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1217
votes
6answers
684k views

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 ...
874
votes
9answers
1.9m views

How does one insert a backslash or a tilde (~) into LaTeX?

How does one insert a "\" (backslash) into the text of a LaTeX document? And how does one insert a "~" (tilde)? (If you insert \~, it will give you a tilde as an accent over the following letter.) I ...
873
votes
89answers
289k views

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 ...
851
votes
56answers
580k views

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. ...
839
votes
8answers
355k views

Remove ugly borders around clickable cross-references and hyperlinks

I know that I can use hyperref to make cross-references and hyperlinks clickable. That makes the clickable areas outlined in fluorescent green, however. How can I make the green boxes go away?
777
votes
1answer
170k views

What do \makeatletter and \makeatother do?

Many LaTeX “hacks” begin with \makeatletter and end with \makeatother. What do these commands do?
754
votes
34answers
72k views

How can I explain the meaning of LaTeX to my grandma?

I wrote a book about LaTeX, and my proud grandma wanted to have a copy. So she got it, said "What a beautiful picture on the cover!" and - "What is this, LaTeX?". She doesn't know Word, never used a ...
728
votes
1answer
1.2m views

What commands are there for horizontal spacing?

I know that \: in LaTeX produces a space when rendered. Are there any alternatives, because my LaTeX renderer doesn't support \: (it renders it as text), and there is no help / FAQ that I can find.
705
votes
20answers
787k views

How to add a forced line break inside a table cell

I have some text in a table and I want to add a forced line break. I want to insert a forced line break without having to specify the column width, i.e. something like the following: \begin{tabular}{|...
645
votes
2answers
410k views

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
627
votes
18answers
182k views

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?
617
votes
8answers
156k views

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 ...
573
votes
24answers
473k views

How to include SVG diagrams in LaTeX?

I'm making all my diagrams in SVG format using Inkscape and then I export them to some other format (e.g. PDF, EPS or PNG). I wrote a short script that does this for me automatically, but I'd like to ...
561
votes
12answers
518k views

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 ...
554
votes
8answers
128k views

How do I make my document look like it was written by a Cthulhu-worshipping madman?

I want to type up some spells from the RPG Call of Cthulhu and give them to my players. I could just type them up in Word or LaTeX, but that seems too...neat. I'd like to make these things look like ...
534
votes
7answers
177k views

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 ...
530
votes
33answers
394k views

LaTeX template for resume/curriculum vitae

If you have a TeX'ed resume, did you use a template or make your own? Are there any useful packages? What looks the most professional? How about special considerations for different areas of work (e.g....
527
votes
4answers
1.4m views

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] \...
523
votes
64answers
169k views

Nice scientific pictures show off

Task Show off your best scientific illustration ! The main purpose of this question is to share beautiful scientific pictures, preferably with an educational aspect. Content Your post must ...
513
votes
6answers
1.2m views

How can I use BibTeX to cite a web page?

I'm looking to cite a number of web pages using bibtex and I was wondering if there was a specific template of the form @<template name here> for doing that. If you could use the following ...
491
votes
11answers
143k views

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 ...
488
votes
4answers
285k views

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 ...
483
votes
14answers
1.1m views

How can I get bold math symbols?

To make Latin-letter variables bold I can use e.g. \mathbf{a}, but while putting Greek letters or symbols such as \nabla inside \mathbf doesn't cause any errors or warnings, it also doesn't do ...
465
votes
5answers
641k views

What are all the font styles I can use in math mode?

As can be seen in above picture, there are lots of fonts or font styles that can be used in math mode. What are all the fonts or font styles I can use in math mode, and which packages are required in ...
461
votes
4answers
63k views

What's the difference between \newcommand and \newcommand*?

