5

Does there exist a "manual of style" (or "manual of best practices") for LaTeX (especially geared towards mathematical writing)?

For instance, every time I've to write things like

$a^2+b^2=c^2$, where ...

I wonder if I should leave a space between the symbols (i.e., $ a^2 + b^2 = c^2 $), or if I should put the comma inside the math environment (I guess that there is no difference in the output, but I'd prefer to take on good typing habits). Or also, one may wonder if one needs the extra space in this expression:

$$ \int^b_a x^2 \ \mathrm{d}x $$

And so forth. Does there exist a standard reference for this type (and more) of LaTeX-related typographic questions?

  • 1
    just to clarify your question: are you searching for advice concerning good typographic practice or concerning how to write well readable code? In your fist example, it doesn't matter whether you have the spaces inside the math environment, LaTeX will ignore them. In your second example, there are both, spaces that will be ignored and such that will make a difference in output. Hence it would be nice if you could clarify. – Benedikt Bauer Oct 5 '15 at 14:49
  • 3
    not exactly what you're looking for ... george gratzer's More Math into LaTeX is a manual for preparing math papers and books, based on the ams document classes. it does recommend good practices (and no bad ones, that i've seen), but some details are not always uniform, but depend on the particular field being written about. regarding your examples, it's best to leave the comma outside in-line math, and you should really use \[ ... \] or \begin{equation*} ... \end{equation*} rather than $$. – barbara beeton Oct 5 '15 at 14:55
  • @BenediktBauer: I'm looking for advice concerning both good typographic practices and how to write readable code. – user87695 Oct 6 '15 at 18:32
  • @barbarabeeton: thanks for the book suggestion. – user87695 Oct 6 '15 at 18:33
  • 1
    Here are two good resources for this. 1) tex.stackexchange.com/questions/22431/… While this focuses on workflow it is excellent. Be sure to read all 5 answers as there are many excellent ideas to ease the workflow. 2) ftp.ams.org/pub/author-info/documentation/howto/mit-2.pdf This is a 1991 AMS document which has been updated. It has been made available to authors on the web; however, do not redistribute or post without AMS permission. When I was teaching "Technical Writing Using LaTeX" these were 2 references I regularly directed students to read. – R. Schumacher Oct 6 '15 at 19:05
1

For mathematics generally, use the AMS packages distributed here (the packages are required in all LaTeX distributions). They offer much easier to use environments and whatnot, allowing detailed tuning of equations and such, and also packages for easy definition on theorem-like structures. The link above gives detailed documentation.

The documentation is a bit skimpy on "how you should write", the "Short Math Guide for LaTeX" by the same AMS folks is perhaps what you should consult.

  • 1
    Not to forget mathtools that fixes some bugs and issues with amsmath. – Johannes_B Oct 6 '15 at 21:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy