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Some Tools, Tips, and Tricks
Michael Ash
mash@econ.berkeley.edu
17June1999
1 L
A
T
E
X2
"
Tips
L
A
T
E
XisavailablefreeoverInternetformanyplatformsincludingDOS,Windows,andMac-
intosh. See the CTANweb site, discussedat greater lengthin Section1.4. There are also
low-costdistributions,e.g.,onCD{ROM,thatmaybesignicantlyeasiertoinstallthanthe
freedistributions. BelowIoersome ofthe L
A
T
E
Xtricksthat Iusemostfrequentlyorthat
Ihad a hard time guring out. L
A
T
E
Xhas a great worldwide community that will usually
answer how{toquestions. Thenewsgroupforthis discussionis comp.text.tex.PhilSpec-
tor's L
A
T
E
Xpresentations areonhis website: http://www.stat.berkeley.edu/~spector.
AnexcellentreferencesiteforL
A
T
E
Xwithahyperlinktableofcontentsishttp://www.ens.
fr/~cousot/software/LaTeX-html/.
1.1 The minipage environment
Minipage lets you put boxes of text in your document with great flexibility about place-
ment.Footnotesinaminipageenvironmentarehandledinawaythat isparticularlyuseful
for putting footnotes in gures or tables. Footnotes are letteredinstead of numbered,the
footnote counter begins at a,b,...within each minipage, and the footnotes appear at the
bottom oftheminipageinstead ofatthebottomofthepage.
Minipagetakesanoptionalpositionargument,[t]fortopor[b]forbottom,andamanda-
tory widthargument. Youcanspecify thewidthwitha measurement,e.g.,f4ingwillgive
4inches,or
{0.75\textwidth}
willgivea minipagethatis
3
4
thewidthof the text. Thefollowingminipage,
Forthetimebeing,mywebsiteishttp://socrates.berkeley.edu/maash. Thewebsitehaslinks
to manyofthe resources listedinthis document. I have attempted toavoidmaking this document too
EML{specic.
1
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This code willgivea 2-inch
wide minipage that begins
at the 4-inch mark
a
on the
page.
aNote the e use e of hspace to
movethetexttothe4-inchmark.
wasproducedwith
\hspace{4in}\begin{minipage}[t]{2in}
This code will give a 2-inch wide minipage that begins at the 4-inch
mark\footnote{Note the use of hspace to move the text to the 4-inch
mark.} on the page.
\end{minipage}
1.2 The table and tabular environments
Thetabularenvironmentallowstheinsertionofrow-by-columngridofcellsthatIthink of
as atable. Thetableenvironmentinserts anumberedandcaptioned box inthe text at a
placewhereyouspecifyandL
A
T
E
Xndsroom. It'sverycommonbutnotnecessarytoembed
atabularenvironmentinsideatableenvironment.Ifyouwantanunnumbered,uncaptioned
gridofcellstoappear inyourtext,youcanjumprightintothetabularenvironment.
One of my favorite constructions in L
A
T
E
X is to embed tabular inside minipage inside
table. (Youcansave keystrokesby usingemacstoedityour L
A
T
E
Xles;there isa shortcut
toinsertenvironmentswithtwokeystrokes.) Asnotedabove,thisconstructionpermitstable
footnotes aswellas table notes that areoset from therestofthetext.
Table1: Minipage/footnote demonstration: Home RunKings
Slugger
Year HRs
Mark McGuire
a
1998
70
Roger Maris
b
1961
61
GeorgeHermanRuth
c
1927
60
Notes: This table shows some home run
kings and the number of home runs each
hitinhisbanneryear.
Source:
http://stats.espn.go.com/
premium/mlb/profiles/chart/players/
3866.html
a
Onsteroids,butnaturalsteroids.
b
Nomoreasterisk,nomorerecord.
c
\Babe"
Theoutput inTable1was producedwiththeinputinTable2.
