Getting Started with LaTeX to Write a Maths Book

Martin McBride
Technological Singularity
9 min readMay 31, 2024

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LaTeX logo rendered by author, in LaTeX, using the \LaTeX macro

I recently decided to write a book, based in part on articles I have published here.

Writing a maths book presents particular challenges. It is likely to contains a lot of images, and even more formulas.

My book will probably contain hundreds of formulas. It is important to find a way of handling them that not only creates a result that looked good for the reader but also that allows me to work efficiently without being driven crazy by the writing process.

I ultimately chose to use LaTeX, but not before considering two alternatives — MS Word, or Markdown. I have used both these tools for other books, but they were software engineering books rather than maths books.

In this article, I will explain why I made the switch. But the main thing I want to do is demonstrate that LaTeX is actually quite easy to use. I will do that by presenting a minimal, very short book in LaTeX. It includes everything you need to know to create a decent-looking maths book that you wouldn’t be ashamed to publish.

Of course, I am not saying this article contains absolutely everything you need to know to write a maths book in LaTeX. For example, you might want to make stylistic changes to give your book a bit of character — those are things you can experiment with as you go along.

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