Five minute guide to LaTeX

Together with a friend of mine, I’ve written a beginners guide for LaTeX. The main goal of the guide was to keep things simple and to convince MS Word users to write proper documents with LaTeX. The result? Four pages of text, explaining the basics of LaTeX. The content of the guide is filled with examples. This, in our opinion, is the best way to get familiar with the LaTeX way of typesetting.

Five minute guide to LaTeX

The guide

The title of the document says it all: this is a five minute guide to LaTeX, a way of typesetting documents that will save time and frustration. This guide is written to get you over the fairly steep learning curve. More LaTeX guides exist, but they all drown you in information.

The content of this guide will teach you enough to write proper documents. Before you can start, the LaTeX system needs to be installed. A guide for Windows and Mac OS X is found here. To make life even easier, download this folder structure to start LaTeXing right away.


Download the guide in PDF format
Download a ZIP file. This zip-archive contains the guide itself, together with a folder structure to help you right away.


Off course, our guide will not be perfect just yet. So, any feedback is highly appreciated; leave a comment below or fill in this contact form.


  1. […] So if you are taking the Online Publishing course, and are already learning how to use HTML, why not push yourself further out of your comfort zone? I used LaTeX for an essay I wrote last year for another course, and taught myself while working on the essay for three days using the Five minute guide to LaTeX. […]

  2. Raul says:

    I would also like to have the tex file. Especially for those fantastic, in place side notes.

  3. […] options than Markdown, but still with simple syntax. This article is being written in Textile. LaTeX is a markup language with a somewhat steeper learning curve, but it has powerful controls, many […]

  4. Live says:

    Can you please upload the .tex file of your “five minute guide to latex” pdf? Many thanks in advanced.

  5. Rafael says:


    I’ve downloaded the .zip file expecting to find the same .tex of the .pdf, but they are different. On the .pdf you have nice titles, custom page style on the other no. This can let a “noob” thinking that he is doing some think wrong.

    Also, I do liked your theme so I would like to use it on my texts.


  6. Parthiban says:

    Thank you for the really useful guide for the beginners like me

  7. Patrik Brynolfsson says:

    Hi! Good job! Just a quick comment; your code to generate the table doesn’t match the result, the caption is wrong. The code says “Caption example” and the resulting table has “Table caption” as caption.

  8. […] Five minute guide to LaTeX ::: howto TEX […]

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