Creating a LaTeX document on a Mac involves a few steps. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

1. Install a TeX Distribution:

A TeX distribution contains the necessary tools and binaries to compile LaTeX documents. For macOS, the most popular distribution is MacTeX.

  1. Go to the MacTeX website:
  2. Download the latest MacTeX distribution.
  3. Once downloaded, open the .pkg file to start the installation process and follow the on-screen instructions.

2. Install a LaTeX Editor:

While you can use any text editor to write LaTeX code, it’s convenient to use a dedicated LaTeX editor because they typically offer features like syntax highlighting, live preview, and integrated compilation. Some popular options for macOS include:

  • TeXShop: This comes with the MacTeX distribution. It’s a basic, user-friendly editor and is great for beginners.
  • TeXstudio: This is a feature-rich and open-source editor available for various platforms, including macOS.
  • Overleaf: This isn’t a standalone editor but an online platform. It’s great for collaborative writing.

3. Create Your First LaTeX Document:

For this example, I’ll describe the process using TeXShop:

  1. Open TeXShop.
  2. Start a new document.
  3. Write or paste the following sample LaTeX code:

\title{My First LaTeX Document}
\author{Your Name}

    Welcome to my first LaTeX document on Mac!
    Here's the quadratic formula:
    x = \frac{-b \pm \sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}
  1. Save the file with a .tex extension.
  2. In TeXShop, click on the “Typeset” button to compile the document. This will produce a PDF output.

That’s it! You’ve just created and compiled your first LaTeX document on Mac. As you become more accustomed to LaTeX, you’ll find a wealth of packages and tools available to help format and structure your documents exactly as you desire.