I'd like to be able to make a datasheet for a module that I'm building. By datasheet, I mean a document containing:

  1. A title page, with the primary features, applications, and an application block diagram
  2. A table with electrical characteristics (Which might have multiple sections or span multiple pages).
  3. A set of graphs conveying the information in the table(s) in a graphical manner
  4. One or more pages with large images describing a schematic view of the device
  5. A section which defines abbreviations used in the schematic views
  6. A section which describes the use of the device's hardware
  7. A section which describes the protocol for interacting with the device in software
  8. And finally, a (possibly long) section which includes text, equations, source code, and schematics for a variety of applications.

Here are some examples of such documents by current manufacturers (all PDFs):

There are a lot of these documents! Does anyone here have experience creating them, or a document class or package which would be useful in making one? With that high quantity and that much mathematical and technical writing involved, I can't help but imagine that they're using LaTeX, or at least they should be. However, a google search for "LaTeX datasheet class" turns up nothing but datasheets for rubber-like compounds.

Are there any giveaways in these documents that tell what was used to create them? Are they (or are they not) LaTeX? It's easy to see when the small companies use Word.

[1]: (link broken) http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CBsQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcds.linear.com%2Fdocs%2FDatasheet%2F3757fb.pdf&ei=4-RRTILsDMmmnQePnKXTAw&usg=AFQjCNGmFMvXCejoEkvup_2PovnfecIcZw&sig2=h6DGWJhC5HEy1TjR0qnRwg [2]: (link broken) http://www.national.com/ds/LM/LM117.pdf

  • Can't provide any useful answer other than just make good use of the standard LaTeX packages already out there to produce your own layout. I think for example multicol allows you to switch between single/double column environments, longtable (or something like that) allows you to create tables that span many pages, etc. – Juan A. Navarro Jul 29 '10 at 22:04
  • Regarding giveaways, look at the math. Mathematical typesetting is one of LaTeX's major strengths compared to other typesetting systems, and it really shows. (Reading equations typeset in older versions of MS Word actually gives me a headache :-P) For the documents you linked to, my first guess would be Adobe InDesign or something like it, although if you put enough work into the styles, I'm sure you could use LaTeX to create something that looks better. – David Z Jul 30 '10 at 3:21

How about the papertex class? This is designed for a making a newspaper, but that only allows you to do more than what you want. After a quick scan of one of the data-sheets you linked, it seems that it would be rather painless to subvert papertex to your liking.

Hope it works for you!

  • I don't know how painless it would be, but it's a start! – Kevin Vermeer Jul 30 '10 at 0:22

I didn't find one either, so I made a simple document class imitating the common style of electronics datasheets.

It's available here: https://github.com/PetteriAimonen/latex-datasheet-template

Example datasheet

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