Lesson 4

Document titles

LaTeX offers some logical markup for the title of documents: three commands to set up ‘meta-data’ and one to use it.

\author{A.~N.~Other \and D.~Nobacon}
\title{Some things I did}
\date{1st April 2020}

Some normal text.

As you can see, the commands \author, \title and \date save information, and \maketitle uses it. You can also separate multiple authors with \and. The commands \author, \title and \date need to come before \maketitle. Here, we’ve given them in the document body: they can also be used in the preamble, but if you use babel shortcuts they won’t be active there.

The design provided by \maketitle depends on the document class (see lesson 5). There is a titlepage environment for when you want to do custom design, but this is out of the scope of this introduction. If you want to do your own document designs you can either use a customisable class, such as memoir, or start with one of LaTeX’s base classes, like book and use it as a starting point.

Descriptive lists

In addition to the “ordered” and “unordered” types of lists, LaTeX provides another one, less common: the “descriptive lists”.


\item[Dog:] member of the genus Canis, which forms part of the wolf-like canids,
  and is the most widely abundant terrestrial carnivore.
\item[Cat:] domestic species of small carnivorous mammal. It is the only
  domesticated species in the family Felidae and is often referred to as the
  domestic cat to distinguish it from the wild members of the family.



Try setting up different \author, \title and \date information to test out \maketitle. Which of them do you have to give? Do the commands have to have an author, a title and a date in them?

Make some descriptive lists, and nest some of them inside another ones (ordered, unordered or descriptive).