This reference introduces you to the LaTeX packages I load using a snippet every time I start a new LaTeX document (using the *article* document class). Before you read through my examples, you should familiarize yourself with the `texdoc`

command. This command can be entered in a command prompt followed by the package you want to look up (e.g., `texdoc amsthm`

). This will present you with a manual for the package in PDF form. A web-friendly alternative is `http://texdoc.net/pkg/packagename`

, where `packagename`

is replaced with the desired package (e.g., `amsthm`

).

`amsmath`

and `amssymb`

`amsmath`

Documentation `amssymb`

Documentation These indispensible packages make the formatting of mathematics a breeze. `amsmath`

includes support for all manner of equations, multi-line equations, matrices, etc. `amssymb`

provides support for many mathematical symbols. See, for example, the real-number and natural-number set notation using the `mathbb`

command:

\begin{equation} \mathbb{N} \in \mathbb{R} \end{equation}

(Here’s a link to a handy symbol reference and a complete symbol reference)

`amsthm`

`amsthm`

Documentation I use this to make nicely formatted theorems. First you need to add the following line to your preamble:

\newtheorem{thm}{Theorem}

You could, in fact, change `thm`

and `Theorem`

to any other pair of environment tag and displayed name you want. For example, changing `thm`

to `axm`

and `Theorem`

to `Axiom`

will allow you to have nicely formatted axioms (or lemmas or squirrels or … you get the point). The next step is using your newly created environment to identify the theorems in your text:

\begin{axm} Agents have rational expectations. \end{axm}

`ctable`

`ctable`

Documentation While it may take a moment to get used to these tables compared to those available by default, the slight learning curve is totally worth it. Here’s a quick example of a table using the `ctable`

package:

\ctable[ caption=Table Title label=tbl:tblname ]{ccc}{ \tnote[]{This note does not have a corresponding mark} \tnote[a]{This note does have a mark} }{ \toprule ~ & Cooperate & Defect \\ %\midrule % midrules are useful for tables with a clear heading row Cooperate & (8,8) & (0,10) \\ Defect & (10,0) & (3,3) \\ \bottomrule }

`fullpage`

`fullpage`

Documentation I use this package to use up more of the white space LaTeX leaves by default. To use it, simply include the package.

`graphicx`

`graphicx`

Documentation This is the *de facto* king of graphics packages. Sublime Text 2 includes a handy snippet triggered by typing `bfigure`

then pressing the `TAB`

key:

\begin{figure}[tb] \begin{center} \includegraphics[]{} \end{center} \caption{Caption here} \label{fig:figure1} \end{figure}

Now all you need to do is add the filename to the snippet. Suppose you want to add an image called *picture1.png* which is located in the same folder as your LaTeX source (i.e., the *.tex file). Simply add `picture1`

like so:

\includegraphics[width=\textwidth]{picture1}

You can also leave the width option blank, or set the width to a specific measurement (e.g., `width=4in`

). I have found the LaTeX wikibook an immensely useful resource when working with graphics in LaTeX.

`microtype`

`microtype`

Documentation `microtype`

improves the look of your document with the magic of microtypography. In brief, `microtype`

adjusts font widths and the protrusion of punctuation to make lines look more evenly spaced and aligned. Like `fullpage`

, `microtype`

can be activated by simply including it.

`natbib`

`natbib`

Documentation `natbib`

takes care of citation formatting. I like to use the `apalike`

option to sidestep the inconsistencies of author-name formatting in my BibTeX file:

\bibliographystyle{apalike}

`setspace`

`setspace`

Documentation This package makes it simple to change the spacing of your document. I often print my drafts in 1.5 spacing:

\onehalfspacing

# Closing Remarks

There are many packages not mentioned here (see the big list for some examples). My hope is this has given you a good starting point. Be sure to check out my tutorial on setting up snippets in Sublime Text 2 for a slick way to load these packages with each new document.