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If you were asked to show examples of beautifully typeset documents in TeX & friends, what would you suggest? Preferably documents available online (I'm aware I could go to a bookstore and find many such documents called 'books'). Extra bonus for documents whose LaTeX source is available.

This is not an idle question. Seeing great examples of any craft is both educational and inspiring, let alone explaining why we prefer TeX to Word or other text editors.

For instance, I like how Philipp Lehman's Font Installation Guide looks. I don't know enough LaTeX to realize how much customization was done, but the ToC looks polished.

Your nominations, please ...

share|improve this question
Interestingly, the font installation guide probably doesn’t even have that many customizations, at least by the looks of it. Rather, the polished looks come from a very few choice adjustments. – Konrad Rudolph Aug 8 '10 at 8:53
I really like the microtype manual PDF. Since it's nicely using PDF features like layers and such to create an appealing document. – Johannes Schaub - litb Aug 15 '10 at 14:46
It seems to me that the font installation guide was set-up in a more elaborated way in previous versions. Am I missing something or confused with another document? – pluton Oct 1 '10 at 2:18
I just want to come and vote this up! – Daniel Jul 9 '13 at 20:37

76 Answers 76

Lately, I've begun working on duplicating a 16th century French Bible with XeTeX:


It features image lettrine and OTF features using XeTeX, specifically the advanced features from the open-source EB Garamond font, some of which were implemented specifically for this project (thanks to Georg Duffner's great reactivity).

French Bible using EB Garamond

Second page

The project is still a work in progress (the marginpars can be improved) and only features one page so far.


After reworking a few details, I ordered a printed copy recently, using zazzle:

Printed poster

Edit on 2015/07/07:

Fixed some details in the first page, and added a second page, featuring the EB Garamond Initials font.

share|improve this answer
This is a great example to show how something can be (re)created in LaTeX. – Count Zero Sep 14 '11 at 20:52
Just awesome. Speechless. – topskip Sep 14 '11 at 21:13
Truely awesome! This is nothing less than digitally "carving" a PDF file :) – percusse Sep 14 '11 at 23:12
Wow, amazing. Although, looking at the original page: the little shape above "A R G V M E N T" is mirrored ;) – Tom Bombadil Oct 8 '11 at 11:45
How beautiful! True LaTeX masterpiece! – Frederico Lopes Nov 13 '12 at 22:29

My lecture notes on Flight Dynamics, in Italian.

This is Lecture Note 1.

share|improve this answer
Damn, fine-tuning of caption positioning, wow! – yo' Sep 29 '12 at 14:44
Wow! @agodemar have you though on open sourcing it? At least the figure code, it must be awsome! – perr0 Jan 15 '13 at 1:19
@marczellm Most of the figures are made with Inkscape; annotations are made using Inkscape's the "Render LaTeX formula" feature. Some figures with 3D scenes were made with Sketch and annotated with tikz. Some other scenes were made with Blender some other with Cinema4D. – agodemar Feb 8 '13 at 16:57
+1 amazing! Can you post some code too? – G M Oct 27 '13 at 19:56
This is amazing! I wished all professors would take so much care of the learning material. :') – Lenar Hoyt Dec 23 '14 at 16:41

Bilingual dictionary typeset in LaTex and XeLaTex

I was asked to publish complete code of bilingual dictionary typesetting in LaTex. This regards typesetting of Icelandic-Czech Students' Dictionary.

The code:

The complete code can be found in two versions on GitHub repositories.

  1. LaTex version
  2. XeLaTex version


Example picture of current LaTex version layout.


Second example picture : lines in both columns are correctly aligned while displaying two images



  1. the first results of example letters can be viewed here
  2. current version example of letter A

I humbly admit that this is community collaborative work that helped us step by step to add useful functions to the code. Thank you !!!

We owe the final shape of typography to Paolo Brasolin, that has made diametrical changes, namely:

  1. lines in two columns document are aligned
  2. microtype package in use
  3. clarity of the code
  4. alignment of figures
  5. geometry of layout

Questions and answers that helped to complete the code:

See How to set a letter to the margin of the page and position it vertically according to alphabetical order? for some explanations about the thumb index.

See How to display unprinted text in headers? for explanations about unprinted headwords in header.

See also question Two different layouts using fancyhdr that exlains how to use different layouts using fancyhdr

See also Texindy sorting Icelandic that solves correct sorting of Icelandic index

share|improve this answer
Really nice! Maybe you can upload a few pages as a PDF so one can zoom and see the details … – Tobi Jun 2 '12 at 8:03
I added a link to your thumb index question. Since the code is a “community coolaborative work” you may like to add some more links for further reading and to point the reader to more details about some code snippets. – Tobi Jun 2 '12 at 8:07
Thank you for suggestions in editing the answer. I have added the links to PDF and also two more related questions. – chejnik Jun 2 '12 at 10:28
This looks fantastic. Great job – Ingo Jun 2 '12 at 10:39
This is great! Is there a complete source repository somewhere (github or so)? – ℝaphink Aug 29 '12 at 8:30

If I can be allowed to plug my own project, my page for Bertrand Russell's Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy shows off 6 different PDFs for different page sizes, including eBook versions, produced with the same core source file. The source is available too. However, it was also one of my first LaTeX projects and I’m a bit embarassed by some of the messiness in the code.

