This will be focused on the German language, so be aware that most of the formatting settings are German !

Accompanying Document

General

  • % marks the end of a line.
  • Leading spaces are allways ignored.
  • Line breaks are done automatically.
  • An empty line forces a new paragragh.
  • On the editor side, whitespaces are mainly ignored. $\LaTeX$ handles those itself !

Document Structure

A $\LaTeX$ document consists of the content you want to provide and some commands. Those commands all start with a "\". In general there are two types of commands. Most of the time you will use something like \commandname[optional parameters]. The parameters can be required in curly brackets as well, then you need to provide the parameters asked for.

First Commands

To have the bare essentials to work with, we'll quickly go through the basics:

\documentclass{classname}

This command defines the type of the document you're going to use. Common (German!) classes are scrartcl, scrreprt or scrbook - depending on the size of the document you're going to provide.

usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

This command defines the inputtype. This enables e.g. the usage of ä, ö and ü.

begin/end{document}

Starts a scope. This is where you'll mainly write your text.

A first step

For the first and simplest document, we'll do the following:

\documentclass{scrartcl}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputencr}

\begin{document}
This is my first \LaTeX document!
\end{document}

This "boring" first example shows all of the basics, and reduces the psychological barrier to using $\LaTeX$.
Write along and experiment a little. Then feel free to return to Volume 2 - for some information on alignment options !