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Software Help for Engineers

Last Updated: 4-Feb-2015

Stanford offers many types of software for students to use in support of classes including MATLAB, SolidWorks, ArcGIS, LaTeX, Multimedia editing packages and Excel.  This guide can help you identify where you can get assistance with some of those software packages or with computational, statistical and data analysis.  If you have more information you'd like to see added or other software packages that need documenting, please contact the page editors.

Subject Librarians

Kathleen Gust
Engineering Librarian for Outreach Instruction and Electronic Resources
(650) 723-8877
Head of the Terman Engineering Library
(650) 725-1012
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Sarah Lester
Engineering Librarian for Outreach, Instruction and Electronic Resources
(650) 725-1018
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Advanced Excel

Social Science Data and Software (SSDS), in Green Library Bing Wing,  Room 120F can help with Excel.  SSDS provides support for faculty, students and staff in finding and getting social science data and in selecting and using quantitative and qualitative software.  Stanford doctoral students act as software consultants for the service. 

You may also want to look at this online guide to Excel, "Using Excel for Statistical Analysis" on the SSDS Web site.

Microsoft also provides brief video tutorials on aspects of Excel 2013 on the officevideos channel at YouTube.    31 videos; 2 hours, 17 minutes total.

Geospatial Software

ArcGIS, Google Earth, Qgis, and Landserf are some of the software types supported by the  Stanford Geospatial Center in the Branner Earth Sciences Library.   The Center offers ArcGIS workshops every two weeks as well as other GIS program tutorials.  Visit their web site for schedules.


There is a brief "Getting Started" guide at the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network.  There are also free tutorials sites.

Since TeX predates the Internet, let alone the web, it has a long tradition of documentation being available in book form, be sure to check the SearchWorks online catalog for books and e-books on LaTeX. is an active question and answer site for new (and experienced) TeX users.  It is free and does not require registration to use. A weekly newsletter is available.

Overleaf is a new collaborative writing and publishing system developed by the team behind the popular WriteLaTeX editor. Overleaf is designed to make the process of writing, editing and producing scientific papers much quicker for both authors and publishers. Overleaf/WriteLaTeX can also be linked to your Mendeley account for quick import of your Mendeley reference library.

The Stanford University Libraries are sponsoring a one year free trial of Overleaf/WriteLaTeX for all students, faculty and staff who would like to use a collaborative, online LaTeX editor for their projects.



MathWorks offers an interactive tutorial designed for students.  The tutorial is offered in 10 minute segments and takes about 2 hours to complete.

CVX101 is a Stanford course that might be helpful, which includes a module on learning MATLAB with links to many YouTube videos on different aspects of using the program.

If you have MATLAB related questions then you can get help from the MATLAB community.

Multimedia Studio Software

Many of the  student consultants who work at the The Tech Desk in Lathrop Library are trained in image, audio, and video editing applications, in support of the Multimedia Studio and the Multimedia Production class.  You can reach them during drop-in hours.  A list of the software they support can be found on the Academic Computing website.  

Stanford affiliates can check out/use specialized equipment and software for image, audio, and video editing, including Apple Final Cut Studio, Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection, cameras, flatbed scanners, world-format VCRs, and dual-monitor displays.  Multimedia machines running high-end software are located in the Multimedia Studio at Lathrop Library, the Information Center in Green Library, and the Art Library. 


The Terman Engineering Library is the place to get your SolidWorks education edition software (SU students, factulty and staff only).  Inquire at the front desk for a four hour loan of the thumbdrive or DVD to download the program to your computer.  Read more about system requirements on the Terman Engineering Library Software page.

SolidWorks offers white papers  and five comprehensive learning modules with in-depth video tutorials to guide you through using the software and the engineering design process.  You can also get help with the software by joining the Stanford Product Realization Lab where you can turn your drawings into reality.