Creating Your First PDF with LaTeX and Atom

This tutorial will walk you through the steps of creating your first PDF with LaTeX and Atom. This guide focuses on installing LaTeX and Atom on a Mac, but since Atom is a cross-platform editor, most of the instructions should work on Windows and Linux as well. You will need about an hour to download everything and to produce your first PDF.

See our previous tutorials on creating PDFs with LaTeX and SublimeText:

Making your first PDF with LaTeX and Sublime Text 2

Making your first PDF with LaTeX and Sublime Text 2 for Mac

Install MacTex

Download MacTeX. MacTeX installs everything you need to compile tex files into PDFs. This will take a while, so grab a coffee.

Install Atom

If you haven’t already, download the awesome Atom text editor Atom text editor. Atom is awesome because it is open source and supported by GitHub.

On my MacBook Pro running Yosemite, I clicked on the “Download For Mac” buttun, then openned the downloaded atom-mac.zip. In Finder, just drag “Atom” to your Applications folder. You can then find Atom in your Applications folder or launch it from Spotlight. The first time you open Atom, press the “Open” button to trust Atom if prompted.

Install Skim (for previewing PDFs)

LatexTools makes use of Skim for previewing works-in-progress. Download and install Skim. On OS X Yosemite, I installed version 1.4.17.

To make Skim trusted so that the preview will work, open Skim by holding down the control key while clicking on the Skim icon in the “Applications” folder in Finder. Click “Open” at the prompt.

Install LatexTools

Open the “Settings” tab by pressing `Command+`` or using the menu “Atom > Preferences…”.

Click on the “Install” tab on the left. Type in language-latex and click the “Install” button in the language-latex package box. I installed version 0.6.1. This package provides syntax highlighting that will make working with TeX much more enjoyable.

Next Type in latextools and install the latextools package.

Create a tex source file

Create a new file if you don’t already have one up (you should see a tab titled “untitled” if you already have a new file open). To create a new file go to “File > New File” in the menu or use the keyboard shortcut Command+N.

In the new file paste the following TeX sample:

\documentclass{article}
\title{Title}
\author{Your Name}
\begin{document}
\maketitle{}
\section{Introduction}
This is where you will write your content.
\end{document}

Save this file as sample.tex. You should now see that the content is now recognized by the syntax highlighter (see all the pretty colors?).

Build and view your PDF

To build this PDF, use the following keyboard shortcut: Command+Alt+B (i.e., all three of those keys at the same time). If that doesn’t work, check your keybindings in the “Settings” tab, in the “Keybindings” tab on the left. Type in latextools:build to see what the command for your system is. On a Mac (i.e., “Darwin”) the keybinding should read alt-cmd-b, for Windowss and Linux the default is probably ctrl-alt-b.

Conclusion

Hopefully now you have your first PDF ready to show off to all your neighbors. If not, let me know in the comments below so I can update the tutorial.

R for Impact Evaluation: R and Stata Side-by-side

bigorb

This tutorial follows the Handbook on Impact Evaluation: Quantitative Methods and Practices, chapter 11. The data files we will use can be downloaded from here. The first part of Chapter 11 is covered in Impact Evaluation on a Budget: World Bank Data and R. Notes on Commands Stata commands are typed in lowercase, R commands […]

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Impact Evaluation on a Budget: World Bank Data and R

bigorb

Introduction This entry will be the first in a series where we go through all of the Stata exercises in the World Bank’s excellent and free Handbook on Impact Evaluation: Quantitative Methods and Practices written by S. Khandker, G. Koolwal and H. Samad in 2009. The book can be downloaded for free here. The book […]

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The Economist Illustrated: China

china

Illustrated by: Joel Hopler The Inspiration Economic growth: Missing the mat Illustrator’s Notes I found the initial metaphor of China’s growth targets being “more like the bar of a high jump” interesting. I thought the high jump imagery, used later in the article in the context of China giving its own economy a boost, would […]

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Google Charts and CSV Part 3: Side-by-Side Bubble Charts

side_by_side

Introduction If you haven’t already, go ahead and take a look at the previous two installments of this series (Easy Data Visualization with Google Charts and a CSV and More Google Charts with a CSV: Bubble Charts). Today we’re going to take the bubble chart from More Google Charts with a CSV: Bubble Charts and […]

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The Economist Illustrated: Kazakhstan

kazakhstan

Illustrated by: Joel Hopler The Inspiration Kazakhstan’s capital: Laying the golden egg Illustrator’s Notes I initially thought it would be ironic to show a golden egg of happiness being held up by a beautiful piece of architecture to symbolize how the president of Kazakhstan is hoarding the people’s happiness. Then I re-read the part of […]

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More Google Charts with a CSV: Bubble Charts

bubble_cover

Last time we built an interactive scatter plot. This time we’re going to turn that scatter plot into a bubble chart (see a preview of the finished product here). Start by openning up the HTML document we created last time. You can see the source here or expand the section below: Add Controls for Size […]

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The Economist Illustrated: China

china_sea_turtle

Illustrated by: Joel Hopler The Inspiration Returning students: Plight of the sea turtles Illustrator’s Notes The article made it clear that the sea turtle concept is no longer working in its intended way, so I thought a skeleton of a turtle would illustrate that well. I pointed the turtle westward and labeled it with it’s […]

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Easy Data Visualization with Google Charts and a CSV

Interactive Chart

Static figures work fine for a print publication. However, when you want to present your research or collected data online, static is stale and dynamic is alive. Today we’re going to take a CSV and create a simple, but interactive, scatter plot. This tutorial assumes some basic familiarity with HTML and JavaScript. If you don’t […]

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The Economist Illustrated: China

china_bull

Illustrated by: Joel Hopler The Inspiration China’s cash crunch: Bear in the China shop Illustrator’s Notes This article left me with the impression that China has potential to rebalance their economy. While the article largely focuses on bearish Chinese lending, the point is made that the Chinese government has effective controls to bring back the […]

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