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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
1answer
129 views

How to backup custom fonts and packages

I'm about to format my computer but I have installed a lot of TeX fonts and some useful TeX packages. I'd like to backup them, especially the fonts, because it took me a long long time to install but ...
13
votes
4answers
328 views

How do I tell which version of a command to use?

So LaTeX has a lot of commands that do very similar things. Often this is a result of some of these being old. For example: $x^2$ vs \(^2\); As I understand it, the second example is the more modern ...
12
votes
3answers
705 views

Empty line (in code) before enumerate environment

I like my code to look like this: \documentclass{article} \begin{document} \begin{enumerate} \item test text \begin{enumerate} \item 1 \item 2 \item 3 \item 4 \item 5 ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

The actual source of pst-plot?

In the comment to answer to his question Labels with \psplot Svend Tveskæg writes: The newest version of pst-plot can be found at http://texnik.dante.de/tex/generic/pst-plot/pst-plot.tex. Is it the ...
4
votes
2answers
582 views

Doubts for customize classicthesis

I downloaded the classicthesis from its site and I was analysing the contents of the class, the manual, examples and all that. But I have few doubts yet about how to customize well the classic thesis ...
4
votes
0answers
227 views

Long vs. short labels for cross-references [closed]

@DavidCarlisle argued in his answer that there is no need to use very long labels and it is actually a misuse! In my dissertation I find myself using very long labels all over the place. For the same ...
6
votes
1answer
182 views

Why to use [T2A, T1] when [T2A] is enough?

I am writing some seminar in Cyrillic for university \documentclass[a4paper,14pt]{extarticle} \usepackage[T2A,T1]{fontenc} \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} \usepackage{droid} ...
8
votes
1answer
113 views

How to mimic LINQ's query method for macro's key-value?

Inspired by LINQ's query method, such as deck.Take(randomCount) .Where (card => card.Suit == "Hearts") .Skip(2) .Take(5) .OrderBy (card => card.FaceValue); The deck which is ...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

Should I use \documentclass[12pt]{article} with \Large or \documentclass{article} with \LARGE?

So, I'm working on making some cards, and they need to have nice, large, clear text. So I've set the text to be \LARGE. Then I was thinking, am I doing bad things to the font by over-enlarging it? It ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

Use of \midrule in booktabs table

Are there any formal guidelines/suggestions on the use of \midrule inside a booktabs table with just rows of identically formatted data? The booktabs manual is very specific about vertical rules, ...
7
votes
1answer
289 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
251 views

Gobble optional arguments

You can use \@gobble, for instance, to restrict the usage of a macro like: \documentclass{article} \makeatletter \newcommand*{\cmd}[1]{% \textbf{#1} \let\cmd\@gobble } \makeatother ...
7
votes
1answer
4k 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
139 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{% ...
24
votes
2answers
22k 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" ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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
693 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
340 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
50 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]{% ...
9
votes
1answer
378 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
84 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 ...
33
votes
2answers
483 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
2k 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 ...
129
votes
43answers
10k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
422 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
2k 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
569 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 ...
28
votes
1answer
396 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
314 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
399 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
132 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
196 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
326 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
809 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
187 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
285 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
218 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
176 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
183 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
94 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
1k 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
123 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
367 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
733 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. ...
33
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
352 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
186 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
202 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
266 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
343 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 ...