A more recent, and cleaner project (source also available) is Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus also available in different versions from the same source.

share|improve this answer
Vote up for making the source of the whole book available. Great study material. The preamble is also nicely commented. – Leo Liu Aug 8 '10 at 6:22
Another vote for publishing the source code! Thanks a bunch- complete book examples really help when tackling a project like this. – Sharpie Aug 8 '10 at 17:59
Just a humble question concerning the website. Why, oh why Comic Sans in the header? – helcim Aug 12 '10 at 8:49
@helcim: The website specifies font-family: BlackJack, cursive; On windows, cursive often (unfortunately) maps to Comic Sans. – Lev Bishop Aug 15 '10 at 3:18
BlackJack is embedded on the page. It appears your browser doesn't support embedded fonts. But Comic Sans? Yuck. Sorry about that. – frabjous Aug 17 '10 at 14:25

I use LaTeX to typeset my role playing games (RPGs) projects for some years now. I thought I share them here, as they go beyond the usual scientific background. Most content was created in German, but thanks to the LaTeX sources, partial translations in English, Polish and Spanish have been done by others. (Xe)LaTeX is used to apply the same layouts to those languages.

At the core there is a CC BY-SA licensed 4 page booklet called NIP'AJIN containing game rules. There are separate homepages for the German, English, Polish and Spanish PDFs, (Xe)LaTeX sources for all of them are available in a single GitHub-Repository. NIP'AJIN makes heavy use of a custom truetype symbol font, for which sources can be found in a second GitHub-Repository. To keep the page count small, it does not make use of illustrations:

Preview of NIP'AJIN7

Based on that, I have created longer booklets that include those 4 pages and add more content as well as illustrations. Maybe notable are NIP'AJIN Shots Vol.I and Vol.II that keep the same layout. German PDFs are available, most of the content (excluding illustrations) is also in the GitHub repository mentioned above:

Preview of NIP'AJIN Shots Vol.I

Using the same style files of those Shots, I have also created themed booklets. Notable are Kurai Jikan, a manga/anime themed booklet (currently available in English, German and Polish), and Einhundertelf Jahre (German only), a toys-themed booklet:

Preview of Kurai Jikan

Preview of Einhundertelf Jahre

Due license issues with the illustrations, no sources are available for those two, but the PDFs are distributed for free as CC BY-NC-ND. They are done the same way as the starter kit / author's package, found in the GitHub-Repository in the starter folder: they take the red-white layout from above and override some layout instructions to replace colors, backgrounds and fonts. The starter kit demonstrates this by creating a blue layout.

Finally, I recently created a CC BY-SA leaflet in German, English and Polish to promote the game. Full sources for it are available in this third GitHub-Repository.

Preview of Leaflet RPG

Still work-in-progress is ROBiN, a Robin Hood / medieval themed 80-page book (look at the eBook Version - German however).

edited on 2016/01/26 Since this answer is still quite popular, I updated it to reflect the current state of the various projects and updated previews and links.

share|improve this answer
Amazing work. Since you post it here, is there any way you will share the sources, too? You really nailed the usual RPG book look. Regarding your WiP book I have one point of critique if I may and that's the small caps. They look fake at times, especially for "Kämpfe" for example. Are they? – Christian Jun 25 '12 at 6:40
Thanks for the feedback. The fonts are the reason I am currently migrating from pdflatex to xelatex which should give me better control about font families. I've already been asked about sources, too, and am trying to come up with a solution, once I clarified some legal/license implications. – TeXter Jun 26 '12 at 4:23
Perhaps you might consider LuaLaTeX, too. I found it easier to use but then I don't use a Mac. Good to hear about your plans to open-source these documents. I hope you can sort out the legal stuff :) – Christian Jun 26 '12 at 7:14
Some sources are now available, for a link see the main article. – TeXter Dec 31 '12 at 8:48
Sources are now hosted on GitHub, see link "Autorenpaket" above. – TeXter Aug 27 '15 at 6:06
up vote 127 down vote

I also think Uggedal's thesis looks very nice.

I am also quite pleased with how LaTeX and Friends turned out. The following are some comments about the design.

I tried to implement a proper grid layout, with the text on the verso page backing up the text on the recto. This turned out to be a real challenge. For some reason the grid package didn't work, so I had to do it myself. It's almost perfect, but sometimes it just didn't work. I didn't want to spend too much time on it, so I decided to compromise and manually adjust when necessary. I want to reimplement this properly when I know enough about the LaTeX3 packages.

As explained in the colophon of the book, I had two main concerns when I designed the page layout.

  • I wanted figures and tables that could run into the margins. With program listings this is almost always needed; also this would let me typeset input and output side by side.
  • I wanted the figure and table captions to the side. That way, long explanations would not be so disruptive.

The following is an example (the pagenumbers aren't correct).

Screenshot of two facing pages

The following shows why letting figures run into the margins is useful every now and then.

Screenshot of two facing pages

The itemize and enumerate environments have their bullets and numbers in the margin, which works well.

The description labels were also set in the margin, but sometimes I adjusted the labels by hand:

  • When the labels started with the same words, I moved those words into the margin. See for example chapter 8 (Mathematics): defining the current style, and defining the next environment.
  • When the labels ended with the same words, I moved that part of the label into the text (see e.g. page 117: demonstration tables and reference tables).

It gives some extra emphasis to the labels. The following is an example of two facing pages with labels in the margins.

Screenshot of two facing pages with labels in the margin

The back pages of the part titlepages feature pictures of paintings by Billy Foley (I have two of his paintings). They look stunning. The following are two examples. The first is one of his older pictures. The second a more recent one.

Opening of first part, with image of picture of Billy Foley on the left and the first page of Chapter 1 on the right

Opening of second part, with image of picture of Billy Foley on the left and the first page of Chapter 1 on the right

Initially, I had another design, which was based on a picture with fish by Escher. Unfortunately, the Escher Eoundation wouldn't give me permission to do so. The design also featured a nice joke with the title page, which had the picture on it. the picture was drawn with TikZ. When you got to the next page, you could see the exact same page, but with the control points of the spline elements.

