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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

LaTeX Tricks

In this post, I will publish all the little, helpful tricks that I have learnt while using LaTeX. I do not claim to be the owner of all the troubleshoots for I myself have searched for information on the Internet whenever required. I will keep on updating this post whenever I have new material to publish.



However, for a beginner to LaTeX, a little information on the source and necessary softwares might just prove to be handy. Here is a list of the tools which I use:




  • LaTeX Distribution: a complete setup of MikTeX 2.7 release. This is free and its frequently updated as well. So no hassles.

  • LaTeX Editor: I personally prefer LEd (http://www.latexeditor.org) over TeXnicCenter (http://www.texniccenter.org/). LEd's toolbar offering is more varied and is more easily accessible. LEd also provides a very good help lookup on LaTeX commands which is extremely handy at times of crisis. The only blip that I find in LEd is the look and feel. Both are free but updates are pretty infrequent. WinEdt is another good LaTeX editor but is a shareware.


  • Diagrams: For diagrams, I use XFIG on Windows (http://www.cs.usask.ca/~wew036/latex/xfig.html). The link provides detailed instructions on how to go about setting up the required environment for using XFIG. However, the interface and usage of XFIG might prove to be cumbersome for some users. You could also try out commercial Windows applications like SmartDraw which is, unsurprisingly, more user-friendly.

1) Usage of \centerline:


{\centerline{\Large{\textbf{Hello World! \\}}}}



Unless you end your text with a \\ or a \par, the effect of \centerline will not terminate. So if you wish to justify only a single line of text, then end your string with a \\ or \par.

2) Referencing of Figures
Sometimes a small oversight can lead to wrong referencing and bring a lot of trouble and hassle. To avoid this, make sure you follow the following two rules:
  1. Always define the label after the caption unless the style file says otherwise.
  2. Never use numbers in your label name, e.g., sdg1. This can lead to wrong reference numbers being generated for the remaining figures.
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