Vincent Goulet
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This section provides some general information on LaTeX as well as some useful hints on using LaTeX in an accented language like French.

General information

  • Everything TeX and LaTeX can be found on CTAN.
  • Pour les débutants, j'ai colligé de la documentation utile (requiert une installation LaTeX; voir ci-dessous). Fouiner également dans la section info de CTAN.
  • To learn LaTeX, I highly recommend Guide to LaTeX, Fourth Edition by Kopka & Daly.
  • The UK TeX User Group FAQ is a must-have source of information, tricks and hints.
  • From CTAN, an exhaustive list of symbols available in LaTeX.
  • Editing TeX/LaTeX documents is made easier by a good text editor such as Emacs or WinEdt.

Free TeX/LaTeX distributions

LaTeX in French (and other accented languages)

The typical problem for new LaTeX users writing in accented languages is to enter these characters easily. The trick is to load a few selected packages.

  • First, in order to type, e.g., «é, à, ê, ...» instead of «\'e, \`a, \^e, ...», one must make sure that the non-ASCII characters will be correctly recognized by LaTeX. This is the role of the package inputenc. The standard encoding nowadays, at least on OS X and Linux, is Unicode UTF-8. Therefore:
    ISO 8859-1 (Latin-1) encoding is also still very common, especially on Windows. In this case:
  • The newer T1 fonts include accendted characters. They are needed for hyphenation to work correctly. They are loaded with fontenc:
  • Use package babel to adapt LaTeX to your language (titles, typography, etc.). If package natbib is used, it should be loaded before babel. So, for example:
  • If the document if to be converted in PDF, the packages ae and aeguill are needed to obtain a good looking document:
  • One does not need these packages when using PostScript fonts such as Times, Palatino, Helvetica, etc. See the documentation for the PSNFSS collection of packages for details.
  • If your language uses the comma as decimal point, loading the package icomma will make editing of mathematical formulas much simpler:


AUCTeX is a powerfull TeX/LaTeX mode for GNU Emacs and XEmacs.

The latest version is always included in my distribution of GNU Emacs.

Statistical tables

Below are LaTeX source files and PDF versions of statistical tables for the normal, chi-square, t (Student) and F (Fisher) distributions. The layout is similar to (ok, copied from) the tables in the appendix of Hogg & Craig (1978).

The quantiles were obtained with R. The .tex files were obtained by processing the *.Rnw files with Sweave. I then made a few modifications by hand to the files since I was not satisfied with the results of function latex of package Hmisc.

Feel free to use these tables as you see fit.

table_chisq.Rnw 1 kB
table_chisq.pdf 92 kB
table_chisq.tex 3 kB
table_f.Rnw 2 kB
table_f.pdf 112 kB
table_f.tex 7 kB
table_norm.Rnw 1 kB
table_norm.pdf 92 kB
table_norm.tex 2 kB
table_t.Rnw 1 kB
table_t.pdf 110 kB
table_t.tex 3 kB