I also had a little ornament that had the fish lined up in a horizontal direction. The ornament was used to mark the end of the chapters. In ASCII art, it would look like this (each * is a fish and the fish interlock in horizontal and vertical direction, with a little space between them):

 * *
* * *

You may find metapost source for the fish on my metapost pages. It's the source of the first fish pictures on the Escher page.

Finally, here's an example of the bibliography.

Screenshot of two facing pages of the bibliography

share|improve this answer
Did you eventually find a way to properly align figures and tables while keeping them as floats, or is that the manual adjustment part? If you did find a solution, I will ask as a separate question. – ienissei Mar 1 '12 at 11:28
No. The floats are all placed with a user-defined float environment. It's not perfect and I know it has some errors. Only one float had to be adjusted manually because the publisher wanted it at the top of an empty page and LaTeX put it in the centre. – Marc van Dongen Mar 1 '12 at 12:47
I see. In the excerpt, it seems all of them are located at the top of the page – putting them at the top or bottom is definitely far easier than putting them at an arbitrary location (and it is better typography, too, indeed). Looking forward to having a look at your book. – ienissei Mar 1 '12 at 12:59
How do I build the thesis? What do I have to do with the .yml file? – Caramdir Dec 6 '12 at 16:32
@Caramdir: A repository with a prebuilt pdf can be found here. – Ruud Jul 5 '15 at 15:01

I may be a little biased, but I'm quite happy with the way my thesis Circuit Quantum Electrodynamics turned out.

EDIT: I have now packaged up the source with a brief description of some of the tricks I used (tweaking your latex is a great way to procrastinate when you should be writing a thesis!)

If you find the sources useful, or further if you use my format as the basis of your own thesis, I would love to hear from you!

share|improve this answer
Looks excellent. Post the source if you don't mind. – Leo Liu Aug 8 '10 at 16:18
Looks very good indeed. Alas, it's Feynman not Feynmann! – José Figueroa-O'Farrill Aug 8 '10 at 16:48
@José Figueroa-O'Farrill It's traditional to have a blatant typo on the first page of a thesis. Let's pretend that this was my Persian Flaw (only Allah is perfect). – Lev Bishop Aug 10 '10 at 4:01
Looks great, I would have avoided the red color (but that is just me :) – Johan Aug 15 '10 at 10:08
"tweaking your latex is a great way to procrastinate when you should be writing a thesis!" - So, so true. – Forkrul Assail Jan 15 '13 at 6:13

My first attempt to make something ... beautiful?

Without trying to imitate any particular book or style, I tried to evoke the beauty of ancient publications (very far from the illuminated books of he Middle Ages with Gothic or Uncial fonts, which are difficult to read for modern people).

The idea was add only add some fourier-orns ornaments, color, lettrines and old style numbers (except in math mode) once so popular. The type font is Palatino, that looks old but not strange for people (who mostly will be not aware that is not the usual Times Roman). There are not ligatures nor random small missplacing of old printing presses, but protrusion and expansion of the microtype package help in recreate slight imperfections preventing printing characters always with exactly the same size. Paper is artificially aged with wallpaper package with a simple backgroud.

The two sample pages below (with nonsense dummy text, biologist please ignore the content) have been joined by the inner margins with Gimp, to simulate their appearance in a paper book.

enter image description here

Edit: I planned to post the code when it was more polished and it could be used as book template... But I never have time to do it, so as requested, here it is, as is. In graphicx package have been included the [demo] option and \TileWallPaper has been commented to make it compilable without images.


\input Acorn.fd


% \usepackage[full]{textcomp}

\setlength{\parskip}{1.3ex plus 0.2ex minus 0.2ex}


\newcommand{\ornamento}{\vspace{2em}\noindent \textcolor{darkgray}{\hrulefill~ \raisebox{-2.5pt}[10pt][10pt]{\leafright \decofourleft \decothreeleft  \aldineright \decotwo \floweroneleft \decoone   \floweroneright \decotwo \aldineleft\decothreeright \decofourright \leafleft} ~  \hrulefill \\ \vspace{2em}}}
\newcommand{\ornpar}{\noindent \textcolor{darkgray}{ \raisebox{-1.9pt}[10pt][10pt]{\leafright} \hrulefill \raisebox{-1.9pt}[10pt][10pt]{\leafright \decofourleft \decothreeleft  \aldineright \decotwo \floweroneleft \decoone}}}
\newcommand{\ornimpar}{\textcolor{darkgray}{\raisebox{-1.9pt}[10pt][10pt]{\decoone \floweroneright \decotwo \aldineleft \decothreeright \decofourright \leafleft} \hrulefill \raisebox{-1.9pt}[10pt][10pt]{\leafleft}}}

\def\headrule{{\color{darkgray}\raisebox{-2.1pt}[10pt][10pt]{\leafright} \hrulefill \raisebox{-2.1pt}[10pt][10pt]{~~~\decofourleft \decotwo\decofourright~~~} \hrulefill \raisebox{-2.1pt}[10pt][10pt]{ \leafleft}}}



\newcommand{\estcab}[1]{\itshape\textcolor{marron}{\nouppercase #1}}

\fancyhead[LE]{\estcab{Fran Oldstyle}}
\fancyhead[RE]{\estcab{History of taxonomy}}
% \fancyhead[CE,CO]{\estcab{\decoone}}
\fancyhead[LO]{\estcab{\rightmark}} % malo cuando no hay section ~~~ \thesection

% \fancyhead[RO]{\bf\nouppercase{ \leftmark}}
% \fancyfoot[LE]{\bf \thepage ~~ \leafNE}
% \fancyfoot[RO]{ \leafNE  ~~ \bf \thepage}

