For Windows machines:
- Download and install MiKTeX, here. This must be the first step!
- Download TeXnicCenter, here. This is the program that I like to use and can help you out with if you have problems. There are other programs that are also open source, including one that comes with the MiKTeX installation file. Feel free to use any program that you like. However, if you run into difficulties, TeXnicCenter is really the only one I can help you troubleshoot.
- To help with equations, try exploring the codecogs website.
The IEEE.cls file
Download the example .zip file. The easiest thing to do is to modify the example file directly for your technical report.
- All drawings should be done in a vector-based drawing program. I like CorelDraw. A free option that looks interesting is Inkscape, although I have no experience with it.
- Draw your figures the correct size for the publication. This allows you to ensure the fonts sizes are correct and uniform across all of your figures.
- From Corel Draw choose "Publish to PDF" in the File menu. If you make sure that the paper size is just big enough to fit your drawing, then you should be fine. If you need to crop it, there are several online websites that will crop a .pdf.
A few useful tips and techniques.
- The wikipedia entry for TeX is here.
- Set the output of TeXnicCenter to output .pdf files (as opposed to .dvi or .ps files). This can be set in a white box pull-down menu.
- LaTeX uses BibTeX to create the references. Wikipedia has a good description of BibTex. However, there is really no need for references in any of the technical papers in this class.
- You have to build the file three times to get the references correct. Once they are correct, you only have to build the file once.