89
votes
2answers
59k views

Lengths and when to use them

There are many lengths in LaTeX. For instance, \enskip, \enspace, \quad, \parskip, \smallskip, ... Some of them are mostly used for vertical spacing, some others are mostly used for horizontal ...
89
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does TeX Live “require” yearly updates?

Every year TeX Live provides a new version. My recollection is that soon after a new version is released, the old version's tlmgr stops fetching updates to packages. They provide upgrading ...
88
votes
11answers
15k views

Alternatives to LaTeX

Are there any professional alternatives to TeX/LaTeX which produce equal or even better typesetting? Maybe expensive commercial ones. The software counts if it is comparable or superior to LaTeX ...
88
votes
2answers
164k views

How can I manually install a package on MiKTeX (Windows)

I'm new to LaTeX, investigating using it for some work projects. I'm using MiKTeX on Windows. My employer's locked-down network blocks the application's automatic installation function. I can take ...
87
votes
9answers
20k views

How can I design a book cover?

Can anyone share his or her experience on designing a book cover? I just finished writing my "Awk One-Liners Explained" e-book and now I am designing the cover. I tried \maketitle and the result was ...
87
votes
3answers
8k views

Choosing whether to include PDF or PNG in PDFLaTeX

Can I tell graphicx somehow which graphic format to choose when I omit the file extension in includegraphics and both a PDF and a PNG version of the same image exist? The reason is that I have some ...
87
votes
3answers
17k views

What is XeTeX exactly and why should I use it?

I have been using LaTeX for five years now and have been using PDFLaTeX ever since. I find it hard to monitor the progress of LaTeX development. Recently there is a lot of talk about XeTeX. What is ...
86
votes
10answers
5k views

How can I draw an egg using TikZ?

I would like to draw an egg-format element, but I have only found ways of drawing ellipses.
86
votes
10answers
24k views

List of available TikZ libraries with a short introduction

Quick links: Summary ❧ Intersections library ❧ Arrow tips library ❧ Calc library ❧ Mindmap Library ❧ Shapes library ❧ Paper Folding Library ❧ Chains Library ❧ Shapes library Very often I ...
86
votes
3answers
10k views

Which measurement units should one use in LaTeX?

There are various measurement units that one can use (such as pt, mm, in, em, ex etc.) for specifying lengths and heights. For font-based units (em and ex) the actual spacing will vary slightly ...
86
votes
8answers
9k views

Drawbacks of XeTeX/LuaTeX

Currently I use pdflatex to process my documents, but I want to be with the cool kids and switch to XeTeX or LuaTeX. My documents are moderately multilingual (main text in portuguese or english, ...
86
votes
6answers
24k views

Style/class tutorials

What are some good tutorials on writing custom styles (classes) that clearly explain commands used and some of the features that TeX has to offer in the way of styles?
86
votes
3answers
20k views

Creating fillable PDFs

I'd like to create a LaTeX document that when rendered into PDF, has forms that can be filled out using Adobe Reader or other such programs. Then I'd like to be able to extract the data. I ...
86
votes
4answers
5k views

How to draw a Sankey Diagram using TikZ

I would like to draw something similar to this (not exactly): using TikZ. Ideally I would be able to set the width by variables and rejoin two flows into one again. Is there a good way to do this? ...
86
votes
2answers
29k views

Continuous v. per-chapter/section numbering of figures, tables, and other document elements

Some document elements (e.g., figures in the book class) are numbered per chapter (figure 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, ...). How can I achieve continuous numbering (figure 1, 2, 3, ...)? And vice versa: Some ...
85
votes
16answers
4k views

Showcase of optical illusions made with TeX/LaTeX/LuaTeX/ConTeXt

Optical illusions are fun, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a list of optical illusions designed using MetaPost, or PGF/TikZ, or PS-Tricks, or Asymptote. Each entry should display one ...
85
votes
3answers
12k views

Fancy chapter headings

I'm searching for nice predefined chapter headings. I've found the fncychap package, and seen that memoir has quite a few, too. Do you know other packages that provide predefined fancy chapter ...
85
votes
2answers
41k views

\emph or \textit

In the comments section of Does it matter if I use \textit or \it, I asked for a clarification of these points. The clarification has mostly been made, but it was requested that I turn this into a ...
85
votes
3answers
16k views

What is the difference between \let and \def?

What is the difference between the \let and \def commands in TeX/LaTeX? Ideally please provide a simple example that will illustrate the difference between them.
85
votes
2answers
8k views

Suppress “In:” biblatex

How do I suppress the "In: " before the journaltitle? Like so: In: Journal of Applied Physics
84
votes
8answers
5k views

Sieve of Eratosthenes in tikz

I am writing notes for my students under the topic of prime factorization and I needed to illustrate the Sieve of Eratosthenes and this is what I came up with in tikz: \documentclass{article} ...
84
votes
5answers
7k views
+200

How can we display fireworks?

Soon we can celebrate the New Year. How can we use TikZ for drawing fireworks? For example like this, photographed by Kurume-Shimin, found on Wikipedia: Click on Image search for getting further ...
84
votes
20answers
5k views

As an expert, can you always use TeX for (nearly) any kind of document?

I am just beginning to learn TeX. Coming from web-development, I find separating content from style very sensible, and I like the logic behind it. To me it looks that having control over formatting is ...
84
votes
2answers
98k views

How to write “ä” and other umlauts and accented letters in bibliography?

How to write in bibliography (package natbib) letter "a" with two dots above? Specially, I mean the word Birkhäuser. Is there a general rule or way how to write such umlauts or other accented letters ...
84
votes
2answers
47k views

How do I create an invisible character?

