©2019 by Daniel P. Gross

Software

Below are a handful of tutorials and other resources for learning Stata, MATLAB, Python, and LaTeX which were useful to me in grad school. (Note: This list was compiled in 2013. Some of the links below may have broken since this page was made, and more generally the resources may be slightly dated.)

Stata

Online Tutorials

UCLA Resources for Stata

Princeton Stata Tutorial

Official Bookstore

Stata Bookstore: Stata publishes several great books for both introductory and advanced topics. Cameron and Trivedi's "Microeconometrics Using Stata" and Baum's "An Introduction to Stata Programming" have been very useful.

 

MATLAB

 

Tutorials
MATLAB Primer

 

Python

Tutorials
How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python (recommended)
"Official" Python Tutorial

 

LaTeX

Tutorials, Reference Manuals

A Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX2e (recommended)

LaTeX "Unofficial Manual"

 

Helpful References

LaTeX2e Cheat Sheet

Comprehensive LaTeX Symbols List

 

Distributions for various OS

For Windows: MiKTeX

For Mac OS X: MacTeX

For Linux/Unix: TeX Live

 

Overleaf
Overleaf is a fantastic new resource for LaTeX composition. It allows you to create and edit LaTeX documents in a browser-integrated application, saving everything in the cloud, providing version control, and allowing multiple authors to work on the same files in real time. The service is still developing but it's already pretty good.

 

LyX as an alternative to LaTeX
LyX is a document processor that serves as a WYSIWYG front-end for LaTeX typesetting, occupying a middle ground between word processing and LaTeX code. It can speed up composition and give you a better visual sense of how your output will look when typeset, at the cost of total control over the underlying code. (Note that the LyX installer comes packaged with a standard LaTeX distribution for each OS, which you'll have to install if you don't already have one, but you can otherwise bypass.)

 

TikZ
Have you ever seen papers with models accompanied by really good-looking graphics? Or class notes with crisp illustrations of supply and demand curves? You can make them with TikZ, which was designed for use within TeX (and shares similar features of its syntax) to make vector graphics from user-provided instructions. TikZ can draw nearly anything you can dream up: shapes, functions, network diagrams, etc. This minimal introduction to TikZ describes the features most likely to be useful to economists. The following resources may also be helpful.
  TikZ/PGF manual: TikZ Manual
  WYSIWYG TikZ editor: TikzEdt

Converting Excel tables to LaTeX

Excel2LaTeX is an Excel add-on that you can use point-and-click to generate LaTeX tables from Excel tables. This can be especially useful if you want to use Excel to prepare tables with custom formatting that is difficult to specify in code.

Text Editors

 

Notepad++ can recognize and highlight your syntax, give you advanced editing options (like regex find/replace, or side-by-side file comparison), and handle large files without crashing. It recognizes virtually every file extension except for *.do files. To add a user-defined dictionary for recognizing Stata syntax, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the following link and "Save As" userDefineLang.xml

  2. Copy the saved file to Application Data. For Windows: Go to Start  -> Run, type "%APPDATA%\Notepad++". Hit Enter. Copy the XML file  into this folder. For Mac: Press Win + R, type "%APPDATA%\Notepad++".  Hit Enter. Copy the XML file into this folder.

 

Last updated: December 2013