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737 votes
18 answers

How to look up a symbol or identify a letter from a math alphabet or other character?

I know what my symbol or character looks like, but I don't know what the command is or which math alphabet it came from. How do I go about finding this out?
machinaut's user avatar
  • 10.3k
728 votes
2 answers

How to influence the position of float environments like figure and table in LaTeX?

How to influence the position of float environments like figure and table in LaTeX? This is a general question and should collect useful answers for all users. I hope we can use this as a reference
Marco Daniel's user avatar
  • 96.2k
190 votes
3 answers

Question mark or bold citation key instead of citation number

I've browsed the forums and found a number of posts that have addressed this issue, but none of the solutions seem to work for me. I have the following script that I just copied from the bibtex home ...
user16747's user avatar
  • 2,045
165 votes
16 answers

Biblatex with Biber: Configuring my editor to avoid undefined citations

Running the minimal example \documentclass{article} \usepackage{filecontents} \begin{filecontents*}{\jobname.bib} @ARTICLE{example, author = {Other, Anthony Norman}, title = {Some things I did},...
766 votes
8 answers

Why is \[ ... \] preferable to $$ ... $$?

I've heard that you should use \[ ... \] for displayed equations instead of $$ ... $$, but why is that? I'd assumed that it's so that you can more easily tell which are starting and which are ending ...
Sophie Alpert's user avatar
403 votes
6 answers

What is the use of percent signs (%) at the end of lines? (Why is my macro creating extra space?)

I see that the code in many packages and examples contains percent signs % at the end of (many) lines. What are they used for? Do they affect the parsing of those lines?
Federico Poloni's user avatar
334 votes
12 answers

How to install "vanilla" TeXLive on Debian or Ubuntu?

Debian and Ubuntu have very good texlive packaging. But I'd like to use tlmgr to have a more fine-grained control about upgrades and which packages I want to be installed. So how do I install "...
Dima's user avatar
  • 12.7k
111 votes
2 answers

My table doesn't fit; what are my options?

I have a table that I want to insert on a page, but at least one (perhaps both) of the following conditions are met: The table is too wide to fit within the text block or page. That is, I'm exceeding ...
Werner's user avatar
  • 607k
397 votes
8 answers

Keeping tables/figures close to where they are mentioned

Is there any package or a method to force LaTeX to keep floating environments like table and figure closer to where they are declared?
artimess's user avatar
  • 4,361
132 votes
8 answers

How do I find out what fonts are used in a document/picture?

Is it possible to identify the font used in a specific document/picture? Answers to this question should identify: Possible methods to do this (perhaps one answer per method) and adequately describe ...
Werner's user avatar
  • 607k
387 votes
35 answers

What are good learning resources for a LaTeX beginner?

Which book (free or otherwise) was the most useful to you when you started learning LaTeX? I am frequently asked this question by friends who want to learn LaTeX, and I recommend the book which got ...
644 votes
13 answers

Where do I place my own .sty or .cls files, to make them available to all my .tex files?

I know how to define a package or a class, but how do I make it available (to myself) at all times? Say I have the package file commonstuff.sty (or myprettyclass.cls), that I want to be able to ...
Tomas Aschan's user avatar
  • 15.6k
970 votes
1 answer

What do \makeatletter and \makeatother do?

Many LaTeX “hacks” begin with \makeatletter and end with \makeatother. What do these commands do?
Caramdir's user avatar
  • 89.8k
933 votes
57 answers

LaTeX Editors/IDEs

What editors/IDEs are available for easing the process of writing TeX/LaTeX documents? Please state some useful features like code completion, spell checking, building final DVI or PDF files, etc. ...
381 votes
7 answers

How do I update my TeX distribution?

I'm trying to compile a document that only works with an up-to-date distribution, so I'd like to know: how do I update my distribution? Please provide screenshots where appropriate. List of answers ...
519 votes
8 answers

Drawing on an image with TikZ

Recently, I have learned how to draw simple stuff with TikZ. I really like it. Now I wonder if it is possible to draw with TikZ on an image. Instead of pasting an image in Illustrator and adding some ...
nacho4d's user avatar
  • 11.2k
144 votes
2 answers

Why does an environment's label have to appear after the caption?