\ornimpar \\ \large \hfill \sffamily\bf \textcolor{darkgray}{\leafNE ~~~ \thepage}
\fancyfoot[RE]{\ornpar   \\ \large  \sffamily\bf \textcolor{darkgray}{\thepage ~~~ \reflectbox{\leafNE}}  \hfill}

{\vspace{12pt}\centering ------- \decofourleft\decofourright ------- \par}

\setlength{\parindent}{1em} % Sangría española

\renewcommand{\footnoterule}{\vspace{-0.5em}\noindent\textcolor{marron}{\decosix \raisebox{2.9pt}{\line(1,0){100}} \lefthand} \vspace{.5em} }


% \TileWallPaper{300pt}{300pt}{Descargas/fondopapelviejo.jpg}

\chapter{Six kingdoms of life?}

\lettrine[lines=3]{\initfamily\textcolor{darkgreen}{T}}{he classic} kingdom \emph{Plant\ae} (Haeckel, 1866
include all the multicellular green plants (\emph{Viridiplant\ae} in Latin) as flowering  
plants, conifers, ferns, mosses and green algae. The number of species 
are estimated\footnote{Largely underestimated according to many naturalist.} around 300,000 to 315,000. 
Usually red or brown seaweeds like kelp, fungi and bacteria have
excluded from this group.
This kingdom really exists since Carolus Linn\ae us (1707--1778) who 
divided the natural world into animals, plants and minerals. The kingdom \emph{Animalia}  and \emph{Plant\ae} remained 
in use by modern evolutionary biologists until some years.  

\caption{\footnotesize \emph{Vallaris pergularia} from \emph{Icones plantarum}, vol. II., (Hooker, 1837).}
But now, both kingkoms are considered only two brachs of the unicelular kingdom \emph{Protist} 
or \emph{Protozoa}\footnote{Although by tradition,  inconsistently the status of kingdom 
is maintained \emph{Animalia}  and \emph{Plant\ae}.}.  




\lettrine[lines=3]{\initfamily\textcolor{darkgreen}{L}}{arlegy}, organism like \emph{Candida albicans} has
 been considered different of \emph{Protozoa} and related with green plants. However, today there 
 are evidences that animals and true fungi are indeed closer to each other than to any other group 
 in the eukaryote tree, far from the alveolates and other eukaryotic lineages.  

\begin{wraptable}{r}{7 cm}
\caption{\label{wraptab}Estimated fungal species.}
Authors & Species \\\midrule
Bisby and Ainsworth (1943) & $10^5$ \\  
Martin (1951) &  $2.5\times10^5$  \\
Hawksworth (1991) & $1.5\times10^6$ \\ 
O’Brien \emph{et al.} (2005) & $>3.5\times10^6$ \\  \bottomrule


share|improve this answer
(+1): Simply awesome!!! Would you like to share the sample code! – MYaseen208 Apr 20 '14 at 17:00
really very good!! can you share an example of the code please? – Benoa411 May 6 '14 at 19:51
I'll third that: do you have a sample code? :) – Mario S. E. Jun 7 '14 at 18:01
Beautiful! Small typo, your darkgray is the same as darkgreen: {0,80,0} – Anne van Rossum Aug 26 '14 at 11:05
(Haeckel, 1866 xkcd.com/859 – Sean Allred Aug 11 '15 at 22:54

Here is a page from a simultaneous Romanian/English liturgy used in the Romanian Orthodox church that I typeset. I don't know if it qualifies for beautiful, but I'll let you decide. I used an archaich Romanian font for the headings, parcolumns for the side-by-side text, and LilyPond for the scores.

edit: There's now http://www.liturghie.net/ where the full PDFs are available (also in other languages besides English). Source code will eventually make its way on to GitHub as I clean it up. The whole thing is obviously work in progress.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
It definitely qualifies as beautiful! – Uwe Ziegenhagen Jan 25 '13 at 19:58
Would be so great to do something similar using Caeciliae... – Andrestand Jan 28 '14 at 17:09
Awesome! I had no Idea LaTeX had made its way into everyday life at the BOR ^^ – TheChymera May 2 '14 at 23:17

If you have time to spare, you can also have a look at my thesis Stochastic Multiplayer Games: Theory and Algorithms. The font is Fedra Serif B, combined with FdSymbol.

Edit: My LaTeX class file is available at https://gist.github.com/3428745.

sample pages

share|improve this answer
Very impressive. My time for this is coming soon and I can't get enough of these :) – percusse Sep 14 '11 at 23:16
This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing :) – Danilo Bargen Sep 24 '12 at 21:57
Very interesting thesis. And cool font. Thanks for sharing! – Rasmus Oct 8 '12 at 23:03

A recent edition to the pstricks family is a set of "Vectorian ornaments" used for decorating text. It At the moment (don't know whether it might be expanded) it includes 196 ornaments, listed by number:

pstricks Vectorian ornaments

The documentation showcases some of the styles around text.

108: enter image description here

158: enter image description here

share|improve this answer
I created the pgfornament package It's a pgf version of psvectorian. The version is still beta but seems to work. You can find the package here altermundus.com/pages/tkz/ornament/index.html – Alain Matthes Mar 2 '12 at 8:55
Any idea on how to get these working on writelatex.com ? – fstab Mar 12 '14 at 17:44
@francescostablum: If writeLaTeX is anything like ShareLaTeX, you should be able to upload files to your project. In this case, upload psvectorian.pro and psvectorian.sty from psvectorian.zip to your project and compile away. The .pro file contains all the coordinate drawings for the ornaments in PostScript, while the .sty provides the LaTeX-side macros so you can use them. – Werner Mar 12 '14 at 17:59
@Werner: unfortunately I just discovered that writeLaTeX does not support pstricks :/ – fstab Mar 12 '14 at 18:03
@francescostablum: I see. Then you need to consider using pgfornaments. – Werner Mar 12 '14 at 18:07
up vote 78 down vote

One of the most interesting books typeset with TeX that I know, is "Trees, Maps, and Theorems" by Jean-Luc Doumont. It offers beautiful typography down to details such that each paragraph is typeset as a perfect rectangle (which means a lot of textual rewriting, so whether this is a good idea I leave open). But it makes a wonderful coffee-table book, with a lot of very useful advice inside.