I just spotted someone use \newcommand* in an answer and realised that I'd never quite sorted out in my head what the star (asterisk) was there for. (This one is practically impossible to search for ...
460
votes
7answers
138k views

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 a image. Instead of pasting a image in Illustrator and adding some ...
447
votes
5answers
106k views

Differences between LuaTeX, ConTeXt and XeTeX

I’m interested in the differences and commonalities between the “new” (La)TeX processors: LuaTeX, XeTeX, and ConTeXt. Personally, I’ve only used XeTeX so far and without having the time to try out ...
445
votes
1answer
127k views

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 ...
439
votes
4answers
423k views

How can I make an enumerate list start at something other than 1?

Sometimes, I want to have enumerate lists in LaTeX start at other than the first value (1, a, i, etc.) How can I make an enumerate list start at an arbitrary value?
434
votes
7answers
594k 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 ...
433
votes
64answers
81k views

What packages do people load by default in LaTeX?

I'm getting the impression from reading the answers written by some of the real experts here that there are quite a few little packages that just tweak LaTeX2e's default behaviour a little to make it ...
420
votes
31answers
638k views

What are the available “documentclass” types and their uses?

Some of the available classes of documents in LaTeX are well known and widely used, such as the article and beamer classes, while others are not so well known, such as the standalone class. I found ...
408
votes
3answers
836k views

“Correct” way to bold/italicize text?

Is either of these considered better/more readable/more "proper"/more conventional than the other for making text bold? If so, what is the reason? I like my text \textbf{bold} versus: I like my ...
406
votes
2answers
199k views

Why should I use \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}?

As a native English speaker, I've mostly been allowed the luxury of pretending that ASCII is enough, and have been able to treat font encodings as not my problem. I've seen lots of advice that I ought ...
406
votes
4answers
301k views

Difference between \textwidth, \linewidth and \hsize

The three lengths \textwidth, \linewidth and \hsize seem to all hold the width of the current line. At least I never saw some real difference between \textwidth and \linewidth in my code. Both seem to ...
394
votes
4answers
1.6m views

LaTeX figures side by side [duplicate]

I want to place 2 images side by side in LaTeX. I have 2 .png files and I don't understand how to do it in LaTeX. I have tried many ways but could not get a good result.
374
votes
26answers
352k views

Is there any way to do a correct word count of a LaTeX document?

Often assignments (or even papers) have a word count limit. That is not a big deal when using Word, but I don't know how to do that using LaTeX. My solution has been so far to compile the document and ...
371
votes
6answers
622k views

How to write “ä” and other umlauts and accented letters in bibliography?

How to write in bibliography (package natbib) letter "a" with two dots above? Specially, I mean the word Birkhäuser. Is there a general rule or way how to write such umlauts or other accented letters ...
369
votes
6answers
136k views

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, ...
363
votes
10answers
555k views

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 ...
358
votes
13answers
189k views

How to create posters using LaTeX

I want to create posters for my poster presentation on a conference. What tools or LaTeX classes are available for preparing posters ?
358
votes
14answers
341k views

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, ...
354
votes
12answers
812k views

Commenting out large sections

To "comment out" a line, I need to insert a % at the beginning of the line (so that the line will not be compiled). Is there a way to comment out a large section without having to manually ...
350
votes
34answers
137k views

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 ...
346
votes
8answers
382k views

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?
341
votes
8answers
684k views

How do I change the `enumerate` list format to use letters instead of the default Arabic numerals?

I've seen documentation whereby an \alph command is put around the \begin{enumerate} somewhere, but I'm not entirely sure how that operates...
338
votes
6answers
469k views

How to change certain pages into landscape/portrait mode

How can I change some pages into document into landscape mode, while leaving the others in portrait mode (or vice versa)?
335
votes
4answers
30k views

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?
332
votes
5answers
628k views

How to suppress page number?

I've made myself custom title-page, put it in separate .tex file and when I input it, it is numbered with 1. The very next page is numbered with 1 also, and page-number increases on the following ...
330
votes
7answers
313k views

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 ...

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