1.  GSNS course

Date and time: Tuesday 1 September 2020 at 14:15 (2:15 PM) (till 15:45 (3:45 PM) at the latest).

Note The workshop was previously scheduled at 13:30 (1:30 PM), but this was changed by the organization of the GSNS introduction.

Installation: See below.

Description: Working in a group online is difficult if you use mathematical expressions. LaTeX is a program that allows you to make all the fancy math you want in a text and turn it into a pdf. In this workshop the TeXniCie will take you through the basics of LaTeX, you will learn how to make a document with text and mathematical expressions. You don't need any prior knowledge of LaTeX. Because of time limitations you will have to have the program already installed (see this website (a-es2.nl/latex)) and ready to use for the workshop. You could also use an online version (we recommend Overleaf) and have an account set up before the workshop. If you have any problems or questions you can reach us via 'hektex' + (at sign) + 'a-eskwadraat' + '.nl' (notation to avoid spambots picking up the address).

Practical information: All participants will be added automatically to a Team (of Microsoft Teams) by the organization of the GSNS introduction. We unfortunately don't know when exactly. Installation instructions can be found below. For any other questions, feel free to send us an e-mail.

Using LaTeX

  • LaTeX is the code language which we'll learn you, enabling you to make nice documents with formula's.
  • Overleaf is a website where you can write LaTeX and see it as PDF.
  • TeXstudio is a program where you can write LaTeX and see it as PDF.
  • MiKTeX is a supporting program TeXstudio needs.

Overleaf is a nice site, but unreliable because of its commercial character. We have already seen how gradually more functions have become paid-only. For this reason we ask you to install TeXstudio (+ MiKTeX). If you work together in groups of two, and you want to write on the same LaTeX file simultaneously, you do however need to divert to Overleaf.

Update: VS Code instead of TeXstudio

Participants are more and more annoyed by the old look of TeXstudio, and to be fair; also from a technical standpoint, it's getting obsolete in comparison to using a modern code editor like Visual Studio code, where the LaTeX specific functionality is simply added by an extension.

You can find the installation instructions on my site vkuhlmann.com/latex/installation

The installation instructions can be found at the end of this page. More details on the differences between Overleaf and TeXstudio (+ MiKTeX):

Advantages of TeXstudio (+ MiKTeX)
  • Always and everywhere: no good internet connection required.
  • In control of your own documents: have everything saved on your own computer, with no chance the security of your files will be breached.
  • Non-commercial, what the program can, it will do, no opposed limitations because of a sales model. Instead, it's built by the community (Project page of TeXstudio).
  • No account necessary.
  • More keyboard shortcuts and other advanced features.
Advantages of Overleaf
  • No installation necessary.
  • Simultaneous collaboration.
  • Start directly with something, thanks to templates.
  • Your files are automatically saved in the Overleaf cloud, meaning you have them available from every device, and always backed up in case of computer problems.*

* On TeXstudio you have the same comfort if you save the files in a folder which is synchronised with a cloud service like OneDrive.

Installing TeXstudio (+ MiKTeX)

For LaTeX we need two programs:
  1. A distribution: This provides the mechanics which convert your code into a PDF (compilation). If you are handy with a command line, you can already create PDF's from LaTeX with just the distribution installed, but it is often nicer to work with a specialized editor.
  2. An editor: The editor shows your code and improves your experience by amongst other things colouring your code, and providing autosuggestions. Every time you press the 'Show' or 'Compile' button, it sends the necessary commands to your distribution, telling it to convert the code into PDF, and the editor can then handily show the PDF to the side of your code.

Because these two tasks are decoupled you have more freedom to choose which editor you use.

The distribution

Install the distribution first (this way the editor will already see at installation time where the distribution is):

  • Windows: MiKTeX (alternative: TeX Live)
  • Mac: MiKTeX (alternative: MacTeX)
  • Linux: TeX Live (alternative: MiKTeX)

    On a Linux distribution based on Debian (like Ubuntu and Linux Mint):

    sudo apt-get install texlive-full texstudio

The distributions don't differ too much functionally from each other. MiKTeX on Windows can however automatically install packages you are using in your file for the first time, where TeX Live can't (with the default settings TeX Live will download all packages, which takes a couple of gigabytes of storage). TeX Live is however a bit better on the command line, so it can have the preference of Linux users.

The editor

For all three platforms, you can use TeXstudio.

Finishing up

  1. Once everything has successfully been installed, 'TeXstudio' should be amongst your programs. Open TeXstudio.
  2. Copy+paste or write the following simple document in TeXstudio:



  3. Press F5 (depending on keyboard you might need to hold Fn while doing so), or press the 'fast-forward' button in the toolbar of TeXstudio (left to the 'play' button).
  4. If all goes well, a moment later, a very plain document should appear to the right of your code (showing a title and date).

    All does not go well! Then probably an error message appears beneath your code. Try each of the following solution attempts:
    1. Verify your code matches the example above.
    2. If you use MiKTeX, verify 'MiKTeX Console' exists on your computer.
    3. Restart your computer and try again.
    4. Try Robin's exorcism. (Dutch instructions: Robins Exorcisme).

      Translated instructions:

      1. Close TeXstudio.
      2. Click on the address bar of Windows Explorer or press Start+R. Paste the following address and press enter:
      3. Delete the file texstudio.ini.
      4. Start TeXstudio, try again and hope for the best!
    5. Still not working? Ask us for help:  Contact
  5. You might want to make sure MiKTeX has its packages up-to-date. Open the program 'MiKTeX Console' and press Updates > Check for updates. If updates are being listed, press the 'Update now' button.
  6. Congratulations! Welcome to the world of LaTeX!
TeXniCie: Hekwerk Utrecht