This will be an introductory lecture on writing documents with LaTeX, and a second hands-on session. LaTeX is a document preparation system that allows authors to typeset and print using a predefined, professional layout. LaTeX is often used for writing scientific publications due to its superior support for writing equations, handling citations through BibTeX and formatting documents in a uniform way.
This is achieved by moving away from the WYSIWYG paradigm of word processors like Microsoft Word, OpenOffice Writer and Google Docs. Instead of focusing on what your document looks like, LaTeX lets you focus on what it is saying by handling layout issues for you based on semantically meaningful commands you insert in the text.
These lectures will introduce LaTeX and BibTeX and show you how to use these tools to write scientific documents. Among other things we will cover using citations and references, figures, tables, equations and predefined templates.
LaTeX itself doesn't normally come with a graphical user interface or editor. If you're using Mac OS X, you can get MacTeX which supposedly does contain an editor. If you want an editor on other platforms, I recommend getting that first because they might give you instructions about which LaTeX distribution to get. On Windows, I'm using TeXnicCenter with MiKTeX. Another good distribution with more features is proTeXt. Some good looking cross-platform options that I haven't really tried are TeXstudio, Texmaker and you can find more here. To get a LaTeX distribution on Linux, it is probably best to check your package manager first. Otherwise, you can manually get TeX Live.
These lectures have no required reading, but I can recommend the following introductory texts:
You could also try reading the original book:
I also heartily recommend these sites: