LaTeX

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\(\LaTeX\) is “the” standard document preparation system in economics and finance (and many other fields that are math-intensive, such as mathematics, physics, computer science, statistics, etc.). Nowadays writing a paper without using \(\LaTeX\) will signal that your research is not serious, so all Ph.D. students seeking academic jobs should learn how to use \(\LaTeX\) at an early stage. (A good commitment device is to typeset all homework assignments with \(\LaTeX\).) The fixed cost of learning is high, but the marginal cost of creating complex documents is really low! Since there are abundant online resources on \(\LaTeX\), I will list only a few links that I feel particularly useful.

  1. MiKTeX is a no-brainer \(\LaTeX\) distribution for Windows.
  2. LaTeX Wikibook is an online tutorial for using \(\LaTeX\).
  3. Although any text editor can be used to create \(\LaTeX\) documents, there are many that are developed specifically for the use with \(\LaTeX\). See here for a comparison of various editors. After experimenting with many of them, I have converged to TeXstudio.
  4. When you write research papers, you need to create a reference list. See here for how to manage the bibliography. JabRef is a useful reference manager compatible with BibTeX.
  5. Here is a writing tip.
  6. TikZ lets you draw nice pictures. I also like the tkz package (especially tkz-euclide) for Euclidean geometry, though the documentation is in French.
  7. The moderncv package lets you create a nice CV. What I especially like is that you can create arbitrary categories of reference lists and list them reverse-chronologically. For example, see my CV.
  8. The exam package lets you write exams, with or without solutions.
  9. See here for how to write \(\LaTeX\) documents using official letterheads from your institution. Click here for an example that uses the official UCSD letterhead designed for the Economics Department.
  10. Here is a style file that I use whenever I write papers.
  11. For writing coauthored papers, I share a Dropbox folder with my coauthors and copy my style file and .bib file (using a syncing software in order to keep it up to date) to that folder so that my coauthors can compile the shared documents without doing anything special.
  12. When you get stuck or want to do something with \(\LaTeX\) but don’t know what or how to do, just google it. Oftentimes the search will lead you to LaTeX Stack Exchange, which is quite useful for resolving your questions.