Recently I looked up my first ever document done with LaTeX, and as strange and crazy as it may seems, it was my first thesis (wrote in only two weeks). It all turned out well as I did a very good impression, but this left me with a question that can be posted to the "newcomer"s and the "guru"s out there.

What was your first complete document wrote in any typesetting language related to TeX?

I'm not talking about the very first test document, but a complete and "beautifully typeset" document that you were able to write; and your impression of it back in the days.

Maybe people like egreg or David Carlisle would refer to their first experience with pure LaTeX and even plain TeX, as well as other people that came in contact with this program may remember their first impression of their first work.

I've put it inside fun, but I hope I didn't go too off-topic because this is something that came not only to my curiosity, but an opportunity to share the point to where all it started in the first place...

closed as too broad by jubobs, David Carlisle, Alan Munn, Torbjørn T., egreg Sep 15 '13 at 16:32

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    The reference to age should be worthy a downvote. ;-) – egreg Sep 15 '13 at 10:07
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    I'm wondering if I should give -1 for publicly stating that @egreg and I are old:-) – David Carlisle Sep 15 '13 at 10:09
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    Why the down vote? Really strange. Though IMHO it may be moved to meta. – Masroor Sep 15 '13 at 11:34
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    Voting to close: this question has only a purely social value (allowing people to tell personal anecdotes). It adds no value to the site. – Alan Munn Sep 15 '13 at 15:13
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    @MMA Meta is for questions about the site, so it doesn't belong there (either). – Torbjørn T. Sep 15 '13 at 15:33

TeX related stuff have been lost in the mist of time were circa 1983-1989, as well as some Technical Reports and local papers. Circa May 1990 paper. PhD Thesis from memory about two years earlier. MSc thesis circa 85. Never touched the PhD stuff after graduation but TeX/LaTeX stayed ingrained in my veins.

Most of the early stuff typed on an Olivetti Computer and then starved to buy an HP9816. The little circular knob on the left top was a precursor to the mouse, but just scrolled the screen. It came with the incredible memory of 128K RAM.


After some test documents while studying my Bachelor-Thesis was the first really complete document. It was a kind of "must not fail" document but it felt good. Even if I had only less experience I saw that the documet looks much better than everythig else done by MS Word or OpenOffice before.

  • The same happened to my thesis, as the "must not fail" kept me awake the nights... – alandella Sep 15 '13 at 10:13
  • Yes and for every little error I was searching and searching but the find a solution, even a simple one, was a good feeling. – seeberg Sep 15 '13 at 10:17

My first LaTeX document was a paper submission to the Nordic Journal of Linguistics in December 2011 (published in Oct 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0332586512000194). My preamble then was 21 lines. The last document I wrote (a four-page letter a few days ago) had a preamble of 364 lines, plus it loads a .sty file I made with 207 lines of my own macros ...

My first document was also the only scholarly document I wrote with LaTeX and BibTeX in MikTeX. Following a temporary return to MS Word, I started using XeLaTeX and biblatex with TeX Live around July 2012.

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