Blog Archives

Commutative diagrams in LaTeX

There are numerous packages for creating commutative diagrams in LaTeX. My favorite, based on my limited experience, is Paul Taylor’s package. Another popular package is tikz-cd. To install Paul Taylor’s package on Windows, I created a directory called localtexmf, set

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Posted in Math

Unicode to LaTeX

I’ve run across a couple web sites that let you enter a LaTeX symbol and get back its Unicode value. But I didn’t find a site that does the reverse, going from Unicode to LaTeX, so I wrote my own.

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Posted in Typography

Automatic delimiter sizes in LaTeX

I recently read a math book in which delimiters never adjusted to the size of their content or the level of nesting. This isn’t unusual in articles, but books usually pay more attention to typography. Here’s a part of an

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Posted in Typography

Basics of Sweave and Pweave

Sweave is a tool for embedding R code in a LaTeX file. Pweave is an analogous tool for Python. By putting your code in your document rather than the results of running your code somewhere else, results are automatically recomputed

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Posted in Python

The paper is too big

In response to the question “Why are default LaTeX margins so big?” Paul Stanley answers It’s not that the margins are too wide. It’s that the paper is too big! This sounds flippant, but he gives a compelling argument that

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Posted in Typography

Separating presentation from content

In the late ’90s I went to a fair number of Microsoft presentations. One presentation would say “The problem with Technology X is that it mixes presentation and content. We’ve introduced Technology Y to make your code cleaner, separating presentation

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Posted in Software development

Typesetting “C#” in LaTeX

How do you refer to the C# programming language in LaTeX? Simply typing C# doesn’t work because # is a special character in LaTeX. You could type C#. That works, but it looks a little odd. The number sign is

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Posted in Typography

Bundled versus unbundled version history

The other day I said to a colleague that an advantage to LaTeX over Microsoft Word is that it’s easy to version LaTeX files because they’re just plain text. My colleague had the opposite view. He said that LaTeX was

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Posted in Software development

Typesetting chemistry in LaTeX

Yesterday I gave the following tip on TeXtip: Set chemical formulas with math Roman. Example: sulfate is $mathrm{SO_4^{2-}}$ TorbjoernT and scmbradley let me know there’s a better way: use Martin Hansel’s package mhchem. The package is simpler to use and

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Posted in Typography

Serious lessons from Knuth’s joke

On June 30, 2010 Donald Knuth announced iTeX, the successor to TeX. His announcement was an extended parody of much of what people recommend as the “right” way to develop software. TeX has been extremely successful. The vast majority of

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Posted in Software development

Daily tip Twitter account FAQ

This post answers some frequently asked questions regarding my daily tip accounts on Twitter. How many followers do you have? About 2800 people are following at least one of these accounts at the time of writing, each following between 2

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Posted in Uncategorized

Complexity of HTML and LaTeX

Sometime around 1994, my office mate introduced me to HTML by saying it was 10 times simpler than LaTeX. At the time I thought he was right. Now I’m not so sure. Maybe he was right in 1994 when the

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Posted in Typography

Top four LaTeX mistakes

Here are four of the most common typesetting errors I see in books and articles created with LaTeX. 1) Quotes Quotation marks in LaTeX files begin with two back ticks, “, and end with two single quotes, ”. The first

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Including LaTeX in an Inkscape drawing

My previous post described how to include an Inkscape drawing in a LaTeX document. This post describes how to use LaTeX in an Inkscape drawing, which is probably more useful. The LaTeX output is included not as bitmap but as

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Posted in Graphics

Including an Inkscape drawing in LaTeX

The Inkscape drawing package can export to a large variety of vector drawing formats, including LaTeX. If you save your drawing to a file foo.tex, you can include the file in a LaTeX document as follows. \documentclass{article} \usepackage{pstricks} \begin{document} Testing

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Posted in Graphics