A "best practice" is a technique or approach that TeXnicians recognize as giving better results than other approaches.

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6
votes
1answer
155 views

How to format mathematical and programming variables in text?

I am describing an algorithm in a journal paper. In this algorithm I have a few variables. I gave them the same names as in my source code (C++ source of the algorithm, not LaTeX source). So I have ...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Gobble optional arguments

You can use \@gobble, for instance, to restrict the usage of a macro like: \documentclass{article} \makeatletter \newcommand*{\cmd}[1]{% #1 \global\let\cmd\@gobble } \makeatother \begin{document} ...
6
votes
1answer
256 views

Typesetting chemical element names

What is the 'best' package for typesetting names of chemical element? (I don't need anything but the names of the chemical elements.) Assume I want to typeset ``The dissociation of a AgBr ...
5
votes
2answers
107 views

How to buffer the extreme value of f(x) to draw a line representing a range of f(x)?

Please consider the following animation. \documentclass[pstricks,border=12pt]{standalone} \usepackage{pst-plot} \def\f{x^2-x-6} \psset{unit=3,algebraic} \def\Atom#1{% ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

subfigure and subfig packages deprecated

I was using the subfigure package to align multiple small images in a document. However, WikiBooks states that "the subfigure and subfig packages are deprecated and shouldn't be used any more" ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

Math mode horizontal space difference between \ (backslash) and \; (backslash semicolon) and what to use for multiplication

In this code: \documentclass{article} \begin{document} \begin{equation} c = a b \end{equation} \end{document} I would like to insert a space between 'a' and 'b' (as opposed to \cdot or \times). ...
18
votes
4answers
560 views

Is there any difference between quad in math mode and text mode?

Is there any difference between $a \text{\quad text\quad} b$ and $a \quad \text{text} \quad b$? I cannot see the difference as shown in the following figure. If there is no difference, which one ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Is there another style to make an \underbrace in big braces look elegant?

I don't think the following equation looks good because of the existence of the \underbrace. \documentclass[preview,border=12pt,varwidth]{standalone} \usepackage{amsmath} \begin{document} \[ ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Improve command definition to avoid possible break

The following defines my MWE: \documentclass{article} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{totcount} \newcounter{totalpoints} \regtotcounter{totalpoints} \newcommand{\shcpoint}[1]{% ...
7
votes
1answer
171 views

What are your best practices to compile only a part of the document or presentation (or how do you prepare the big ones)?

I see that there a number of questions (A, B, C, D, E) on best practices, none of them answer the issue I am going to talk about. We all need to prepare large documents (or slides) from time-to-time. ...
6
votes
1answer
81 views

What is faster? To \RequirePackage{foo} or to check if the user has actually request it and \Require it if so?

I'm asking this because the package lineno has a thing that leaves a lot of commands in the .aux file (see here)... and I'm not sure if I should \newcommand these to empty or if I should just load the ...
30
votes
2answers
354 views

What are the standards of TeX/LaTeX coding in order to obtain robust packages?

I have posted several questions ultimately involving various aspects of robustness, that have arisen in the context of other questions in risk of clouding the main point of the question in each case. ...
9
votes
1answer
506 views

How to typeset LaTeX code inside a Table environment?

I wanted to typeset LaTeX code directly into my document, but without it doing something, i.e., I just want to show my code in the output. Now, I know there is the verbatim environment for code, as ...
96
votes
38answers
7k views

What are the most common mistakes that beginners of (La)TeX and Friends make?

I want to collect the most common mistakes, misconceptions, pitfalls, etc that (La)TeX and Friends users make. Please one answer for each mistake, misconception, pitfall, etc. I am only interested in ...
9
votes
6answers
266 views

Create association lines between characters

I intend to create "association lines" between characters, where the start of the line is one or more characters inside a word, and the end of the line is a single character. Something like this ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

What is the right way to cite @inproceedings with biblatex?

