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LaTeX and Overleaf

This guide provides a brief overview on how to use EndNote, JabRef and Overleaf

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Why LaTeX

LaTeX is a typesetting system to create a formatted document based on commands given. A LaTeX document, the source file, is saved with a file extension .tex

People use LaTeX for various reasons:

  • High-quality typesetting: Capable of producing professional-looking documents with precise formatting and consistent typography
  • Complex technical content: Support for complicated mathematical formulas, tables, figures, images and more.
  • Free software: Open source software available for download on various operating systems (Windows/Mac/Linux), and some web-based platforms are also available to use

Many LaTeX compliers /editors are available freely in open source/web-based platforms (advanced features in Overleaf require frees) . Below table includes a few examples: 

Open Source Web-based
TeXstudio Overleaf
Texmaker Papeeria
TeXworks Cocalc
LyX LaTeX Base

Basic Structure of a LaTeX document

A LaTeX document is made up of two main parts: preamble and body, some may consider bibliography as the third part.

Preamble: starts between \documentclass{ } and \begin{document}. You will put commands such as \usepackage commands (that will affect entire document), \title{}, \author{} and any customized commands in this part. 

Body: is where you input your content, it starts with \begin{document} and ends with a matching \end{document}. You can include commands for abstract, section, subsection and etc. 

Bibliography: includes bibliography style and BibTeX file name, which are usually placed before \end{document}. The bibliography style specifies which reference style to use when making references and citations, and the BibTeX file stores all reference entries. When citing, LaTex will generate the reference list and citations from the file.