Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

“I want to start writing with LaTeX. How can I do it?”

In a previous post I talked about giving the first steps in LaTeX. If you are part of those who wish they could learn LaTeX and find it difficult. This post could help you get started.

When I started with LaTeX I had a reason: typography. The equations in LaTeX looked amazing and I started producing some reports in LaTeX for certain disciplines. However, when the research work became serious, LaTeX tips weren’t easy to find, so I turned to Word for preparing and submit our scientific papers. However, things changed a LOT since then.

If you want to start using LaTeX today, my recommendation is: invest first in online platforms like Sharelatex or Overleaf which are joining forces. Get your templates in Overleaf, but work them in Sharelatex which has a better interface.

Ultimately, if you want to invest in LaTeX, you need to be clear about the reason why. Since LaTeX has a certain learning curve, unless you have a reason, it’s going to be difficult to motivate yourself into the learning process. However, I’d like to help you with that. Thus, to begin, I’m going to share the process I follow with my Master students, which is quite easy. It begins with 2 small and easy steps.

Step 1: Getting your template from Overleaf

There are several sites where you can find LaTeX templates. For academics I’d recommend you Overleaf. In the video below I’ll show you how you can get a template without setting an Overleaf account.


Step 2: Using Sharelatex for writing

I prefer Sharelatex’s interface. It’s fast, makes suggestions while typing, allows comments and tracks changes with an excellent design, and… since Sharelatex and Overleaf are joining, you might as well start with Sharelatex. The video below will help you setup an account and import the template retrieved from Overleaf.


Hope you find these videos useful in starting your journey into writing your papers in LaTeX… today!

Question: What are you waiting for?

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

Leave a Reply