What is the right way to cite @inproceedings with biblatex? More specifically, many computer science proceedings paper citations seem to use book titles like "Proceedings of the 28th Annual ACM/IEEE ...
5
votes
2answers
245 views

Plotting R boxplots with pgfplots

I use quite a number of boxplots in my writing, and have chosen pgfplots as my plotting solution for a number of reasons (one of which is the benefit of having the data to build the plot in the tex ...
27
votes
1answer
257 views

Best practice for fixing a clash between packages without altering the .sty files?

Here is another casualty of TeX's flat namespace and another reason to start using LaTeX3... I noticed today that the algorithm2e and keystroke packages clash. More specifically, they both define a ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

What is the right way to indent your source code?

This is probably a really basic question: When I write code, I want to achieve a logical and readable structure of the lines, where I can see which brace closes which brace. \begin{equation} ...
6
votes
4answers
210 views

Is there a better way to check divisibility in LaTeX?

I want to draw a trimmed ruler, for example, from 2.3cm to 3.9cm where the distance between two consecutive marks is 1mm. I have difficulty to efficiently check whether or not the counter is a ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

How to get proper spacing when typesetting an expression such as $f\left(\frac{y}{2}\right)

I am trying to typeset the value of a function $f$ for $x = \frac{y}{2}$ (or something other which requires more vertical space). To get properly sized parentheses I tried: f\left(\frac{y}{2}\right) ...
4
votes
2answers
180 views

Macro names with one single figure like \2, a bad practice?

I know that it is not recommended to use macros like \H0 since it contains non-letters characters. However, what about the macro names like \2 with only one figure, which are allowed without trouble ...
5
votes
2answers
217 views

mdframed label multiply defined (with listings and paracol)

I use three packages (in a latex "book" document) to display source files (not only tex and sometimes loaded from external files) and their outputs (sometimes loaded from external files) side by side. ...
21
votes
4answers
711 views

Cleaning my TeX-code

I've recently finished my first paper written in LaTeX. I've gone through the code and tried to clean up and make it more reasonable - this is quite a challenge. I don't want you to actually ...
6
votes
2answers
154 views

Should I use a space or a new line after a period?

After a period in a .tex file, within a paragraph, should I use a space or a new line? I.e. like this: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec rhoncus vestibulum metus ut ...
11
votes
2answers
259 views

“Well-formed” LaTeX?

Some "commands" in LaTeX are stand-alone. For example \documentclass{...} or \textemdash. Some others have closing "commands". For example, \begin{document} and \end{document}, or \begin{equation} ...
10
votes
1answer
186 views

Why is it discouraged to use starred sectioning commands?

I'm currently considering to use \section* to add a nomenclature. Unfortunately I can't find the exact answer, but I've read on stackexchange that using starred versions of sectioning commands is ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

Putting the \chapter in main .tex file or inside included files?

My question is this: What is the usual way of making chapters when working with large .tex files? Do you put \chapter{Chapter 1} inside the main .tex file, or in the included files? What is the ...
5
votes
1answer
162 views

The difference between $\alpha _1$ and $\alpha_1$

Many people would edit my $\alpha _1$ into $\alpha_1$, do you know whether there are any reasons for the default space? Which is better? Since I generate the .tex by Mathematica, the spaces are ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

referring terms in the glossary [closed]

I am using LaTeX to write my thesis. To define new terms and its definition, I have used the glossary as separate chapter at the end of thesis. I use \gls command to refer the terms defined in ...
12
votes
4answers
388 views

How to properly typeset multiletter quantities, e.g. Re or Nu (Reynolds, Nusselt numbers)

Is there a canonical way to typeset such quantities in equations and inline math? \documentclass{article} \begin{document} $Re$, $Nu$ are clearly not an option. $\mathit{Re}$, $\mathit{Nu}$ appear ok ...
4
votes
0answers
106 views

The use of enumerated options [closed]

I am not sure what would be the best-practice approach to type setting an observation that has an enumerate list. For instance, consider: \documentclass{article} \usepackage{enumitem} ...
6
votes
3answers
228 views

How to keep tables readable in code

What is the best practice for creating and updating tables in Latex? I am using Texmaker but I find it hard to update a table like adding entries or adding a column. I have to count entries which is ...
3
votes
1answer
353 views

Good general LaTeX style practice

I just created my first document in LaTeX (a resume) and while I'm familiar with good practices in programming, I'm not familiar with what constitutes good practices in a markup language like LaTeX. ...
29
votes
2answers
745 views

What is good practice when preparing a book for printing?

