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I am writing a thesis with the gatech-thesis class. This class defines an environment, preliminary. When I compile (in LyX or in TeXworks), I get an error that this environment is not defined. The class as a whole is clearly recognized, because the document compiles as it should when I comment out that environment.

I'm using MikTeX for Windows 8.

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What version of gatech-thesis do you have? The version on CTAN is v1.7 in the .cls (although the README suggests a combination of v1.5 and v1.8) and does include the preliminary environment. –  Werner Mar 4 '13 at 18:20
    
I actually have 1.8 (downloaded from Georgia Tech directly). My question is precisely why this environment remains unrecognized, while the rest of the class seems to be working fine. –  gmacfarlane Mar 4 '13 at 18:22
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There are a number fields that have to be completed before the class will run, obvious ones such as \title etc. but also things like \approveddate. –  Andrew Swann Mar 4 '13 at 18:23
    
I should also mention that the class works fine on a Windows 7 machine, Mac OS 10.7 and 10.8 (I'm trying to help a classmate with her W8 laptop). –  gmacfarlane Mar 4 '13 at 18:23
    
Since the document class is (perhaps) very particular. Please create a minimal working example (MWE) that contains an example usage of the preliminary environment. It'll help speed up getting answers. –  Werner Mar 4 '13 at 18:23
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The class has a number of required fields, without these it throws various errors including claiming that the preliminary environment is not defined. You can almost find all the requierd fields by looking directly in the class file gatech-thesis.cls, but that misses that some adviser is needed too. The following is a minimal document that will compile:

\documentclass{gatech-thesis}

\begin{document}
\title{Profound title}

\author{A. Student} 

\department{Department of Mathematics}

\degree{Doctor of Philosophy}

\gradyear{2013}

\approveddate{\ }

\principaladvisor{A. Fields Medallist}

\submitdate{Tomorrow}
\begin{preliminary}
  \begin{abstract}
    Test.
  \end{abstract}
\end{preliminary}
\end{document}

Note that e.g. \approvedate must actually print something (here a space), an empty argument is not enough. I guess the class does it this way to enforce the particular rules of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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