Link to some sample pages as pdf

share|improve this answer
I have this book, and never realized that it is typeset with TeX. The perfect rectangular paragraphs are just amazing. – Aditya Jan 21 '13 at 19:37
The rectangular paragraphs are not a TeX trick but the result of Jean-luc's perfectionnism :-) – lvaneesbeeck Jan 28 '13 at 23:14
@Ivaneesbeek they are actually both: you need a tool like TeX to offer you typesetting rectangles in the first place, but then you also need to have the patience and perfectionism to fill it "properly" – Frank Mittelbach Jan 29 '13 at 5:34
I SO want to have the source for this. This is perfect. – Eekhoorn Jan 30 '13 at 9:28
Are you that it was made with TeX? Properties of sample (that you linked to) say something different. – random.nick Oct 3 '13 at 17:39

The coloredlettrine package aims to provide beautiful colored drop caps to LaTeX, using the EB Garamond font:

colored lettrine example

share|improve this answer
Is it common that the second letter of the first word of a paragraph is a capital letter as well? Like "APres"? – Willem Van Onsem Nov 20 '14 at 1:37
I honestly don't know. This Bible I found does it after every lettrine, but I don't know if it was common at the time. – ℝaphink Nov 20 '14 at 11:20
@Raphink: Well it was no offense or anything ;). The books I've seen (including some printed in the late 1700s) use a lowercase letter after the lettrine, but that probably means it differs with cultures I guess. – Willem Van Onsem Nov 20 '14 at 11:36
This one is from 1564 in Geneva github.com/raphink/geneve_1564 – ℝaphink Nov 24 '14 at 6:07
share|improve this answer
Thanks. Do you happen to know how the "paper texture" is added (such as in the sample at tsengbooks.com/images/6176s.pdf)? – wishihadabettername Aug 8 '10 at 1:24
It's just a small image tiled to fill the entire page. You could do that using package atbegshi <ctan.org/pkg/atbegshi>;. – Martin Heller Aug 8 '10 at 21:34
Is the source code for any of the AAUP Showbooks available? – Village Apr 19 '12 at 7:12

Personally, I love the ability to really use typography as part of storytelling, like as shown in the \raisebox example in A (Not So) Short Introduction to LaTeX2e:

she shouted, but not even the next
one in line noticed that something
terrible had happened to her.

\raisebox example from A (Not So) Short Introduction to LaTeX2e

Or to show that pi is rather long... (based on diminuendo from from the Tex showcase): enter image description here

Isn't that art?

share|improve this answer
I'll shamelessly plug my own version of Don K.'s pi here: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/208426/… – Steven B. Segletes Feb 12 '15 at 17:07

I scarcely cannot believe, that Christoph Schiller’s herculean 20 years effort of writing a free physics textbook Motion Mountain is not on this list. Despite his criticism of LaTeX, which itself is interesting to read, the six volumes are produced with LaTeX. Beautifully typeset in MinionPro and Myriad extended by Johannes Küster’s Minion Math.

If I had to choose one project of which I wanted to see the LaTeX source of, it would be this book.

share|improve this answer
duplicate of tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1319/… – Lev Bishop Dec 6 '11 at 8:20
oh dear, I searched for the title on the list with the space, and then it’s on it without the space... – uli Dec 6 '11 at 8:40
Amazing book and typesetting!!! Thank you an information. – chejnik Jun 2 '12 at 7:55
An attempt to reproduce the way the table of contents is built in the Motion Mountain books can be found in this thread. Despite the presented source code is based on 'article' class, it compiles to something very similar in looks and functionality, including clickable hyperlinks and justified paragraphs. You will also enjoy the fact that unlike the original, the linked solution actually recognizes three levels of section depths. – bartek Nov 17 '14 at 16:32

The thesis of Eivind Uggedal is very nice: Social Navigation on the Social Web: Unobtrusive Prototyping of Activity Streams in Established Spaces

The source is at http://bitbucket.org/uggedal/thesis/src/

share|improve this answer
Why the downvote? Except for the blurry screen shots, the thesis is pretty amazing. At the very least, it’s interesting. – Konrad Rudolph Aug 8 '10 at 9:02
"java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space" – Jukka Suomela Aug 8 '10 at 11:42
The direct link to PDF (duo.uio.no/sok/work.html?WORKID=81971&fid=40769) gives a database error, but this must be a server problem. I'll try again later. – wishihadabettername Aug 8 '10 at 13:12
Looks pretty much like the ClassicThesis (from CTAN). – Leo Liu Aug 9 '10 at 18:10
@Leo mentioned the ClassicThesis, here is a direct link: mirrors.ctan.org/macros/latex/contrib/classicthesis/… – matth Mar 8 '12 at 15:40

I try to pay attention to typography (and in particular French typography) details in the books I edit. Hopefully, the result is not too bad (I don't pretend to a typographist nor a graphist):

Page 1 Page 21

Pages 16 and 17 Page 25

2 days

Lately, I've tried hard to bring acceptable typography to EPUB publishing, using the same LaTeX source (and some TeX4HT tricks). Here are some examples taken on Android with Aldiko:

charismanie in aldiko sagesse in aldiko

And in Readium (Chrome extension):

charismanie in readium

charismanie with footnote in readium

share|improve this answer

I'd like to add two new "styles of typography" which I created recently. The content is not exactly impressive but perhaps the typography is.

