109
votes
3answers
27k views

\pagebreak vs \newpage

What's the difference? I know that \pagebreak can take an optional argument that specifies how much a page break is desired, but is there any difference if the optional argument is not used?
108
votes
11answers
23k 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 ...
107
votes
2answers
61k 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 ...
107
votes
5answers
6k views

Best practice on organising your preamble

I am putting together a large document and my preamble is unwieldly and disorganised. What order does it make sense to load packages. Obviously, hyperref goes last, apart from things that have to go ...
106
votes
16answers
6k views

How to prolong compilation time while engaging in leisure activities?

I thought of that old joke today, where a programmer can make an undeniable excuse for his leisure activities while in work on the basis that he is just waiting for his code to compile. Although I ...
106
votes
7answers
121k views

Column and row padding in tables

How do you guys go about controlling column padding in tables? Update To clarify, I'm looking for a way to control both vertical and horizontal padding. So, if I had a simple table like in the ...
106
votes
8answers
28k 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 ...
106
votes
4answers
208k 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 ...
105
votes
2answers
80k 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 ...
104
votes
9answers
10k views

Simulating hand-drawn lines

I am working on a project that will have some vector graphics, perhaps using TikZ (or a similar package). All of the graphics consists of lines, in shades of gray. However, the lines from TikZ appear ...
103
votes
3answers
19k 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.
103
votes
3answers
22k 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 ...
101
votes
12answers
7k views

LaTeX packages for use with revision control

I use revision control (Subversion, to be exact) to keep track of the edits to my LaTeX documents. Is there a LaTeX package that interfaces with revision control? Specifically, it would be nice to see ...
101
votes
2answers
42k 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 ...
101
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 ...
100
votes
4answers
36k views

Vertical space in lists

What is the best way to globally change the amount of vertical space between items in list environments?
99
votes
18answers
40k 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 ...
99
votes
6answers
31k 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?
99
votes
2answers
15k views

Biblatex/biber fails with a strange error about missing recode_data.xml file

I'm trying to use biblatex and when I compile my document I get an error like the following: Windows data source C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\par-5061756c\ ...
98
votes
7answers
25k views

What is the difference between TeX and LaTeX?

I know LaTeX and I've heard that LaTeX is a set of macros in TeX. But what does it exactly mean?
98
votes
7answers
37k 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; ...
98
votes
5answers
5k views

Put entire thesis on one A0 poster?

The question Is there any way to automatically scale and put an entire document on an A0 page? The thesis for which this is to be done is available as LaTeX code, as well as PDF output. Of course I ...
97
votes
9answers
6k views

Starting a PhD; Any guides to setting up a 'system'?

I'm starting a PhD and am being overwhelmed with the different possible ways people do things, and how they very rarely mix. I'm (obviously) sold on TeXing it, and have a ViM background I intend on ...
97
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? ...
97
votes
2answers
41k 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 ...
96
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
96
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 ...
95
votes
8answers
29k views

How to typeset $:=$ correctly?

I like to use $:=$ for "is defined to be equal to", but this is never typeset with the symmetry one would like, as the colon is always too low relatively to the equals sign. Is there any way of ...
95
votes
2answers
10k views

Suppress “In:” biblatex

How do I suppress the "In: " before the journaltitle? Like so: In: Journal of Applied Physics
95
votes
5answers
17k 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 ...
95
votes
1answer
21k views

Manual/automatic line breaks and text alignment in TikZ nodes

How can I insert a line break in a TikZ node? Simply putting \\ where I want the break doesn't work (see MWE). Is there a way to make lines break automatically at some specified width? And can I ...
95
votes
3answers
25k 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 ...
95
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
94
votes
9answers
25k 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 ...
94
votes
6answers
21k 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 ...
94
votes
3answers
49k views

Correctly scaling a tikzpicture

I was wondering which is the correct way to scale a tikzpicture. I tried with \begin{tikzpicture}[scale=0.50] but what I obtain is that distances between elements are scaled but not their sizes or ...
94
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
94
votes
1answer
34k 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 ...
93
votes
7answers
32k views

How can I add “page # of ##” on my document?

I want to add a footer to my document displaying the current number out of total number of pages. How do I do that?
93
votes
5answers
126k views

eqnarray vs align

Motivation 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. Question What is the difference ...
91
votes
4answers
141k views

How do I change the `enumerate` list format to use letters instead of the default Arabic numerals?

I've seen documentation whereby an \alph command is put around the \begin{enumerate} somewhere, but I'm not entirely sure how that operates...
91
votes
2answers
141k views

How to create fixed width table columns with text raggedright/centered/raggedleft?

I would like to create a table with some columns' width specified, while the text in those columns should be centered both horizontally and vertically. I found out that \usepackage{array} ...
91
votes
2answers
51k 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 ...
91
votes
9answers
10k 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, ...
91
votes
2answers
110k views

Omitting the date when using \maketitle

I'm using the \author and \title commands to produce a title with \maketitle. I also know that there is a \date command to specify the date of my work. However, if I omit \date, \maketitle will ...
91
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 ...
90
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 ...
90
votes
11answers
48k views

Good way to make \textcircled numbers?

I'm trying to make some good-looking numbers in a circle, using the simple command: \textcircled{1} However, the circle is misaligned vertically with the number, and look a bit sloppy: Any ...
90
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
90
votes
11answers
71k views

Using \footnote in a figure's \caption

Maybe this is an easy one, but I struggled with this now too long :) I want to have a footnote in a caption of a figure, see the example. \begin{figure}[!ht] \caption{a figure ...

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