121
votes
8answers
67k views

Entering Unicode characters in LaTeX

How do I enter Unicode characters in LaTeX? What packages do I need to install and what escape sequence do I type to specify Unicode characters in an ASCII source file?
121
votes
2answers
19k 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\ ...
119
votes
3answers
32k 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?
118
votes
10answers
9k views

Why is LaTeX so complicated? [closed]

I have been using LaTeX professionally almost every day for almost 10 years, so I think I can say that, by now, I more or less know what I'm doing. I also do a lot of ordinary computer programming, in ...
118
votes
2answers
179k 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} ...
118
votes
5answers
10k views

LaTeX3 versus pure Lua

Reading this site for the last nearly two years I've learned a lot about LaTeX3 (which I had previously understood to be a defunct pipe dream) and LuaTeX (of which I was previously totally unaware). ...
117
votes
25answers
17k views

Tools for automating document compilation

A lot of people write makefiles that say something like paper.pdf: paper.tex pdflatex paper bibtex paper pdflatex paper pdflatex paper To handle re-running TeX to ...
117
votes
10answers
39k 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 ...
117
votes
14answers
43k views

Totally sweet horizontal rules in LaTeX

I have been trying to find a way to easily drop a nice horizontal rule into a LaTeX document. \hline just makes a line across the page. It would seem that some package must provide something that is ...
117
votes
1answer
29k 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 ...
116
votes
14answers
18k views

What is the most bizarre thing you have seen done with TeX

I think the questions says it all! :) By TeX, I mean any derivative of TeX as long as the code is clearly a derivative of TeX, i.e. that it could belong on TeX.SX (and not pure Lua for example). ...
116
votes
2answers
143k 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 ...
115
votes
6answers
9k views

How productive are you with TikZ?

First, I must say I have very limited knowledge about PGF/TikZ. Most things I do are blind copy-pastes of examples I find on the Internet with lots of trial-and-error and googling around. After ...
115
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
114
votes
9answers
43k 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?
114
votes
3answers
22k 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.
114
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
114
votes
2answers
26k 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 ...
112
votes
18answers
50k 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 ...
111
votes
4answers
187k 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...
111
votes
5answers
62k 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 ...
109
votes
5answers
161k 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 ...
109
votes
2answers
52k 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 ...
108
votes
10answers
11k 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 ...
108
votes
6answers
37k 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?
108
votes
2answers
52k 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 ...
108
votes
3answers
29k 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 ...
107
votes
5answers
21k 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 ...
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
3answers
12k 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 ...
106
votes
7answers
44k 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; ...
106
votes
2answers
113k views

When should we use \begin{center} instead of \centering?

After reading this question Should I use center or centering for figures?, I want to know the answer of the following. When should we use \begin{center} instead of \centering? For example, should we ...
106
votes
3answers
27k 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 ...
105
votes
2answers
12k views

Suppress “In:” biblatex

How do I suppress the "In: " before the journaltitle? Like so: In: Journal of Applied Physics
104
votes
12answers
58k 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 ...
104
votes
7answers
30k 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?
104
votes
11answers
85k 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 ...
104
votes
1answer
40k 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 ...
103
votes
11answers
52k views

Forcing linebreaks in \url

I wish to typeset some relatively long URLs in a piece of text, and when I use \url{..}, the resulting text does not respect the margin boundaries that govern the main text body, instead going all the ...
103
votes
3answers
17k 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 ...
102
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 ...
102
votes
4answers
35k views

How to change the name of document elements like “Figure”, “Contents”, “Bibliography”, “Appendix”, etc.?

I'd like to modify the names used to typeset some of my document elements. For example, the caption of figure floats should change from "Figure" to "Fig.", and my \tableofcontents sectioning heading ...
102
votes
3answers
33k views

How do I ensure that figures appear in the section they're associated with?

Often floats may land quite a bit later in the document than the point they are created, sometimes after a section break. Is there a way to force a new section to start on a new page, after any ...
102
votes
4answers
6k 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? ...
101
votes
6answers
23k 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 ...
101
votes
3answers
27k views

How to make the PDFs produced by `pdflatex` smaller?

I feel that the PDFs produced by pdflatex are too huge. So for example my 50 page book with no illustrations is 500KB. I feel it should be more like 50K or even less. The .tex files together are just ...
100
votes
10answers
28k 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 ...
100
votes
12answers
21k 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. ...
100
votes
2answers
61k 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 ...
100
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 ...

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