Tag Archives: LaTeX

LaTeX Help Forums

Many of us have a love/hate relationship with LaTeX. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

So where can you go when you need help?

Online forums are a great place to find answers. I rely on them a lot since few of my departmental colleagues use LaTeX. Here are some of the best English language ones.

LaTeX Community latex-community.org

Self-styled as ‘the world’s LaTeX knowledge,’ the LaTeX Community forum comes pretty close. The topics covered are comprehensive, the forum has thousands of users, and, most importantly of all, questions get answered quickly.

LaTeX Community was founded by the developer of TeXnicCenter in 2007 and has forged links with other specialist sites such as , and a number of German-language forums.

According to Stefan Kottwitz, maintainer of the site,

The goal is to provide the best support for LaTeX friends in every possible way. Because we love LaTeX.

I have posted several questions here over the years and have always found a solution to my problem.

TeX – LaTeX tex.stackexchange.com

TeX – LaTeX is a ‘question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt and related typesetting systems.’

This question and answer site grew out of the Stack Overflow forum and the LaTeX-related content was migrated to the dedicated TeX – LaTeX page from 2011.

Thanks to the forum’s reputation model, users who post a question can get a sense of whether or not the people who answer know what they’re talking about.

TUG tug.org

The TeX Users Group (TUG) maintains a large number of email discussion lists that are open to the public: http://tug.org/mailman/listinfo/.

For general questions about LaTeX, the texhax group would be the best place to start. This particular list has been going since the 1980s in one form or another.

LaTeX Training Course in Cambridge

The UK TeX Users Group is organising another introductory LaTeX course on April 15th, 2011 in Cambridge.

Using LaTeX to Write a Thesis

This course is aimed at beginners and will cover a range of topics connected with writing a dissertation in LaTeX, including:

  • Installing LaTeX for the first time
  • Creating a document
  • Document structure
  • Graphics
  • Managing a bibliography with BibTeX

Registration

The course only costs £10, so I imagine places will be taken very quickly.

To register, e-mail Joseph Wright <joseph.wright@morningstar2.co.uk> and include:

  • Your completed UK-TUG membership form as an attachment (a year’s membership is included in the course fee)
  • Details of your LaTeX experience (if any), including which operating system you use
  • What your general subject area is (to help plan the course content)

Useful Links

Full details of the course and more information about booking conditions are posted here: http://uk.tug.org/2011/03/12/latex-training-course-15th-april-2011-cambridge/

Thesis and Dissertation Templates for LaTeX

Typesetting a document as large and complex as a doctoral dissertation is never going to be an easy task, but there’s no need to start from scratch. There are lots of templates freely available online to get you started.

Here are a range of templates from European and American universities. Although many have been produced by science departments, most of these templates are easily adapted for the purposes of humanities students.

**Note that not all of these are official university templates.**

Italian Thesis Template

An Italian template called toptesi is available through CTAN and can be modified for both undergraduate and graduate dissertations. Its multilanguage support makes it a good option for humanities students.

Thanks to Fulvio Corno for bringing this template to my attention.

UK University Thesis Templates

The UK TeX Users Group has compiled the following list of university thesis templates for the UK:

Out of all the templates on this list I liked the ones from the University of Southampton and the University of Cambridge the most.

The University of Southampton offers a range of templates in addition to one for a PhD dissertation. There are also templates for a CV, conference paper and reports.

The thesis template from the Cambridge University Engineering Department is pretty basic, but it’s well put together and has good documentation. The latest version is from July 2010.

US University Thesis Templates

This is only a selection of the templates available out there, but here are some of the better (or at least more recent) ones.

I particularly liked the template that Jeffrey Dwoskin put together to comply with the Princeton dissertation guidelines.

Check Your University’s Formatting Regulations

Once you’ve found a suitable template it’s really important to check what formatting specifications your university requires for the final version of the dissertation. Then you can adjust your generic template accordingly.

For example, the university regulations are likely to specify the page size, line spacing, font size, single- or double-sided printing, etc. They may also set out the requirements for the front matter of the dissertation, such as your name, dissertation title, degree for which it is submitted, a declaration of originality, etc.

Useful Links

LaTeX Training Course at Oxford University

For those of you who missed the UK TeX Users Group and University of East Anglia course back in July, there’s another LaTeX training session happening at Oxford this October.

An Introduction to LaTeX

The Department for Continuing Education at Oxford University is organising a full-day course on October 16th.

It is aimed at beginners and will cover creating documents (including letters), graphics and bibliography.

Registration

The course costs £50 and enrolment is either online or by downloading an application form – both available on the course webpage:

http://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=O10P133MAJ

LaTeX Training Course – Update

I’ve just discovered that the LaTeX course organised by the UK TeX Users Group and the University of East Anglia is now fully booked.

There’s clearly a need for introductory courses like these!

Future Courses

It sounds like the UK TeX Users Group will repeat this course later in the year if there’s sufficient demand. Joseph Wright writes:

We are starting a list of interested people in case anyone drops out, and will be looking at holding another course later in the year if there is the interest. So do consider sending a registration e-mail: the more people we know are interested the more likely it is that another course can be organised.

Who to Contact

As before, please email Joseph Wright <joseph.wright@morningstar2.co.uk> with details of your experience with LaTeX and your academic subject area.

LaTeX Training Course

In London on July 30th the UK TeX Users Group and the University of East Anglia will be running a course on how to use LaTeX to write a thesis.

Course Content

You don’t need to be an expert to take part – the course is aimed at people new to LaTeX. The topics covered include:

  • Creating a document
  • Document structure
  • Graphics
  • Managing a bibliography with BibTeX

Registration

The course only costs £10, so I imagine places will be taken very quickly.

To register, e-mail Joseph Wright <joseph.wright@morningstar2.co.uk> and include:

  • Details of your LaTeX experience (if any)
  • If you’re bringing a laptop  with you to the course
  • What your general subject area is (to help plan the course content)
  • Any special requirements (diet, access, etc.)

Useful Links

Full details of the course (including the programme) are posted here: http://uk.tug.org/2010/06/17/latex-training-course-using-latex-to-write-a-thesis/.

Header Package: fancyhdr

Using fancyhdr
Using fancyhdr

This package allows you to customize headers and footers in the LaTeX document.

You can find comprehensive information on this package in The LaTeX Companion.

Here I’ll explain how to make a simple header showing your name and the date.

This is what you need to include:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fancyhdr}
\pagestyle{fancyplain}

\begin{document}

\lhead{John E. Smith}
\rhead{\today}

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Quisque ut ante pulvinar mauris interdum euismod. Aliquam dui tellus, blandit at, tincidunt ac, feugiat id, nibh.

Simple Header
Simple Header

Phasellus id metus. Aliquam erat volutpat. Donec fringilla. Donec euismod, velit quis adipiscing hendrerit, enim eros tempor mi, a hendrerit ipsum eros eget leo.

\end{document}

Here is the output PDF of the document: SimpleFancyhdr.pdf

The fancyhdr package was created by Piet van Oostrum.

Useful Links