I am going to start my math major, and I learned the basics of latex because I would like to use it to make my documents and take notes. But now I would like to find some templates to use for:

  1. Annual courses notes (say, book format)
  2. Homework
  3. Slides and presentations
  4. Short notes (say, article format)
  5. Question papers

Where can I find templates complete with everything so that I have to write the material only?

closed as too broad by yo', user13907, Andrew Swann, T. Verron, dustin Sep 7 '14 at 19:56

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.

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look at our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format. This question is too broad. You basically ask 5 different questions, all of which have been asked before. A lot of related reading (answering most of your questions) is actually located in the right panel in the Related section. – yo' Sep 7 '14 at 18:49
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    I wouldn't use it to take notes. Take notes by hand and type them up afterwards. When you find yourself writing your notes in LaTeX code, then switch to taking notes in it directly if you wish. Otherwise, the coding will just distract you from the content of the lecture. (Imagine trying to take notes while having to think about how to write each letter.) Moreover, if you make mistakes, your chances of figuring out what you meant will be virtually nil. And you will make mistakes because I'm assuming you are fallible like 99.999% of TeX SE users. (If egreg weren't here, it would be 100%.) – cfr Sep 7 '14 at 20:00

Don't use a random template!

it's not complicated to build your own LaTeX-preamble and for the things you want to do you don't need more than say 10 packages and 10-20 options. Work with minimal preambles for better readability and less likelihood of conflicts.

I would recommand the Koma-Skript classes, scrartcl would fit for your points 2,4 and 5. scrbook for 1.

Because of the native unicode and font support I would go for lualatex. A good overview of the modern packages and what they are for is this:


everything you might need should be in there.

And maybe as addition, just to show you a rather big yet minimal preamble, have a look at the thesis template I wrote for my chair and faculty:


comments are in german, but most of the options and packages should be self-explanatory

  • Or scrreprt rather than scrbook. – Manuel Sep 7 '14 at 16:37

For slides & presentations, you should definitely use the Beamer class.

And I agree with MaxNoe, that using random templates from the internet isn't really a good way to learn. For homework, I simply use the article class and a ~100 line preamble I've stitched together over the course of a year. The preamble consists of a bunch of packages for all sorts of ways to do stuff, a bunch of options for said packages, a bunch of macros for doing more stuff (like adding List of Figures and List of Tables to the Table of Contents). To me, a preamble is a deeply personal thing.

While personal, that doesn't mean I won't share, so here it is, if you're interested. Comments are in Danish though.


Here is a very common template circulating among lecture notes at MIT.

There is a lot of stuff going on... importing libraries for special symbols, specifying the layout of the page, theorem environments. You will probably only need a subset of these at any one time, but here it all is at once.

Hopefully - as you learn LaTeX - you can learn to change it.


      \hbox to 5.78in { {\bf 6.897: Advanced Data Structures } \hfill #2 }
      \hbox to 5.78in { {\Large \hfill #5  \hfill} }
      \hbox to 5.78in { {\em #3 \hfill #4} }

\newcommand{\lecture}[4]{\handout{#1}{#2}{#3}{Scribe: #4}{Lecture #1}}


% 1-inch margins, from fullpage.sty by H.Partl, Version 2, Dec. 15, 1988.
\topmargin 0pt
\advance \topmargin by -\headheight
\advance \topmargin by -\headsep
\textheight 8.9in
\oddsidemargin 0pt
\evensidemargin \oddsidemargin
\marginparwidth 0.5in
\textwidth 6.5in

\parindent 0in
\parskip 1.5ex

A little more recent rendition of this template can be obtained via the code below. Further details are always available via the package manuals.

% ============= Page size margins etc. 
% ============= This offers great flexibility in terms of document size
          letterpaper, % i.e, paperwidth=210mm and paperheight=297mm, 
% =========== Math related stuff
% There are more tools for handling fractions etc.
% but can be left out until the need is obvious
\usepackage{mathtools} %<- Fixes, enhances amsmath package (loads amsmath too so no need to load it)
\usepackage{amssymb,amsthm}% Standard AMS tools 

% =========== Graphics-related stuff
\usepackage{graphicx} % don't load epsfig or psfig

%Let's replicate the handout for demo, I'll call mytitle
\csname @author\endcsname\hfill\myotherdetails%

% Now let's fill it up

\newcommand{\mycourse}{Introduction to Raspberry Jam}
\newcommand{\mytime}{wk 1436.4}
\newcommand{\thisweek}{Generalizations to Berries}
\newcommand{\myotherdetails}{and also this}

\author{Me myself}


\usepackage{kantlipsum} % For dummy text

\begin{theorem}[Fundamental Theorem of Jam] It's gonna be sweet.

enter image description here

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    Oh no, never ever use this. I mean in a very friendly and helpful way. Let me emphasize the never part. – percusse Sep 7 '14 at 18:46
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    @percusse You will be more friendly and more helpful if explain what you recommend instead... – john mangual Sep 7 '14 at 18:48
  • Also true, do you mind if I edit your answer for an alternative? – percusse Sep 7 '14 at 18:48
  • @percusse obviously I need as much help as OP; you have complete permission to make any improvements. Badly TeXed notes are better than none at all, I am afraid. Besides, these are real templates - not just something I made up. – john mangual Sep 7 '14 at 18:50
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    This template seems to consist of a bewildering mixture of (a) calls to obsolete and/or deprecated packages, (b) a failure to use modern packages such as geometry (and, its place, a bevvy of low-level and unstructured TeX macros that look like they haven't been updated since 1988), and (c) the provision of two utterly under-documented macros named \handout and \lecture. No wonder that TeX and LaTeX continue to have a reputation for being difficult to learn and master. – Mico Sep 7 '14 at 18:57

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