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For my thesis my university has only a Word template with font sizes and "window" specifications to position title, name, date, etc.

What is the easiest way to layout such thing, if I'm not an expert in creating custom classes and only a basic user of pstricks and tikz?

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4  
You have my sympathies! –  Chris Phan Jul 27 '10 at 15:04
1  
Can you give a pointer to the specifications? –  egreg Jul 29 '11 at 11:03
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5 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

While it has the disadvantage that it will likely look slightly different from the rest of your document, it does have the advantage that the title page will look like exactly like how the university expects it to be: include a PDF version you created with their Word template.

This can be done with the pdfpages package:

\usepackage{pdfpages}

\begin{document}

\includepdf[pages=-]{titlepage.pdf}

\end{document}
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Yes, this works really reliably and hassle-free. I used this for my bachelor thesis. You’ve already mentioned the down-side. The up-side is that the title page arguably doesn’t have to look like the rest of the document anyway: after all, it’s the title. The Koma-Script documentation explains that: books basically have an outer title (the dust cover) and an inner title. Only the inner title follows the style of the book. The outer title is something completely different. –  Konrad Rudolph Jul 28 '10 at 10:33
    
I've always used some pdf merging tool to add a title page, which added one more step in the compilation process and broke the autoupdate feature of my pdf viewer. This is a far nicer solution. –  Caramdir Jul 28 '10 at 14:20
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The textpos package makes the absolute positioning of "text boxes" fairly easy. I have used it to prepare flyers, posters, etc.

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If it's for a one off solution, you can use minipage to typeset individual "windows" with specific widths.

Then tweak the vertical spacing between those windows using the \vspace*{2cm} command. Of course you can specify whatever separation you want, other than 2cm, and even negative lengths.

With the geometry package you can also get the proper margins around the whole page.

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All my past experiences with minipage and \[hv]space gave me headache =( –  Dima Jul 27 '10 at 15:41
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The memoir package has some nice layout options. It takes a little of reading and the learning curve is rather steep but the results can be amazing.

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I did it by using titlepage environment, along with center, enlarged \baselineskip and many \vskip 0pt plus.5fil and similar primitives; have a look here for inspiration, it looked like this.

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