TeX is both a program (which does the typesetting, tex-core) and format (a set of macros that the engine uses, plain-tex)

LaTeX is a generalised set of macros … to set up things like sections, title pages, bibliographies and so on



  • TikZ - package in LaTeX for drawing nice diagrams.

Document classes (LaTex)

Here are some of the more common LaTeX document classes:

Class name Info
beamer For producing presentations and slides.
report Doesn’t support subtitle.
scrreprt KOMA-Script version of report. Supports subtitle.

Getting started on Fedora

Document editor: LyX

LyX is a Linux GUI application which can you can use to write documents and then render to LaTeX or PDF:

dnf install lyx

Installing a style file

To install a TeX .sty file, first see if it’s available in a package. For example, if I want the cancel.sty file, I can see that it’s in the package texlive-cancel:

$ dnf provides "*/cancel.sty"
texlive-cancel-8:svn32508.2.2-25.fc30.noarch : Place lines through maths formulae
  • Lyx layouts are located in /usr/share/lyx/layouts
  • When changing document settings/styles through the dialog boxes, “Save as Document Defaults” will save your preferences to the file ~/.lyx/templates/defaults.lyx

Getting started on macOS

Install MacTeX with Homebrew

brew cask install mactex

Install packages

To use packages (from CTAN), use the TeX Live Utility in the Applications/TeX folder.

  • First TeX Live Utility may need to update core packages
  • Then to update a package, find it in the list, right-click and choose the appropriate option.

Syntax highlighting with minted

Using the minted package:

  • minted uses Pygments for syntax highlighting. Add --shell-escape as a command line argument to pdflatex in TeXShop preferences
  • Ensure Pygments is installed: pip install pygments (Python must be installed first)


“LaTeX Error: File `cancel.sty’ not found.”

  • On Fedora, find which package provides it - e.g. using dnf provides "*/cancel.sty", then install the appropriate package - texlive-cancel