The first example document contains more of a regular "book style", with strong influence from the "tufte"-class, although I used somewhat different body text and captions. Here are the first four pages of the second chapter:

http://i.imgur.com/7vOYw4A.png http://i.imgur.com/0WMcNfn.png

I also tried something more experimental. This more futuristic approach does not contain serifs, shows excessive use of notes in the margin, and it uses drop shadows for most figures. Also, I used a slightly less invasive colour pattern. Whatever, I just wanted to twist some rules. Here are some example pages (the real content has been substituted with sample text due to confidentiality issues):

http://i.imgur.com/KSA6c07.png http://i.imgur.com/HNeqVR2.png http://i.imgur.com/0aVjJf6.png

share|improve this answer
Is there a way to get a template? Looks great! I prefer the first version. – Dr. Manuel Kuehner Jan 2 '15 at 12:44
Why don't you put it in a public space? I am interested in compiling it. :-) – kiss my armpit Jan 3 '15 at 3:46
@Everybody, I currently only have the source which is rather tedious to work with. I'll work on a class file and accompanying template and let you know when it's done. – 1010011010 Jan 3 '15 at 22:34
You should totally put this up on Github with a Share-Alike, Attribution required CC license. Contact me if you are reading this, since I'm helping somebody work on something very similar! – soze Aug 22 '15 at 23:34
I would also love to have a source! – colonelk1 Dec 21 '15 at 0:29

For a project I had to typeset a text conversation between two people. I ended up writing a class that recreates the look and feel of the Kik messenger app.

enter image description here

Source of the class file:

% kik-android.cls
%   by Brian Jacobs.
%   April 11, 2015
% This document class emulates the user interface of the Kik messaging
% application running on an android Moto X.


% Load all necessary packages

% Start with article. Eventually this should be removed,
% because I'm not actually using it for much of anything

% Set up the page so that it matches phone size.
\usepackage[top=.55in,         bottom=.55in,
            right=.015in,      left=.015in,

% Style the page

% Color Definitions

% Customization Flags
\def\@partnerName{Sample Name}

% Macros to draw the background
    let \p1 = (current page.north east) in
      (\x1 - .42in - #1in, \y1 - 0.0415in - #1in) rectangle (\x1 - .43in -#1in, \y1 - 0.1409 in);

% Background Macro
  \begin{tikzpicture}[remember picture, overlay]
    % Background
    \fill[backgroundgray] (current page.north east) rectangle (current page.south west);
    let \p1 = (current page.north east) in
    let \p2 = (current page.north west) in
    (\x1,\y1) rectangle (\x2,\y2 - 0.1667in);
    let \p1 = (current page.south east) in
    let \p2 = (current page.south west) in
    (\x1,\y1) rectangle (\x2,\y2 + 0.3141in);
    let \p1 = (current page.north east) in
    let \p2 = (current page.north west) in
    (\x1,\y1 - 0.1667in) rectangle (\x2,\y2 - .5289in);
    let \p1 = (current page.north east) in
    let \p2 = (current page.north west) in
    (\x1,\y1 - .5289in) -- (\x2,\y2 - .5289in);
    let \p1 = (current page.south east) in
    let \p2 = (current page.south west) in
    (\x1,\y1 + 0.3141in) rectangle (\x2,\y2 + .6090in);
    let \p1 = (current page.south east) in
    let \p2 = (current page.south west) in
    (\x1,\y1 + .6090in) -- (\x2,\y2 + .6090in);

    % Kik Top bar decorations
      % Circles
      let \p1 = (current page.north east) in
        (\x1 -.1987in,\y1-.359in) circle (0.04065in);
      let \p1 = (current page.north east) in
        (\x1 -.15805in,\y1-.31835in) circle (0.04065in);

      % Name
      let \p1 = (current page.north west) in
        (\x1 + .4647in, \y1 - .3481in) node[anchor=west] {\@partnerName};

      % Arrow
      let \p1 = (current page.north west) in
        (\x1 + .1314in, \y1 - .3397in) -- (\x1 + .2179in , \y1 - .3397in);
      let \p1 = (current page.north west) in
        (\x1 + .1795in, \y1 - .2981in) -- (\x1 + .1314in, \y1 - .3397in) --
        (\x1 + .1795in, \y1 - .3846in);

    % Kik Bottom Bar Decorations
      % Type a message...
      let \p1 = (current page.south west) in
        (\x1 + .3141in, \y1 + .5524in) node[anchor=north west,scale=.85] {\color{androidgray}Type a message...};

      % Plus
    \draw[thick, androidgray]
      let \p1 = (current page.south west) in
        (\x1 + .1538in, \y1 + .5321in) -- (\x1 + .1538in,\y1 + .4135in);
    \draw[thick, androidgray]
      let \p1 = (current page.south west) in
        (\x1 + .0906in, \y1 + .4728in) -- (\x1 + .2088in, \y1 + .4728in);

    % Android Top Bar Decorations
      % Time
      let \p1 = (current page.north east) in
        (\x1,\y1-0.01in) node[anchor=north east,scale=0.75] {\color{androidgray}\@hours:\@minutes};

      % Republic Wireless
    \draw[very thick,repwiregreen]
      let \p1 = (current page.north west) in
        (\x1 + .0701in, \y1 - .0801in) to[bend left=90] (\x1 + .1603in, \y1 - .0801in);

      % Battery Indicator
      let \p1 = (current page.north east) in
        (\x1 - .3974in, \y1 - .1406in) rectangle (\x1 - .3213in,\y1 - .0509in);
      let \p1 = (current page.north east) in
        (\x1 - .3784in, \y1 - .0515in) rectangle (\x1 - .3403in,\y1 - .0379in);

