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Classes and Packages

Slide Show: PDF PostScript Source File (.tex)
Lecture Notes: PDF PostScript Source File (.tex)
Supplemental Docs

  • ctan.org is the best central source for all package information.
  • Not So Short Introduction to LATEX § 1.4: p. 7 PDF DVI PostScript

Topics covered in this slide:

  • The structure of LATEX documents: Preamble and Body.
  • Classes and Class Options
  • Packages and Package Options

Each LATEX document is broken up into two parts: the preamble and body. This section will start to look at the preamble, specifically, the classes and packages for documents. The document class tells LATEX the type of document you are typing. If we are typing a book, then we would want to either use the report or book class. When we are writing a report for class, the article class is the best choice. The class options allows us to modify the class we’re using. For instance, the default font for a document is 10pt. This is usually too small for professors, so using class options we can change it to 12pt font. Package(s) are options we can load into the document. For multilingual documents, we can use the “babel” package to allow us to use international fonts. Likewise, we may use the “amssym” package to use advanced mathematical fonts. It is important we understand classes and packages as they are the most crucial part of the preamble.

This slide show should take 10 to 20 minutes.

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