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
5answers
12k 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, ...
84
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, ...
83
votes
9answers
18k 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 ...
83
votes
2answers
143k 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 ...
82
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} ...
82
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 ...
82
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
82
votes
2answers
50k 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 ...
82
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
81
votes
5answers
7k views

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 ...
81
votes
10answers
21k 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 ...
81
votes
4answers
124k 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.
81
votes
3answers
17k 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 ...
81
votes
4answers
4k 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? ...
80
votes
17answers
23k 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 ...
80
votes
3answers
14k 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.
80
votes
1answer
23k 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 ...
80
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
79
votes
10answers
90k 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?
79
votes
3answers
15k 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 ...
78
votes
2answers
7k views

Suppress “In:” biblatex

How do I suppress the "In: " before the journaltitle? Like so: In: Journal of Applied Physics
78
votes
3answers
80k views

Superscript outside math mode

What is the easiest way to superscript text outside of math mode? For example, let's say I want to write the $n^{th}$ element, but without the math mode's automatic italicization of the th. And what ...
78
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
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
11answers
10k 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 ...
76
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
76
votes
2answers
35k 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 ...
76
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
76
votes
2answers
41k 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 ...
76
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 ...
76
votes
8answers
26k 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 ...
75
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
75
votes
4answers
19k views

Vertical space in lists

What is the best way to globally change the amount of vertical space between items in list environments?
75
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
75
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
75
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
75
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
75
votes
1answer
23k 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 ...
75
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
75
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
75
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 ...
75
votes
2answers
2k views

Revisiting producing structured PDFs from LaTeX

I am trying to produce a structured or 'tagged' PDF from pdftex (Tex Live 2013) that passes automated tests in Adobe Acrobat for tagging. These tests are the de facto indicator for a document ...
74
votes
8answers
15k 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 ...
74
votes
6answers
22k 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; ...
74
votes
11answers
12k 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. ...
74
votes
6answers
20k 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?
74
votes
1answer
5k views

How to include a picture over two pages, left part on left side, right on right (for books)?

When writing a long book (from 300 to over a 1000 pages), there is often need to include large pictures and one wishes to have them displayed over two pages, left half on the left page, right half on ...
74
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 ...
73
votes
5answers
16k 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 ...

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