\documentclass{article} \usepackage{algorithm} \begin{document} \setcounter{section}{54} \section{A section with no label} \begin{algorithm} \label{myalg} \caption{An algorithm with the label `myalg'....
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 12.4k
508 votes
1 answer

Guidelines for customizing biblatex styles

Suppose I've just made the switch to biblatex. I have chosen one of the built-in styles (numeric, alphabetic, authoryear, authortitle, verbose) or of the custom styles available at CTAN, and I've ...
lockstep's user avatar
  • 252k
138 votes
6 answers

Importing a Single Symbol From a Different Font

Is there a general way to change the font of a particular symbol without switching packages? For example, suppose I'm using Computer Modern for my entire document, but I want the "subset" operator to ...
Nick Strehlke's user avatar
247 votes
2 answers

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 places ...
Martin Scharrer's user avatar
677 votes
6 answers

Force figure placement in text

I have a problem when a lot of figures are in question. Some figures tend to "fly around", that is, be a paragraph below, although I placed them before that paragraph. I use code: \begin{figure}[ht] \...
Marin's user avatar
  • 8,239
1501 votes
7 answers

When should I use \input vs. \include?

There are two different commands to incorporate another file into the source of some document, \input and \include. When should I use one or the other? What are the differences between them? Are there ...
Phil Miller's user avatar
  • 20.5k
663 votes
7 answers

bibtex vs. biber and biblatex vs. natbib

I've heard of many different bibliography-related packages/platforms/?. What's the difference between the following, which is good for what tasks, advantages/disadvantages, which one is the most ...
doncherry's user avatar
  • 55k
247 votes
5 answers

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 ...
Larry Wang's user avatar
  • 3,555
471 votes
13 answers

Column and row padding in tables

How do you guys go about controlling column padding in tables? Update To clarify, I'm looking for a way to control both vertical and horizontal padding. So, if I had a simple table like in the ...
JustDanyul's user avatar
  • 5,097
247 votes
4 answers

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 ...
lockstep's user avatar
  • 252k
250 votes
15 answers

Which packages should be loaded after hyperref instead of before?

The hyperref documentation says: "Make sure it comes last of your loaded packages". The reason is that it redefines many LaTeX commands. It's a rule of thumb that helps to avoid errors. However, ...
Stefan Kottwitz's user avatar
  • 233k
51 votes
2 answers

How to customize my titlepage?

The standard titlepage is quite simple. I am looking for a very complex titlepage and need help customizing my title page. It should match the classicthesis doctoral thesis template Below a minimal ...
domi's user avatar
  • 1,525
640 votes
12 answers

Space after LaTeX commands

I have a definition: \newcommand{\arnold}{Arnold Schwarzenegger} When I refer to it by: \arnold is a it is rendered as: Arnold Schwarzeneggeris a In order to have a space in front of "is" I ...
Kaarel's user avatar
  • 6,501
413 votes
6 answers

What to do to switch to biblatex?

Because of the great answers posted around in the site, I'm finally considering to do the switch and move to biblatex. So, the question is what do I have to do? To give the question some focus, ...
Juan A. Navarro's user avatar
993 votes
104 answers

Showcase of beautiful typography done in TeX & friends

If you were asked to show examples of beautifully typeset documents in TeX & friends, what would you suggest? Preferably documents available online (I'm aware I could go to a bookstore and find ...
391 votes
14 answers

biblatex in a nutshell (for beginners)

Is there a 'biblatex in a nutshell' guide out there? I'd like if someone explained to me the essentials on how to use biblatex (what lines I have to write in my document, which files I have to have, ...
slackenerny's user avatar
  • 4,920
251 votes
8 answers

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 ...
mbmcavoy's user avatar
  • 2,773
105 votes
2 answers

Why should the minimal class be avoided?

In a comment to my answer to Drawing a rectangle along the border of a circle, Peter Grill said that he read that the minimal class should not be used for a Minimal Working Example. I wonder why, and ...
Tobi's user avatar
  • 56.8k
201 votes
6 answers

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 ...
lockstep's user avatar
  • 252k
570 votes
5 answers

How do I use a particular font for a small section of text in my document?

