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

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56
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12answers
4k views

How to practice LaTeX?

With many programming languages, you have the opportunity of practicing the language by doing problems or developing programs that will do certain things. With LaTeX, however, you can't exactly do ...
3
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1answer
1k views

How do you organize bibtex citations?

I use JabRef sofar on multiple files, each for a specific topic and then include all the needed (mostly all of them) at the end of file with a single line: \bibliography{bib/foo,bib/bar,..} ...
10
votes
1answer
225 views

Rule of thumb for synchronizing/updating Tex distributions

Some companies will not update their tex distribution regularly. What is a practical length of time to allow to pass before failing to resynchronize Tex Live or Miktex could reasonably become a ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Hanging indentation of source code within sentence a la Vim-LaTeX-Box

I've recently been playing with the LaTex-Box plugin for Vim and noticed the layout of the source code on their Github page: What interests me is the 2-space hanging indent within each sentence. ...
74
votes
6answers
3k views

How to keep up with packages and know which ones are obsolete?

I'm an on and off user of LaTeX so I'm not familiar with every package out there. Having said that, whenever I use LaTeX and need to accomplish a certain goal (i.e. generate a list of appendices), I ...
11
votes
2answers
240 views

Which is better practice: rendering figures on the fly, or importing them as images?

I've come to a philosophical quandary with respect to my use of LaTeX for scientific writeups. At first I tried to render all figures in LaTeX at compile-time, for example making a graph using ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I get function argument parenthesis to position correctly?

I'm having trouble with the appearance of parentheses representing function arguments. They appear to far away from the function name. For example the code ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Properly writing an enumerated list in different lines within a sentence

My question is similar to this one but my items are bigger so I would like to write my items each in a different line. I am currently doing as follows The way to propose a solution that ...
3
votes
0answers
78 views

Pgfplots Boxplots with a thick line at the mean value

pgfplot produces nice looking plots, that have consistent look and feel. But sometimes you have a good reason to change that look, and I found it tricky to change style of an specific line, circle, ...
14
votes
1answer
368 views

Proper semantics for italicized foreign words and phrases

In English, foreign words and phrases such as per se and ibid. should be italicized, as shown here. There might be a number of ways to accomplish this in LaTeX: with \emph{per se} with \textit{per ...
5
votes
1answer
54 views

Math symbol in section heading

I have a section heading which includes an epsilon. Furthermore I am using the "hyperref" package to create links in my PDF document. When compiling I get a strange warning that a math symbol is not ...
7
votes
2answers
160 views

Temporarily changing catcode of %

Scenario I have a bunch of TeX files which may be processed by an external filter. The filter is (unfortunately) immutable: it does a string replacement where, for example, %d is expanded to a ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

Math symbols in text mode

I need to write a text which contains some math symbols. In detail those include \rightarrow, \forall and \exists. I know I can switch into math mode with the $ symbol, but I have quite a lot of text ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

“Good” command names for typesetting matrices and vectors

I usually add \newcommand{\M}[1]{\bm{#1}} % Matrix \newcommand{\V}[1]{\boldsymbol{\mathbf{#1}}} % Vector to my preambles. Short command names because I use them very often. Is ...
2
votes
3answers
67 views

How to fit a table with long header cells in “S”-type columns?

Well fit tables in LaTeX is hard for me, and I don't know if there is a manual with good practices about it. I need to create a table with S columns contending numbers, but the header of those columns ...
13
votes
3answers
236 views

Which packages should I recommend to postgraduates in different academic disciplines?

I'm preparing a list of package recommendations for an intermediate workshop on LaTeX. I avoided providing such a list at the introductory workshop as the tendency is to then add packages without ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

How should I write math? [closed]

I'm new to TeX and I would like to use it to write math (on a Mac). I've just downloaded MacTex and I'm wondering what's the recommended workflow. Am I supposed to write math in TeX macros/code and ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Issues with nesting \textbf and \textit

I am trying to format a text so that it is bold and italic at the same time. I am doing this by nesting the \textbf and \textit commands, what should be no problem according to ...
13
votes
2answers
183 views

Should expl3 code be used in packages intended to be compatible with multiple formats?

Maybe this question is just not a good idea in general, but, I'm curious. This could make package development simpler for some in the future. (Of course, this would not be forced on any package ...
51
votes
5answers
13k views

Should I \mathrm the d in my integrals?

When writing an integral, it seems like something should be done to separate the "d", as in \int f(x) dx, so as not to confuse it with a variable. I've seen it left as-is, bolded, and straightened. ...
8
votes
1answer
406 views

Is There Any Reason to Put Braces for Argument-less Commands (e.g. \int{})

Is there an reason/advantage for writing the integration (and other argumentless commands) as: \int{xdx} instead of \int xdx? I can see the first one gives a more comprehensible code, but are there ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Same pgfplots within standalone for usage in elsarticle and revtex4-1

Suppose I have created a plot with pgfplots for a scientific paper. However, for usual reasons the targeted journal is not certain. Possibly the plot has to be adjusted to match different journals ...
7
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
139 views

‘Correct’ way of writing a function?

So for all these years, I have been writing a function f(x) as $\mathop{f}(x)$. But now that I begin to think about a correct way of writing a function, what should it be? Is it f(x) or ...
116
votes
6answers
61k views

utf8x vs. utf8 (inputenc)

I normally use \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} for my latex document but on this site i saw a lot of code with \usepackage[utf8x]{inputenc}. What are the differences between the 2 options ? Is there one ...
68
votes
5answers
11k views

Is there a preference of when to use \text and \mathrm?