      % Status Bars

    % Android Bottom Bar Decorations
    % Home
    \draw[very thick,androidgray]
      let \p1 = (current page.south) in
        (\x1 - .1186in, \y1 + .08974in) -- (\x1 + .1186in, \y1 + .08974in) -- 
        (\x1 + .1186in, \y1 + .1795in)  -- (\x1, \y1 + .2115in) -- 
        (\x1 - .1186in, \y1 + .1795in) -- cycle;

    % Pages
    \draw[very thick,androidgray]
      let \p1 = (current page.south east) in
        (\x1 - .4391in, \y1 + .1058in) rectangle (\x1 - .6026in, \y1 + .1795in);
    \draw[very thick,androidgray]
      let \p1 = (current page.south east) in
        (\x1 - .3974in, \y1 + .1346in) -- (\x1 - .3974in, \y1 + .2219in) --
        (\x1 - .5545in, \y1 + .2219in);

    % Back arrow
    \draw[very thick,androidgray]
      let \p1 = (current page.south west) in
        (\x1 + .4199in, \y1 + 0.1635in) -- (\x1 + .5833in, \y1 + 0.1635in) to[bend left=90]
        (\x1 + .5833in, \y1 + .0993in) -- (\x1 + .5032in, \y1 + .0993in);
    \draw[very thick,androidgray]
      let \p1 = (current page.south west) in
        (\x1 + .4487in, \y1 + .1987in) -- (\x1 + .4199in, \y1 + .1635in) -- (\x1 + .4487in, \y1 + .1282in);


% Make the background appear on every page

% Commands for use by the user.




    \draw (0,0) node[anchor=north east,rectangle,rounded corners=2,fill=msggreen, scale=0.75,draw=circgray] {
        \raggedright #1\\
        \tiny \color{msggreen}.
    \fill[msggreen] (-0.01in,-0.06in) -- (0.06in,-0.12in) -- (-0.01in,-0.18in) -- cycle;
    \draw[circgray] (0,-0.06in) -- (0.06in,-0.12in) -- (0in,-0.18in);

    \draw (-.6,-.3) node[scale=1.825,circle, path picture={
        \node at (path picture bounding box.center){
    ] {};
    \else\fill[black] (-.6,-.3) circle (.12in);\fi
    \draw (0,0) node[anchor=north west,rectangle,rounded corners=2,fill=white, scale=0.75,draw=linegray] {
        \raggedright #1\\
        \tiny \color{white}.
    \fill[white] (0.01in,-0.06in) -- (-0.06in,-0.12in) -- (0.01in,-0.18in) -- cycle;
    \draw[linegray] (0,-0.06in) -- (-0.06in,-0.12in) -- (0in,-0.18in);

    \draw (0,0) node[scale=.65] {\color{kiktimepalegray}#1 \color{kiktimedarkgray}@ #2};


Source for the conversation:


\setPartnerName{Dave Johnson}

\you{Knock knock}
\me{Who's there?}
\me{Canoe who?}
\you{Canoe help me with my homework?}
\time{Fri}{12:03 PM}
\you{...please. I'm gonna fail calculus. :-(}
share|improve this answer
We prefer self-contained answers. If you could put here the full code (package/class + source of the document) it would be nice. – Manuel Apr 19 '15 at 21:19
You do not need this \makeatletter in a class file, do you? – MaxNoe Apr 29 '15 at 21:20
I guess @MaxNoe's point was that @ already has catcode 11 (letter) in packages/classes, so there is no need to explicitly add \makeatletter/\makeatother. It's if you want to use @ in macro names in a preamble that \makeatletter is required. – Torbjørn T. Sep 10 '15 at 8:38
Exactly. It is just not needed. – MaxNoe Sep 10 '15 at 11:52
I had to add the line \usepackage[defaultsans]{droidsans} to the class file to make it work. – Lukas Sep 11 '15 at 17:08

I cannot resist to show what all kinds of documents can be done by LaTeX, and I add this style for children books done by Paulo

Chapter 3

share|improve this answer

I got a directory "Beautiful TeX document" on my computer storing files that are beautiful and I might want to look at for inspiration when designing mine.

  1. ArsClassica
  2. ClassicThesis
  3. the manual of pdfx
  4. TKZdoc-linknodes-us

All of them can be found in CTAN. fontinstallationguide and tufte-sample-book have already been mentioned.

LaTeX companion 2nd edition has chapter-3 free on-line (http://www.latex-project.org/guides/tlc2-ch3.pdf). I think the typography is one of the finest.

share|improve this answer
All of them can be called up via texdoc <name> on a recent LaTeX distribution. – Konrad Rudolph Aug 10 '10 at 9:31
On Debian based systems, the examples (and a lot more like them) currently live in the package texlive-publishers-doc which is not installed by default, but no more than a click/command away. The classes themselves are in texlive-publishers. – Daniel Andersson Jun 19 '14 at 12:11

Here are some pages of my end-of-post-obligatory-school work (Travail de Maturité in French). The whole source code can be found in my Git repository under examples/TM. Some of this document typo are given as separated files in the typographyArchive folder. The document is in French, it's compiled using XeLaTeX. The main font is Lato (it's publish under the SIL open font licence).

The goal was to have a really "modern" design. It is inspired from the flat design that is used for websites.

It took me a lot of time and I hope the result was worth it. I spend some time on the table of content and the chapters headings. Besides, as I wanted something elegant, modern but still uncluttered, special efforts were made on the text look, and the document spacing. The tables are also customized to meet the flat style.

