Which book (free or otherwise) was the most useful to you when you started learning LaTeX?

I am frequently asked this question by friends who want to learn LaTeX, and I recommend the book which got me started, The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX2ε, but I feel that there might be better options around.

Also see LaTeX Introductions in languages other than English.

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    If you'd put the Not So Short Introduction in an answer, I would have upvoted it - that's the one I always recommend to friends who ask me about learning LaTeX. – David Z Jul 26 '10 at 21:48
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    Upvote the question :) – Vivi Jul 27 '10 at 0:31
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    The Not so Short Introduction to LaTeX — actually a Brazilian Portuguese translation — was my first text on LaTeX. After that, I’ve read different texts, depending on what I want to do. – rberaldo Apr 13 '11 at 11:56
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    This website, of course. – Nicholas Hamilton May 6 '13 at 6:23
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    Finding the right symbols was a common problem for me at the beginning. See How to look up a symbol or identify a math symbol or character? for many solutions. – Martin Thoma Dec 10 '14 at 16:35

33 Answers 33


This android app would also be very useful. Give it a try: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.unimaths.latex Rather than going through manuals and references of hundreds of pages, you will learn a lot by these easy tutorials in no time. The tutorials in this app are intended for beginners of LaTeX. They are written keeping in mind the difficulties of those who are used to use WYSISWYG Word processors such as Microsoft Word. Almost all tasks that one is used to do in Microsoft Word are covered.

  • The Apple store also has something similar to this. I have "LaTeX Help" installed on my phone which provides hints and quick reference for LaTeX commands. – Jennifer May 23 '19 at 19:05

I recommend Modern LaTeX by Matt Kline.

It is brief and easy to read, and it intentionally avoids outdated practices and packages.

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Here is our reference guide that is more geared towards the actual LaTeXing process. It's construed as a giant catalogue of LaTeX commands, environments and packages (categorized by function) that most users will ever need. As such, it can be very useful for both beginners and avid LaTeX users, and goes more in depth and breadth with shorter amount of pages:

The Ultimate LaTeX Reference Guide


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