I'm unsure of when it is preferable to use \text versus \mathrm, is there some unwritten rule about the use of these? For example, I saw the following code in a math post: ...
9
votes
1answer
432 views

Best Practice (Packages) for a Standard Technical Article With Math and Figures

I am interested in your opinion regarding the recommend packages for a standard technical document (Engineering, Physics). I normally use the following header: \documentclass{article} % Basic ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

How to properly typeset footnotes/superscripts after punctuation marks?

I find the spacing of footnote marks after punctuation marks quite unsatisfactory, especially with sans serif fonts and compared to the spacing after letters. Example follows: I came up with a ...
14
votes
2answers
261 views

How to define a wrapper to a command that takes an optional argument?

What is the proper way to define a wrapper to a command which takes an optional argument (such as \chapter)? I mean a wrapper, not a clone, such that we can inject code into the wrapper without ...
8
votes
2answers
322 views

Is this sacrificial command a good idea?

I have this command: \newcommand{\name}[1]{\edef\name{#1}} You first call it as in \name{Don} and afterwards you can refer to Don using \name. Is this an accetable way to express a constant that ...
5
votes
2answers
546 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

What are the “best practices” when writing a thesis in Latex? [duplicate]

I am starting to write my master thesis in latex. So far I have only written article-like texts, so this is my first big document. I would like to start with some good general good practices. ...
11
votes
1answer
951 views

Typography and style - good choices for font styles in TikZ or pgfplots graphics?

When creating graphics or graphs with TikZ and/or pgfplots, one can put several commands to format the text to his likings. My question is: what are sound possibilities to format the elements in said ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

How to Read/Edit tex files on an Ipad [duplicate]

I use LaTeX for writing books. I would like to extend my working environment and, I was wondering if it is possible to read (or much better - edit) tex files containing text only on an ipad? I know ...
7
votes
1answer
158 views

How can I make it easier to write LaTeX documents with elaborate mathematics?

I'm a severely visually handicapped student of mathematics. I wonder how I can speed up my latex document creation. I'm pasting below solution to a problem in a functional analysis book by Kreyszig. ...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

Policy to stress preferrable syntax

Question Assume someone wrote a LaTeX document using my package some time ago. I want to let him know that his code should be updated. The idea is to allow outdated syntax by the LaTeX compiler but ...
24
votes
2answers
21k 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
138 views

Best practice for biblatex, biber, utf8 files

I use biblatex and biber. I used to use bibtex. So, when I first started writing .bib files I would have entries like this: @article{descartes, Author = {Descartes, Ren{\'{e}}} Title = ...
3
votes
0answers
27 views

What is the best approach regarding .cfg files for the LaTeX graphics bundle?

The manual for the 'graphics' LaTeX bundle includes instructions for setting up the right conditions for the use of colour and the inclusion of graphics in documents. For example, on page 2, it says ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

How to put information about the tool used to generate the document into the LaTeX file?

I am writing a tool which will (as one of its features) generate LaTeX documents from some input format. I would like to put an unobtrusive piece of information about the tool in the generated file ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Indexing the result of a lengthy matrix computation

this question relates to a problem about style or maybe convention. I have a matrix $M$ which is the result of a lengthy matrix computation (in my case: a long chain of matrix additions and ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Acronyms - Best practice to use during the text and create acronym page

I'm starting writing my PhD thesis in LaTeX however since I'm still at the beginning of the PhD I'm writing some pieces at the introduction, other at methods, sometimes the other way around. When I ...
66
votes
3answers
5k views

Are there any coding style guidelines for LaTeX?

I have been using LaTeX for a long time now, but still all my document files look a bit messy. Now I want to get rid of this bad habit and get some order into my code. That is why I am wondering ...
10
votes
1answer
212 views

Letterspacing via microtype vs fontspec (in LuaLaTeX)

I've just realised that I can get somewhat similar letterspacing effects using either the microtype or fontspec packages; for example: \documentclass{article} \usepackage{fontspec} ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Tex File naming convention [duplicate]

Is it possible to number tex files? I'm avoiding it now but, I would like to order a list of files (chapters in a book) so that each chapter is easy to find. Will this cause a problem? I have in mind: ...
168
votes
8answers
12k views

Are \( and \) preferable to dollar signs for math mode?

Along the lines of Why is \[ ... \] preferable to $$?, what reasons are there (if any) to favor \( ... \) over $ ... $?
100
votes
2answers
21k views

Should \tikzset or \tikzstyle be used to define TikZ styles?

The PGF/TikZ manual states in section 12.4 Using Graphic Options, page 120 (v2.10), that TikZ styles can be set using: \tikzset{my style/.style={<tikz options>},...} However, in several ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

what are pitfalls when using doi as bibtexkey?

A very common scheme for bibtexkeys is FirstauthornameYYYY like Bohr1922. This scheme is not well suited for collaborating in teams because of collisions (Bohr1922a vs. Bohr1922b if there were many ...
10
votes
2answers
140 views

How to implement common layouts instead of misusing tabular environments?

Note: My hope is that this can become a general resource for "use a list instead" comments. If you have suggestions for improvement, please let me know. I often see comments such as This ...
15
votes
1answer
154 views

Customizing names of auxiliary file: safe practices?

I maintain a package (morewrites) which requires a temporary auxiliary file to function (written and read right away). This auxiliary file is currently named \jobname.mw, and a user has asked me to ...