LaTeX Tutorial videos from ShareLaTeX

Learning LaTeX without a ‘local guide’ can be a challenge: it’s one of the reasons I’m involved in running training courses for UK-TUG. The people behind ShareLaTeX have decided to make a series of videos aimed at newer LaTeX users, covering the basics of LaTeX use, writing a thesis and also some more advanced topics (TikZ and beamer, for example).

There are currently about 25 videos, and I’ve watched all of the ‘basic’ ones (the LaTeX beginners series and the thesis series). The quality and presentation is pretty good: as well as well produced videos there are also transcripts for all of them, and of course the demos are available on ShareLaTeX. Of course, there are a few things I’d tackle differently, but the overall picture is pretty impressive. They’ve put a lot of work into the videos, and if you work through carefully (and take time to try the demos yourself) them I think you’ll get a good grounding in using LaTeX.

LaTeX training: in demand

As part of my activity for UK-TUG, I and a couple of other members ran a training event last week in London: LaTeX for beginners. This is the third time we’ve run a similar course, and I think that this was the best presentation we’ve given to date. The slides and handouts seem to work pretty well, and the timing and so forth is now becoming a lot clearer!

Coming away from the event, what is most notable is the demand for LaTeX training. We’ve run the same course three times in just over a year, and I’ve currently got a waiting list which will easily fill the next presentation. At the same time, we get asked a lot about an intermediate-level course, and so we’ve made a start on assembling some slides for that, too.

On the course itself, we had a number of people from publishing backgrounds, and again there are more on the waiting list. So it’s clear that LaTeX continues to be a significant player, at least in the UK, in the publishing world.

Depending on availability of help, I’m hoping that we can run one course early in the new year, and another at around Easter. So this will be keeping me busy for a while!

Demand for LaTeX training

As part of my activities with the UK TeX Users’ Group, I’m helping to set up and run a LaTeX training course at the end of the month. Unlike other courses I’ve seen in the UK, we are running this one as ‘open to all’ for a pretty nominal fee. What’s surprised me is that it has proved to be very popular indeed. We had 25 places, and they were all used up some time ago. My list of people who are interested in another similar course has now reached 29 names, which probably means that we can fill a second course without any more effort at all! I hope that we’ll be able to do a second course at some stage in the autumn: as you might imagine the problem is availability of time for people to actually do it. Of course, I’m happy to hear about anyone else interested in registering, as I’ll add them to the list for the second course and any others that end up being run. New LaTeX users are a good thing, and so I’m keen to train as many people as show an interest.