78
votes
9answers
16k 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 ...
78
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
77
votes
13answers
3k views

What have been the most important changes to LaTeX in the last five years?

I hope I will not be flamed for this question, but I have been out of the loop for the last five years. Therefore my question is: what do you consider the most important changes to LaTeX in the last ...
77
votes
5answers
22k views

Dashes: - vs. – vs. —

This may or may not be a real TeX/LaTeX question but rather a general question on punctuation: How are the different dashes - "-", -- "–" and --- "—" supposed to be used?
77
votes
6answers
89k views

How can I get bold math symbols?

To make Latin-letter variables bold I can use e.g. \mathbf{a}, but while putting Greek letters or symbols such as \nabla inside \mathbf doesn't cause any errors or warnings, it also doesn't do ...
77
votes
3answers
15k 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 ...
76
votes
17answers
18k 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 ...
76
votes
5answers
82k views

How can I use BibTeX to cite a web page?

I'm looking to cite a number of web pages using bibtex and I was wondering if there was a specific template of the form @<template name here> for doing that. If you could use the following ...
76
votes
2answers
124k 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 ...
75
votes
9answers
50k views

Commenting out large sections

So to "comment out" a line, I need to insert a % at the beginning of the line (so that line will not be compiled). Is there way to comment out a large section without having to manually putting a % ...
75
votes
7answers
12k views

“Inspirational” quote at start of chapter

I recall seeing a package to make quotes like that of the following image at the start of a chapter, but I can't seem to find it again. (This image is from the book Combinatorics and Graph Theory ...
75
votes
5answers
9k views

Suggest a “nice” font family for my basic LaTeX template (text and math)

My goal is to choose a "nice" font family (serif, sans serif, monospace, and "math") for my basic LaTeX template. I know the default setting (Computer Modern's family) is a very good choice. However, ...
74
votes
10answers
17k 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 ...
74
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
74
votes
10answers
71k views

How to typeset subscript in usual text mode?

It's easy to make subscripts in math mode: $a_i$. How do I make a subscript outside math environment, likethis?
74
votes
4answers
106k views

Why do the less than symbol (<) and the greater than symbol (>) appear wrong as upside down exclamation (¡) or question mark (¿)?

When typing < or > in LaTeX and compiling with pdflatex, the less than and greater than symbols appear at upside down exclamation points. I'm not in math mode.
74
votes
6answers
7k views

Prettiest way to typeset “C++” (cplusplus)?

Writing "C++" in plain text results in an ugly setting, as the '+' signs are too big and too spaced: I've seen around the web several marcos for typesetting the "C++" symbol, ranging from mild ...
74
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
74
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 ...
73
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
73
votes
2answers
40k 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 ...
73
votes
4answers
2k views

Techniques and packages to keep up with good practices

Question What techniques and packages are there to keep up with good practices? What I already know I already know of the following packages for this kind of purpose: ...
73
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
73
votes
2answers
7k views

How to best debug LaTeX?

..and I don't mean finding out why it doesn't compile, I mean serious debugging: breakpoints, figuring out value of variables at a given moment during run/compile, stepping, examining a stack (is ...
72
votes
3answers
13k 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.
72
votes
2answers
6k views

What's new in TeX, version 3.14159265?

The new Knuth TeX has been released in early this month, and its version number is 3.14159265 now. It can be downloaded here. What's new in this release? And a further-more question, where can one ...
72
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
72
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there any reason to compile to DVI rather than PDF these days?

I appreciate that in the past, latex was faster than pdflatex, but computer speeds being what they are nowadays, I can't see any difference in how quickly documents compile... So, given that the end ...
72
votes
1answer
18k 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 ...
71
votes
16answers
2k views

What needs to be introduced in a short introduction to LaTeX?

One of the things listed at the How you can help in the TeX community page of the TUG website is: We'd like to have an ‘introduction to LaTeX’ document that falls somewhere between the brevity of ...
71
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
71
votes
2answers
30k 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 ...
71
votes
1answer
3k views

pgf-Tikz QR code generator

I am looking for a Tikz QR code generator. I am aware of pst-barcode as well as several "local" programs, a luatex solution and web services to do this. Nevertheless, if at all possible, I would much ...
70
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
70
votes
11answers
7k views

What are the advantages of TikZ/PGF over PSTricks?

The first time I saw the PSTricks' 3D Galleries, I immediately felt in love with it. I have spent much time to learn and use it. In this forum, I see many people using TikZ. I have not used TikZ yet. ...
70
votes
3answers
48k views

How can I make an enumerate list start at something other than 1?

Sometimes, I want to have enumerate lists in LaTeX start at other than the first value (1, a, i, etc.) How can I make an enumerate list start at an arbitrary value?
70
votes
3answers
3k 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? ...
69
votes
11answers
10k 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. ...
69
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
69
votes
4answers
5k views

How to create magnified subfigures and corresponding boxes for portions of a large image

Updated Below I hope the title gets at what I'm trying to do. I have a large image for a thesis on an image processing topic, and I want show the large image, with zoomed in boxes (typically with the ...
69
votes
6answers
6k views

I am new to TeX. Should I use LaTeX, XeLaTeX, …?

I am starting to learn LaTeX and I really like what I am seeing. However, I get the feeling I should actually start with another 'TeX' version. I've been reading about different options. Some ...
69
votes
3answers
3k views

Showing the bibliographic entry in a popup when you hover over the citation key

I thought it would be useful to have bibliographic entries displayed as a tooltip so readers are not interrupted by following hyperlinks or trying to find the Bibliography, so I created the following ...
69
votes
8answers
23k 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 ...
68
votes
5answers
4k views

Cunning (La)TeX tricks

Writing (La)TeX code sometimes requires a degree of guile. Here (in no particular order) are two of my favourite examples. Macros ending with spaces Pete asked how to see the implementation of ...
68
votes
2answers
6k views

Suppress “In:” biblatex

How do I suppress the "In: " before the journaltitle? Like so: In: Journal of Applied Physics
68
votes
6answers
17k 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?
68
votes
2answers
34k 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 ...
68
votes
2answers
20k 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 ...
68
votes
2answers
1k views

Margin notes with a pointing arrow that are automatically vertically adjusted

I am trying to emulate margin notes as they are in my (favourite) macroeconomics textbook. The crucial thing here is that the little arrow points to the line where the margin note is set. I have ...
67
votes
5answers
7k views

What are the strengths and weaknesses of KOMA-Script and memoir?

To make a professional book layout, many people suggest to use either KOMA-Script or memoir. Let me know the strengths and weaknesses of each please.

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