Blog Archives

How to write multi-part definitions in LaTeX

This post explains how to typeset multi-part definitions in LaTeX. The absolute value function is a simple example of a two-part definition. The Möbius function is a more complicated example of a three-part definition. Here’s how you could write LaTeX

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I owe Microsoft Word an apology

I tried to use the Equation Editor in Microsoft Word years ago and hated it. It was hard to use and produced ugly output. I tried it again recently and was pleasantly surprised. I’m using Word 2007. I don’t remember

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Posted in Math, Typography

Create offline, analyze online

Sitting at a computer changes the way you think. You need to know when to walk away from the computer and when to come back. I think mind mapping software is a bad idea. Mind maps are supposed to capture

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Posted in Creativity

Typesetting music in LaTeX and LilyPond

I tried typesetting music in LaTeX some time ago and gave up. The packages I found were hard to install, the examples didn’t work, etc. This weekend I decided to try again. I tried plowing through the MusiXTeX documentation and

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Posted in Music, Typography

How to display side-by-side figures in LaTeX

The other day I tried putting two graphs side-by-side by setting R’s mfrow parameter. That made the graphs look odd because not everything was scaled proportionately. Then someone told me I could use a LaTeX command to place my original

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Why is TeX so popular in Germany?

A lot of good (La)TeX resources come from Germany. I assume from the amount of development and support activity, there are probably a lot of users as well. Does anyone know why TeX is apparently so strong in Germany? Is

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How to put PDF properties in a LaTeX file

My previous post described how to put links in a PDF file generated from LaTeX. The hyperref package that lets you include links also lets you to set PDF document properties. I’ve been using Adobe Acrobat to do this after

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How to link to web pages from LaTeX-generated PDF

This has been on my to-do list for a while, but I finally found out how to embed hyperlinks in a PDF file generated from LaTeX. Short answer: put \usepackage{hyperref} in your header, and when you want to link to

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Watch what you name graphics files in LaTeX

A while back I was trying to paste a figures into a LaTeX document this evening with names like foo_27.png and foo_32.2.png, putting a parameter value into the name of the plot. The former worked but the latter didn’t. It turns

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Posted in Graphics

Four ways to convert Excel tables to LaTeX

Gregor Gorjanc has a post on Excel and LaTeX that lists four ways to convert and Excel table into LaTeX. I’ve used two of the methods he lists: brute force and excel2latex. I recommend excel2latex. I used it frequently until

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Including images in LaTeX files

Here are the rules for including images in LaTeX files as far as I can tell. Near the top of your document, use \usepackage{graphicx} to load the graphicx package. Then at the point where you want to include your image,

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Posted in Graphics

LaTeX and PowerPoint presentations

I use LaTeX for math documents and PowerPoint for presentations. When I need to make a math presentation, I can’t have everything I want in one environment. I usually go with PowerPoint. Yesterday I tried the LaTeX Beamer package based

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Posted in Typography

Accented letters in HTML, TeX, and MS Word

I frequently need to look up how to add diacritical marks to letters in HTML, TeX, and Microsoft Word, though not quite frequently enough to commit the information to my long-term memory. So today I wrote up a set of

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Languages that are easy to pick back up

Some programming languages are much easier to come back to than others. In my previous post I mentioned that Mathematica is easy to come back to, put Perl is not. I found it easy to come back LaTeX after not

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Posted in Python, Software development

Contrasting Microsoft Word and LaTeX

Here’s an interesting graph from Marko Pinteric comparing Microsoft Word and Donald Knuth’s LaTeX. According to the graph, LaTeX becomes easier to use relative to Microsoft Word as the task becomes more complex. That matches my experience, though I’d add a

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Posted in Computing