I just finished the course “From scratch to your first document with LaTeX” held by Davide Murari on the Udemy platform. The course allowed me to review some basic concepts and packages necessary for the layout as well as improving the mathematical syntax.


The course deals in a very practical way with everything you need to write the first structured document in LaTeX. It is focused on using LaTeX in a mathematical context but the notions are easily extensible to any field.

The teacher refers to the 80-20 rule, which is a principle according to which more than 80% of what will be needed to actually write in LaTeX can be reached with the knowledge of 20% of the actual functionalities. Principle that, in my case, has proved more than valid, especially given the possibility to expand the functionality of the editor indefinitely by adding additional packages.

Various topics are addressed such as:

  • Editor to write in LaTex and collaborate on documents
  • Create PDF as a document and as slides for presentations
  • Organization in chapters, sections and paragraphs
  • Inline formulas, numbering and special characters
  • Mathematical notation, pseudocode algorithms and codes
  • Custom commands
  • Layout, font and personalization
  • Tables and pictures
  • Bibliography, sources and citations


Also written LATEX and pronounced / ˈlatek / is a markup language for preparing texts based on TEX typesetting. It provides various functions for the layout and production of editorial products such as numbering, cross-references, tables and figures, page organization, bibliographies. It can also make presentations by including the Beamer class.

Therefore It is distributed under a free software license which has made it available for any architecture. Unlike the classic text editors that we are used to seeing, which are based on the WYSIWYG paradigm, with LaTeX you write a text essentially worrying about the content. It will be the editor who takes care, during the compilation phase, of the actual form. The WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) paradigm collides with the WYSIWYM (What You See is What You Mean) approach. This allows the author to deal only with the conventions initially and then concentrate only on the content leaving the form to the semi-automated conventions of the editor.

Documents can be written using different classes as well as standard formats, such as:

  • book,
  • article
  • letters
  • report
  • beamer

Add to this the ability to find and create a huge number of custom classes to meet specific editorial needs.

Furthermore, the language has found wide diffusion in the academic world thanks to the quick and clean layout of mathematical formulas, which is then also used in most commercial word processors.

For example:

\nabla \times\bold E =-j\omega \mu \bold H\quad \\
\nabla \times\bold  H =j\omega \epsilon \bold E+\bold J \quad  \\
\nabla \cdot\bold  D=\rho \quad  \\
\nabla \cdot \bold B=0 \quad 
\nabla \times\bold E =-j\omega \mu \bold H\quad \\
\nabla \times\bold  H =j\omega \epsilon \bold E+\bold J \quad  \\
\nabla \cdot\bold  D=\rho \quad  \\
\nabla \cdot \bold B=0 \quad 


A very simple and smart text editor for LaTeX is also shown in the course. The editor in question, Overleaf, is available online and also allows you to work in sharing. It is very convenient and allows you to automatically proceed with the insertion of new environments. In addition, it contains several templates and additional packages.

For example:

To the ease of use is added the ability to keep a history of documents, observing what has been added and removed and the ability to restore previous versions. Everything is online and therefore allows you to access your work from anywhere in the world or to work synchronized files offline from Dropbox and GitHub.

For example, to initialize a document:


\date{October 2021}