I'm writing my thesis using Latex and nearing its completion I'm beginning to worry about the quality of the hardcopy. I'm curious about what should be taken into consideration when preparing a ...
17
votes
2answers
223 views

When to use a regular .initial key or a .store in key?

The excellent pgfkeys package provides, among others, two kinds of keys: regular "value-centric" keys that can be declared with /.initial, and "macro-centric" keys are declared with /.store in. Here ...
0
votes
0answers
110 views

Select colors to avoid dithering when printing document

I have some listings and some portions of text, that need (or at least i want them to have) a colored background. At the moment i'm using blue!5, which gives a nice color on the screen, but has the ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

lots of overfull boxes in a custom subsection navigation with multicols

I hope this is not too localized... I need a vertical subsection navigation where the subsection names only consists in numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) printed in a three columns layout. I managed to obtain ...
3
votes
3answers
128 views

What should be the right width of an image for each document-classes?

I would like to print good images in A4 document (300 or 600 dpi). Using an external software,I have to merge differents big images to create a bigger one so I have to resize it with the same software ...
13
votes
1answer
180 views

What practices are there regarding the use or avoidance of “internal” TeX or LaTeX commands?

What practices are there regarding the use or avoidance of "internal" TeX or LaTeX commands? (About "command" vs "macro", there is some discussion in this TeX.SX answer, though I don't know whether ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

What are the generally accepted guidelines for adjusting \linespread to avoid extra spreading from inline math?

General Background I am just starting to think about typesetting and LaTeX in anything close to a serious manner, and am getting lots of questions that perhaps are appropriate for this site, but ...
8
votes
3answers
386 views

How should I typeset the physical dimensions of quantities?

As an example: The Newton's Law gives F=ma vs. dim F=MLT^{-2} My question is: Should I typeset the "MLT" in \mathit shape? You can contrast ...
3
votes
0answers
172 views

How to manage a central bibtex file which plays nice with (TexMaker's) auto-complete?

I want to keep a single central bibtex file that is shared across all my machines. My approach has been to set up a local tex-tree in a dropbox folder, and just store the file there. So far this has ...
6
votes
2answers
253 views

Using a negative space \! to differentiate between functions and products

In Physics, I often have functions like f(x), but also multiplications like y(-x). I would like my math to be easy to understand, so I am looking for a way to suggest function calls and ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

Best practice regarding graphics size

Whenever I make graphs from R to be included in Latex, I find myself scuttling back and forth between R to specify the size of the output and Latex to play with the \includegraphics[scale=??]. It ...
30
votes
2answers
253 views

What are the best practices for programmatic interaction between LaTeX3 and LaTeX2e?

I'm thoroughly enjoying using LaTeX3 for programming my LaTeX stuff and the more I use it, the easier it gets and the more I shudder at returning to LaTeX2e or even pure TeX! But every now and again ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

Compound fractions (i.e., “mixed numbers”) look bad in displaystyle

I find that in display mode, fractions that represent simple rational numbers look way too big. For instance, consider this case: $$ a = \frac12(b+c) $$ The fraction gets inordinately large ...
10
votes
1answer
518 views

Unsung Heros - PSTricks, TikZ, pgfplots,

While watching presentations (mostly made with beamer) at my university I noticed, most people here use LaTeX to create there presentations which is really nice. (not just for the health of my eyes) ...
7
votes
2answers
152 views

Finding the depth of nesting in a macro call

Is there a general way to find the depth of a macro evaluation? For example, consider the following script, \documentclass{beamer} \usepackage{mathtools} \usepackage{calc} \begin{document} ...
7
votes
1answer
142 views

auto-pst-pdf or pdftricks2?

When I compile a LaTeX documents containing PSTricks code, I normally use the package auto-pst-pdf, but recently I found pdftricks2. Should I use auto-pst-pdf or pdftricks2 and what are the ...