2
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Table2: SourceforHomeRunKings
\begin{table}[htbp]
\begin{center}
\caption{Minipage/footnote demonstration: Home Run Kings}
\label{tab:hrk}
\begin{minipage}[t]{3in}
\begin{center}
\begin{tabular}[t]{lcc}
\hline\hline
Slugger
& Year & HRs \\
\hline
Mark McGuire\footnote{On steroids, but natural steroids.}
& 1998 & 70 \\
Roger Maris\footnote{No more asterisk, no more record.}
& 1961 & 61 \\
George Herman Ruth\footnote{``Babe''}
& 1927 & 60 \\
\hline\hline
\end{tabular}
\end{center}
Notes: This table shows some home run kings and the number of home runs
each hit in his banner year.\\
Source: \url{http://stats.espn.go.com/premium/mlb/profiles/chart/players/3866.html}
\end{minipage}
\end{center}
\end{table}
3
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Aesthetictip: Almost neveruse vertical lines in your tables. They do not aid reading
andthey donot look good.
1.2.1 multicolumn
Multicolumnis a usefultool for designing L
A
T
E
X2
"
tables. It allows text to take up more
than onecolumn. Thesyntax is
\multicolumn{cols}{pos}{text}
where: colsspeciesthenumberofcolumnstospan;posspeciestheformattingoftheentry
(c for centered,l for flushleft,r for flushright); and text species what text is to make up
theentry. ThereisanexampleofthisinTable3withsource inTable4.
Another use of multicolumnis to change the alignment or justication of a single cell,
e.g.,youwould like the headingof a columnto be centered but all of the numericentries
to be right justied. In the tabular statement, specify the format of the whole columnas
rightjustied;intheparticularcell,useaone-columnmulticolumnstatementtospecifythat
particularcellascentered.
\multicolumn{1}{c}{My text}
Table3: Multicolumndemonstration
Agein
Person Yearofbirth 1969 1999
Dad
1940
29
59
Mom
1943
26
56
Me
1969
0
30
1.2.2 Column separators and decimalalignment
Toalignondecimalpoints, you canusethe @ specierinthetabular format. In scientic
tablesitisoftendesirabletoalignthe columnsonadecimalpoint. Thiscanbedone using
the@colspecierandbreakingthenumberintotheintegralpartinaright-justiedcolumn
andthefractionalpartinaleft-justiedcolumn. Notethatthedecimalpointisreplacedby
thecolumn separator,&,and that the @ suppresses the intercolumnspace. The following
input:
\begin{tabular}{r@{.}l}
3&14159\\
16&2\\
123&456
\end{tabular}
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Table 4: Sourcefor multicolumndemonstration
\begin{table}[htbp]
\caption{Multicolumn demonstration}
\label{tab:multicol}
\begin{center}
\begin{tabular}[t]{lccc}
\hline \hline
&
& \multicolumn{2}{c}{Age in} \\
Person & Year of birth & 1969
& 1999
\\
\hline
Dad
& 1940
& 29
& 59
\\
Mom
& 1943
& 26
& 56
\\
Me
& 1969
& 0
& 30
\\
\hline
\end{tabular}
\end{center}
\end{table}
willdisplay as:
3.14159
16.2
123.456
1.2.3 Other tabulartips
You can draw horizontal lines across the entire table with the nhline function or across
severalcolumnswithnclinefi-jgfunctionwhereiandjarecolumnnumbers.
Youcanstretchanarrowtabletollmoreofthepage. LaTeXnormallysetsthewidth
of the tabular environment to \natural" width, i.e., determined from the contents of the
columns. Fornarrowtablesitissometimesmorepleasingtomakethemwider. Thetabular*
environmentsallowsforsettingawidth;however,itisnecessarytohaverubberspacebetween
colunmnsthatcanexpandtothespeciedwidth. Thiscanoftenbemosteasilyaccomplished
by usinganextracolsepcommandinan@ specierasshownintheexamplebelowwhich
setsthetablewidthto75percentofthe textwidth.
