I have stumbled across various pseudo code packages but can't seem to find that's simple and eye-candy and practical.

What I'm looking for:

  • Visually attractive structure (eye-candy) ( easy to look at -- understandable )
  • Numbered
  • Colored (optional)
  • Title on top
  • Practical and easy to use

The one I'm using now is

\usepackage{algorithm2e} %for psuedo code
\begin{algorithm}[H] %or another one check
 \caption{How to write algorithms}
     \KwData{this text}
     \KwResult{how to write algorithm with \LaTeX2e }
     \While{not at end of this document}{
      read current\;
       go to next section\;
       current section becomes this one\;
       go back to the beginning of current section\;


which outputs

enter image description here

However, I do not really like how the code is presented here.

  • 6
    We might be able to help you better if you state what you do not (and what you do) like about the code. “Visually attractive structure (eye-candy)” is very subjective. Some like it fancy, some like it serious. Apr 28, 2013 at 1:54
  • @Qrrbrbirlbel can you give a rough of example of what you mean by fancy or serious ?
    – Razor
    Apr 28, 2013 at 2:00
  • @Qrrbrbirlbel I updated question.
    – Razor
    Apr 28, 2013 at 2:11
  • I give a number of examples in Print programs with its proper syntax as discussion of the possibilities. Not sure whether it's a duplicate.
    – Werner
    Apr 28, 2013 at 3:24
  • I've removed the texshop tag, since it is not relevant to the question. TeXShop is an editor, and your question is about packages.
    – Alan Munn
    Apr 28, 2013 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


Probably the user who asked this question is not interested in my answer anymore. But I was in the same quest didn't find any good-looking algorithm package (for my taste).
Since I'm a fan of the Listings package I followed Ruben's suggestion and created my own environment. Features:

  • higlights my own specific keywords (but a predefined language can be used to that end)
  • When defined a caption, it appears as "Algorithm x.y: the caption" where x is the number of the chapter and y is the number of the algorithm (but this is easily changed if chapter-level is not required)

Here follows the code to go in the preamble!


\newcounter{nalg}[chapter] % defines algorithm counter for chapter-level
\renewcommand{\thenalg}{\thechapter .\arabic{nalg}} %defines appearance of the algorithm counter
\DeclareCaptionLabelFormat{algocaption}{Algorithm \thenalg} % defines a new caption label as Algorithm x.y

\lstnewenvironment{algorithm}[1][] %defines the algorithm listing environment
    \refstepcounter{nalg} %increments algorithm number
    \captionsetup{labelformat=algocaption,labelsep=colon} %defines the caption setup for: it ises label format as the declared caption label above and makes label and caption text to be separated by a ':'
    \lstset{ %this is the stype
        keywords={,input, output, return, datatype, function, in, if, else, foreach, while, begin, end, } %add the keywords you want, or load a language as Rubens explains in his comment above.
        #1 % this is to add specific settings to an usage of this environment (for instnce, the caption and referable label)

Now you can use as simple as follows:

\begin{algorithm}[caption={Integer division.}, label={alg1}]
 input: int N, int D
 output: int
   res $\gets$ 0
   while N $\geq$ D 
     N $\gets$ N - D
     res $\gets$ res + 1      
   return res

Typeset result

Hope you enjoy as much as I did :P

  • 1
    I'm not getting the commands to work in the environment. Commands like $\gets$, or even \rightarrow. Jun 14, 2016 at 2:54
  • 3
    I think you just need to add mathescape=true to the lstset block in configurations. Hope it works!
    – pnpo
    Jun 15, 2016 at 20:26
  • I believe you also need to add \usepackage{color} for this example to work.
    – Adriaan
    Oct 12, 2016 at 8:54

You may try out listings, which in the first place provides solutions to typeset program code instead of pseudo code. Although i think that it could work out. For instance i used it in a numerical mathematics lecture to typeset Matlab code. Since Matlab is very generic and close to Pseudo, this could fit to your problem:

\usepackage{listings} %iclude code in your document

\lstloadlanguages{Matlab} %use listings with Matlab for Pseudocode
{\lstset{language=Matlab,basicstyle=\scriptsize, keywordstyle=\color{darkblue},numbers=left,xleftmargin=.04\textwidth,#1}}

\caption{How to write algorithms}
\textbf{Data:} this text\\
\textbf{Result:} how to write algorithm with \LaTeX2e\\
while not at end of this document do
    read current;
    if understand
        go to next section;
        current section becomes this one;
        go back to the beginning of current section;

Now you just have to define a float environment alias of figure (packages: float, newfloat, i.e.) or use the caption package to fix that the caption of your algorithm is named "figure 1:...". With the presented solution there is only one drawback: Keywords like while,if,end,... are marked everywhere in the text, also if not needed; like in line 1 of the code. Maybe someone here knows how to work around this. In the meantime i will look this up too.

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