I cannot remember how to create an invisible character in LaTeX, i.e. I want to put a space the that has the width of a particular character, say `M'. I know there is a command for this, and this is ...
84
votes
2answers
54k views

How to change certain pages into landscape/portrait mode

How can I change some pages into document into landscape mode, while leaving the others in portrait mode (or vice versa)?
84
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there some way to embed LaTeX source code in a PDF file?

Several times now I have inadvertently lost the .tex file that generated a PDF file with pdflatex. Given what I know of the internal structure of PDF files, it should be possible to embed a text file ...
83
votes
17answers
28k views

Why should I use LaTeX?

I have heard a lot about LaTeX, but never used it myself. It is mainly used for typesetting professional research papers. But I am not writing research papers. Is LaTeX for me? If yes, why should I ...
83
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the finishing touches you put to a document?

I'm curious about the finishing touches that people put to LaTeX documents. Are there any canonical or special things that people do in finalizing a document? What I do: Careful proofreading of ...
83
votes
2answers
6k views

What are penalties and which ones are defined?

Very often you can find solutions by changing the penalty. One is widowpenalty. However what are penalties and is there a small list of every defined penalty. There is a German site which does ...
83
votes
4answers
24k views

Vertical space in lists

What is the best way to globally change the amount of vertical space between items in list environments?
83
votes
3answers
5k views

Fundamental differences : PSTricks, TikZ/PGF and others

OK, since this is a pretty vague and subjective question. I need to set up some borders around the discussion that I intend to benefit from. But before anything, I certainly do NOT want to excite the ...
83
votes
3answers
9k views

Simulate a scanned paper

I'm try to move my current paperwork routine towards a paperless workflow (for the “administrative” type of papers, of course… not for serious reading tasks). There is one major annoyance thwarting ...
82
votes
3answers
89k views

What point (pt) font size are \Large etc.?

In the preamble I have: \documentclass[a4paper,11pt]{article} \usepackage{fontspec} \setmainfont{Arial} What can be inferred about the real font pt size for the following? \tiny, \scriptsize, ...
82
votes
5answers
12k views

\includegraphics: Dots in filename

\includegraphics cannot handle filenames that contain more than the one dot, separating the filename from the extension. Apparently it uses everything after the first dot as extension and then, of ...
82
votes
2answers
31k views

Is it wrong to use \clearpage instead of \newpage?

The commands \newpage and \clearpage both force a page break. In addtion, the latter command also "flushes" all pending floats from the stack, i.e., forces them to be typeset starting on the page that ...
82
votes
5answers
7k views

Is there an easy way to have my whole document with a space between paragraphs rather than indentation?

I would like to have my whole document showing a blank line (or space) between paragraphs and no indentation. I know how to do it line by line, but is there a way to change that with just one or a few ...
82
votes
1answer
27k views

Regarding the `book`, `report`, and `article` document classes: what are the main differences?

What are the main differences between the book, report, and article document classes? I am interested in the following: visual differences in the final document; differences in the way the ...
81
votes
1answer
7k views

PDF colour model and LaTeX

(Strictly speaking, this is a question about XeLaTeX and the xcolor package but I’m assuming that the issue is actually with the color model of PDF.) I’m having the problem that colours in my PDF ...
80
votes
4answers
11k views

Why is LaTeX3 taking so long to come out?

I feel as though I have been hearing about the LaTeX3 project for a very long time. Why is it taking so long for it to come into fruition? Are there major technical difficulties, or is it purely a ...
80
votes
6answers
26k views

Showcase of beautiful title page done in TeX

The book is mostly meets by the Title Page. Default TeX \maketitle are simple and minimalistic. I'm looking for examples of Title Pages: complex - have different formatting; beautiful and awesome; ...
80
votes
11answers
13k views

Speeding up LaTeX compilation

Usually I don't mind about LaTeX's compilation speed, because a paper of less than 20 pages is compiled rather fast. However, I am working on a large document - A report with more than 80 pages. ...
80
votes
11answers
27k views

Grammar-checking tool for use with LaTeX?

I am looking for a grammar-checking tool, i.e., something that checks for mistakes such as "two dog" or "a books". It has to work on Linux (Ubuntu). Also, since that I use macros to generate some of ...
80
votes
8answers
28k views

LaTeX document to epub or mobi ebook formats (with mathematical formulas)

Recently I purchased an ebook reader (Kindle), and I want to export some of my document in LaTeX to an ebook format. I tried exporting from LaTeX to PDF, but isn't perfect because I have to zoom ...
79
votes
6answers
17k views

Latin Modern vs cm-super?

I've read various answers to questions on here that suggest the original Computer Modern fonts have been superceded. Sometimes it is suggested we use the cm-super package, sometimes that we instead ...
79
votes
8answers
19k views

“Track changes” in LaTeX

I am writing a scientific paper with my collaborator. We have submitted a version to a journal and now we got a review from them, so we need to fix a few things. In Microsoft Word there is the option ...
79
votes
5answers
22k views

Cool Text Highlighting in LaTeX

LaTeX has soul. ConTeXt, of course, has beautifully marked up "sharpie" highlighting, where you can put sweet hightligher under your text for free! In the pictured example, you can see highlights ...
79
votes
5answers
88k views

eqnarray vs align

I want to include a list of related equations, say, for a proof, in my LaTeX document. As far as I know, I have two good options, eqnarray and align. What is the difference between them, and how do I ...
79
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the minimum one needs to know to use TikZ?

I am fed up with the poor quality of the pictures in the papers written by my graduate students and am trying to convince them to use TikZ. I know of three ways to begin learning TikZ: The TikZ ...
79
votes
1answer
2k views

What can *I* do to help the LaTeX3 Project

First, I appreciate this may not be the right place for this question, so absolutely no offence if it gets closed. I'm very much an end-user, rather than a programmer, of LaTeX, and I watch with awe ...

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