Step-by-step instructions for the LaTeX newcomer

  1. Go to and sign up for an account.
  2. Go to the ACAL Proceedings Quick Reference Guide and click on “Open as Template.”
  3. Once the Quick Reference Guide opens, read about how LaTeX works (… and Overleaf, and our Quick Reference Guide and Template). It is designed to help people who know nothing about LaTeX and who are perhaps even skittish about computational things to learn LaTeX. (For what it’s worth, the template has a relatively successful track record in that respect!)
  4. Once you open the Quick Reference Guide (if your browser was logged into your account) you now own a copy of that project. So you can experiment by adding to the document, or deleting from the document. If you make an error or “break” something, you can always go back to ACAL Proceedings Quick Reference Guide and click on “Open as Template” again, and you will own an additional new copy of the original project.
  5. Like Google Docs, Overleaf saves automatically so there is no “Save” button. But if you want to see how your edits affect the typeset document, press “Recompile.”
  6. To start putting your paper into LaTeX, our recommendation for beginners is to open a new tab in your web browser, and go to our ACAL Proceedings BLANK Paper Template, , and click “Open as Template.” This will open a completely blank template which you can edit. Again, having opened it, you now own this project in Overleaf.
  7. Go to where it says “INSERT TEXT HERE” and, well, insert your own text there. Following the formatting instructions from the Quick Reference Guide, you can being to copy your paper into this document. We recommend going paragraph by paragraph, or section by section, and recompiling after you have done the relevant formatting. This will ensure that if issues arise, it is easier to find what is causing the issue.
  8. As always, you can contact us at [email protected] for help.