The standard font packages make global changes to the fonts in my document. What if I want to use a particular font for just a portion of my text? How do I find the right name of the font? How do I ...
345 votes
5 answers

What is the difference between Fragile and Robust commands? When and why do we need \protect?

So I've read a few times about this, the “moving arguments” and all that. But what does it really mean? Could someone explain in a few words what is going on at the TeX level, what is the difference ...
Juan A. Navarro's user avatar
182 votes
8 answers

How do I install an individual package on a Linux system?

I need to install a new TeX/LaTeX/ConTeXt package on my computer. I'm running Ubuntu/Fedora/Slackware/Some-Version-Of Linux. What are the possible ways to do this? Note:   We get a number ...
60 votes
1 answer

How should one maintain and update a MiKTeX installation?

Every once in a while after updating MiKTeX, the installation gets into an inconsistent state. This might be a problem with the packages (an example is described in this question), but sometimes ...
Lover of Structure's user avatar
281 votes
4 answers

Center figure that is wider than \textwidth

I have a figure that is wider than the \textwidth of my document. (I don't want to change the \textwidth.) As a result, the leftmost part of the figure is flush with the left margin, while the ...
zfm's user avatar
  • 9,067
359 votes
6 answers

BibTeX loses capitals when creating .bbl file

Titles of articles I'm about to cite contain upper case letters and when using BibTeX it converts them to lower case ones. This happens only in the title and only the first letter conserves its case. ...
Crowley's user avatar
  • 4,357
317 votes
4 answers

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} \begin{...
Covi's user avatar
  • 7,145
129 votes
5 answers

Does it matter if I use \textit or \it, \bfseries or \bf, etc

I typically use \textit{Some italicized text} while some of my colleagues use {\it Some other text} Should I bother changing one or the other, or does it matter? Related: Is there any reason ...
KeithB's user avatar
  • 3,438
139 votes
1 answer

Difference between "right of=" and "right=of" in PGF/TikZ

In the PGF/TikZ manual, sometimes I see the option right of=somenode instead of right=of somenode. They look very similar, but the effects are different. The distance between nodes positioned with ...
Truong's user avatar
  • 1,805
87 votes
1 answer

Using a 'corporate author' in the "author" field of a bibliographic entry (spelling out the name in full)

I want to list a company name in the author field of a bibliographic entry: @book{CUDA, author = {NVIDIA Corporation}, title = {NVIDIA CUDA Compute Unified Device Architecture Programming ...
aterrel's user avatar
  • 973
71 votes
3 answers

What is Metapost/Metafont and how can I get started using it?

Inspired by Why Metapost discrimination?, I'd like to come to know Metapost far better than I do now. All I really know is that Metapost is a language for describing graphics, and Metafont is used ...
Sean Allred's user avatar
  • 27.5k
335 votes
3 answers

Should I use center or centering for figures and tables?

What is the correct way to center figures and tables (figure, table)? \begin{center} ... \end{center} or \begin{centering} ... \end{centering}
yannisl's user avatar
  • 118k
126 votes
1 answer

Set limit to one author when using "et al." in biblatex

In the header of my document I set the maximal author names to 2: \usepackage[style=authoryear-icomp, maxbibnames=9, maxcitenames=2, backend=biber]{biblatex} Now, when I cite texts with two authors, ...
Carry White's user avatar
  • 1,313
120 votes
4 answers

What can I use to typeset MATLAB code in my document?

This question led to a new package: matlab-prettifier Does anybody have a quick and easy way to typeset some relatively long MATLAB code in the appendix? I looked up a few methods, and the mcode ...
suzu's user avatar
  • 1,937
216 votes
6 answers

Where do I start LaTeX programming?

I'm interested in writing packages for TeX/LaTeX/XeLaTeX. I googled around, but all I found was guides or tutorials about how to prepare documents using LaTeX. I want to know how LaTeX works and how ...
sorush-r's user avatar
  • 2,707

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