about LaTeX. It's easy enough to find info on LaTeX commands, but whenever I try to download a distribution package it seems like there are always errors/problems of some sort and I have absolutely no idea how to fix them or often times what they even are because I can't figure out what the basic elements of the TeX and LaTeX software actually are! And lord forbid I try to insert a figure into my document. I've tried asking my research advisor for help but he thinks I have years of experience with computers and I'm never quite sure what he's telling me. So if anyone has a good resource on the real basics of setting up the software and the necessary elements involved in generating a basic document that I can use to actually get to typing up my paper that would be wonderful. Also if my question seems vague or confusing that's because I know so little that I'm not even sure how to phrase the question. My apologies, I am a bit desperate.

Computer Geek

Joined: Dec 26, 2007
Posts: 2387

 Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:45 pm    Post subject: There is a program called LyX that is a GUI interface to LaTeX. I'm not sure if that would help you, but it seems like you might be someone who's familiar with GUIs and is trying to use a command line for the first time, so it might help. If you're trying to install LaTeX and you get errors, you could try cutting/pasting the contents of the error messages. It's much easier to troubleshoot something where you have a concrete error message to go on._________________"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it." --G. K. Chesterton

Phoenix

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 816
Location: Somewhere

 Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:52 pm    Post subject: Hmmm.. have you tried LyX? I found the Lyx documentation and user-interface a bit less confusing than with other TeX packages. Good luck! Edit: Oops, didn't see Ancalagon's post before I clicked 'submit'--sorry for the repetitiveness!_________________“Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” -- Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky Love transcends all.Last edited by animalcrackers on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

Tufted Titmouse

Joined: Dec 15, 2011
Posts: 48

 Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:39 pm    Post subject: Well I know some Java and C++ as well as a few other programming languages and various software utilities like MATLAB, but I get confused with LaTeX about the fonts and the "packages" and how there's like a dozen different versions of everything not all of them compatible with each other. So maybe more specifically, if I want to include a figure I made with winfig, I could export it as a .eps but then how do I actually get that figure to appear in the generated PDF or DVI? something like? : \begin{figure} some more stuff here \end{figure} But I was told I have to include a "package" but I can't figure out (get it FIGURE out hurr hurr) what that even means.

Computer Geek

Joined: Dec 26, 2007
Posts: 2387

 Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:23 pm    Post subject: As far as I can tell, the packages are bits written in LaTeX that you can tell it to preload so you don't have to copy/paste a big long thing into every document. The following should include the graphicx package, which should be the one you want for including images/figures: \usepackage{graphicx} The following should include the image "picture.eps": \includegraphics{picture} This link has a lot of details about how to do graphics in general, and has a section on figures specifically. On the side it has links to a bunch of other pages that look useful, including some sample documents._________________"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it." --G. K. Chesterton

Tufted Titmouse

Joined: Dec 15, 2011
Posts: 48

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:35 pm    Post subject:

 Ancalagon wrote: This link has a lot of details about how to do graphics in general, and has a section on figures specifically. On the side it has links to a bunch of other pages that look useful, including some sample documents.

Thanks!

Now I can continue to feign computer competency another day.
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