[setup, latex, atom, editor]


The first step is to setup a \(\TeX\) distribution on your machine.

  1. If you haven’t done it yet, you can read our guide on how to install $\LaTeX$:

  1. Once you’ve installed it, you’ll need a text editor to work with. We recommend Atom, a free and cross-platform editors with great functions and extra packages. You can download Atom from its official website or read the instructions from our Building Block. Another great solution is Visual Studio Code.

  2. The last piece of the puzzle: let’s setup Atom so that it can run $\LaTeX$. By default, Atom can only work as a general text editor with your .tex files. Luckily, there are a number of (free) Atom packages that we can install to boost its functionalities and transform it into a proper $\LaTeX$ editor:

    • latex, a package that allows Atom to compile $\LaTeX$ code: download here
    • language-latex, a package for syntax highlighting: download here
    • (Optional) pdf-view, a package for viewing PDF files side-by-side while you work: download here


Before starting to write anything, let’s setup a directory for this project.

Make a new folder wherever you prefer on your local disk. Then launch Atom, create a new file, and save it with a .tex file extension in said folder.

You’re finally ready to start writing your first $\LaTeX$ document!