TM typo example

share|improve this answer
some clever ideas, especially flat tables. – s__C Nov 21 '15 at 11:12
Very nice! Thanks for sharing! – egreg Nov 21 '15 at 11:48

Christoph Bier's typokurz is beautiful and useful; it's a 15-page guide to (German) (micro)typography in a nutshell. While it's just an article lengthwise (scrartcl, to be precise), it masterfully modifies many features frequently discussed on Tex.SX: section-titles, tables, footnotes, marginnotes, header ...

What's even better is that the preamble is available as well, it even is extensively annotated, but – that will be the downside for most users here – in German, just like the entire document is. Nonetheless, non-German speakers might still find their way around as well as some inspiration in the source code.

share|improve this answer
Any possibility of our German friends here at TeX StackExchange translating this preamble? – Ariel Mar 3 '15 at 8:46

OK, so here is one "from the Friends". I am a great admirer of typographic skill of Hans Hagen and Metafun manual is one of my favourites. Also available is Metafun manual source.

share|improve this answer

I really like the documentation of Philipp Lehman. The Font Installation Guide was mentioned in the question, but I also think for a simpler article (rather than the book style) his package documentation is hard to beat aesthetically, e.g. biblatex's

In biblatex manual [was: Can I make a document that looks like this?], the author explains how to recreate this style (fonts and such).

share|improve this answer

I wonder why nobody suggested the original works of Donald Knuth. To me they are beautiful examples of typesetting. As far as I know, his books and papers are typeset using TeX (vs. LaTeX), but for the sake of the topic, I guess, it doesn't matter.

Some examples:

  • The Art of Computer Programming (TAOCP)
  • The TeXbook
  • The METAFONTbook

The complete list of Knuth's publications as well as preliminary drafts of the TAOCP Vol 4a chapters (in post script files) can be found on his home page. The sources of the TaOCP book (tex files) are also available in peer-to-peer networks.

share|improve this answer
I have to agree with TAoCP (can’t speak for the rest). As for why nobody has posted them yet, I think the implied assumption in the question was that the source code is available so that one can see how the layout is produced. – Konrad Rudolph Jan 15 '11 at 12:18
And Concrete Mathematcis. – Leo Liu Jan 30 '11 at 5:14
@Konrad At least for »The TeXbook«, the source is available, although rendered uncompilable. Just google it. – FUZxxl Jun 27 '11 at 18:44

While writing it, I really liked my bachelor thesis Implementation of a Read Mapping Tool Based on the Pigeon-hole Principle, even though the margins (and some other things) were all wrong.

Looking back, I probably wouldn’t use such a heavy font again (Hoefler Text). But I still like the chapter headings a lot:

chapter heading

share|improve this answer
The font for the equation numbers does not look good enough. – xport May 30 '11 at 13:18
@xport Yup, that’s still using the Computer Modern font. – Konrad Rudolph May 30 '11 at 13:27
They look nice, I'll create a memoir version of it for a later edition of my memoir chapter style showcase document – daleif Apr 20 '12 at 12:08

I'm actually quite satisfied with how my Master thesis Synthesizing Software from a ForSyDe Model Targeting GPGPUs turned out.

Yes, another shameless plug...

EDIT: There have been requests on making the source code available. Since I don't want to release the full source, I've instead made a template available that you can then adapt to your own document. If you heavily base your own thesis report on this template I would appreciate if you made a small acknowledgement somewhere. Other than that - go nuts! =)

share|improve this answer
Inspired by the Motion Mountain, were you? It looks appealing. – Harold Cavendish Mar 1 '12 at 0:27
+1 for mentioning TeX.SX :) – henrique Mar 1 '12 at 4:01
@HarroldCavendish: Nope, never heard about Motion Mountain before, but it does look similar. =) – gablin Mar 1 '12 at 8:57
@henrique: How could I not - it's half the reason why the thesis looks the way it does. =) – gablin Mar 1 '12 at 8:58
@gablin Siva Prasad Varma was asking in chat (chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/5802151#5802151) how you created your thesis, is there any chance of making the source available? – Torbjørn T. Aug 16 '12 at 13:13

Update: Template available under Stack Exchange TeX Blog and/or my PHD project website.

I wrote a German PHD thesis in LaTeX. In addition I used the beamer class to create the slides for the final presentation. Both PDF files can be found here (Bedienhaptik.de).


The thesis was made using the koma class book and all the diagrams are made with pgfplots and tikz. I also used the hyperref package of course.

I used two colors (red, blue) in the document that are used for structure elements like section and headings and the colors are also used in diagrams.

The colors are:

  • \definecolor[named]{myLayoutColorMain}{RGB}{0,26,153} (blue)
  • \definecolor[named]{myLayoutColorAux}{RGB}{174,49,54} (red)

I used sans serif fonts for captions (tables, figures) and in diagrams. I think this looks nicer.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here


The presentation was naturally done with the beamer class in combination with tikz and pgfplots.

On slide 10 the presentation contains an animation (pgfplots and animate package).

In order to use the official university font (Helvetica Neue) I had to use LuaLaTeX. With the help of the community here I managed to work it out.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
How did you add those red extra texts in the margins left and right? and how did you do the small sub-TOC in under the chapters? And the page numbering with the vertical line, how did you do that? Many questions, but I'm really impressed with that work. – polemon Jul 24 '14 at 14:26
Hello. Thanks! I will post a blog (tex.blogoverflow.com) soon where I describe the key features. – Dr. Manuel Kuehner Jul 24 '14 at 14:43
@polemon: The thesis template should be available in a few hours. I'll get back to you. – Dr. Manuel Kuehner Jan 2 '15 at 17:13
A template is available. Visit tex.blogoverflow.com/2015/01/… or bedienhaptik.de/latex-template. – Dr. Manuel Kuehner Jan 2 '15 at 23:10

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