\begin{tabular*}{0.75\textwidth}{@{\extracolsep{\fill}}cccr}
label 1 & label 2 & label 3 & label 4 \\
\hline % put a line under headers
item 1 & item 2 & item 3 & item 4 \\
\end{tabular*}
yields
label1
label2
label3
label4
item 1
item2
item3
item4
5
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1.3 Inserting graphics
L
A
T
E
Xcan include a variety of graphics. I have found Encapsulated PostScript easiest to
include,butyoucanalsoincludePostScript,.gifles,etc. Thebasicmethodistousethe
package graphicxandthentouse thenincludegraphicscommand. Thiscommandcan,
butneednot,appearinsidethegureenvironment. Thenincludegraphicscommandoers
variousoptionsforenlarging,shrinking,stretching,androtatingthegraphic.ReadReckdahl
(1997)'s excellent \Using Imported Graphics in L
A
T
E
X2
"
"which is available in PostScript
format from:
ftp://ftp.tex.ac.uk/tex-archive/info/epslatex.ps
ftp://ftp.dante.de/tex-archive/info/epslatex.ps
ftp://tug2.cs.umb.edu/tex-archive/info/epslatex.ps
orinPDFformatfrom:
ftp://ftp.tex.ac.uk/tex-archive/info/epslatex.pdf
ftp://ftp.dante.de/tex-archive/info/epslatex.pdf
ftp://tug2.cs.umb.edu/tex-archive/info/epslatex.pdf
YoucanalsoreadSection3ofthis document onthexgapplication.
1.4 Packages/CTAN
L
A
T
E
Xis a set of macros that use Donald Knuth's typesetting program T
E
X. One of the
advantages of L
A
T
E
Xis that it is (relatively)easy to extend. Many users worldwide have
writtenpackagesthatextendthefunctionsofL
A
T
E
X. Someofthesepackagesmakeonesim-
plechangetothefunctionsofL
A
T
E
X. Otherscreateasetofnewenvironmentsorfunctions.
1
Some examples are fullpage (to widen all margins), doublespace (to control line spac-
ing),geometry(tocontroldocument dimensions, e.g.,margins),url (toinsertURL'sinto
documents), but packages range from oering more controlover gure captions (caption,
ccaption,caption2) through printing CD covers (cdcover) to notation for chess games
(chess).Therelevantpackageletypicallyends in.sty. Sometimesthe.stylecontains
the documentation and sometimes it has accompanying text or dvi les that contain the
documentation. Packages areeasy toinstallinyour own directories(be surethe directory
is intheTEXINPUTSsearchpath)
In most cases, the syntax to use the package is to include the following text in the
preambleofthedocument(afterthedocumentclassstatementbutbeforenbeginfdocumentg.
\usepackage[options]{package}
whereoptions,ifany,arespecictothepackageanddiscussedinthepackagedocumentation.
Ifyouareusingseveralpackages withoutoptions,youcanincludetheminoneline.
1Whenyouintroduceapackage,yourelinquishsomeofL
A
T
E
X'sterricportability;someonewithwhom
you are sharing the source le must also have the packageinstalled. Be awareof this as an important
drawbackofpackages.
6
\usepackage{fullpage,doublespace,url,harvard}
Another contribution of L
A
T
E
X's generous and vast user base is new document classes
(letter,article,report,and book are someofthedocumentclassesinthe base L
A
T
E
Xdistri-
bution). These les aretypically named .clsor .sty. In this case,theinvocationsyntax
is
\documentclass[option]{class}
Theuser-contributeddocumentclassforwhichIammostgratefulisucthesis.clswhich
handles allof the dissertationformatting (titlepage and other front matter,margins, etc.)
requiredby GraduateDivisionatUC{Berkeley.
Many packages are maintained by the T
E
XUser Group. These are catalogued on-line
withasearchutilityandbriefdescriptionsandavailablefordownloadingat theirwebsite,
http://www.tex.ac.uk/tex-archive/help/Catalogue/catalogue.html,anditsmirrors.
The Comprehensive T
E
XArchive Network (CTAN) of which this catalogue is a small
part is anexcellentsource for L
A
T
E
Xmaterial,includingfreeL
A
T
E
Xdistributionsfor various
platforms. Severalmirror sites for CTAN are ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/tex/ctan/ and
ftp://ftp.tex.ac.uk/tex-archive
1.5 BibTeX
BibTeX is awonderfulbibliography manager for use with L
A
T
E
X. Erik Heiteld(PhD '98)
wrotethefollowingexplanationofhowtouseBibTeX.
This is anexampleof howto usebibtex, my favorite feature of L
A
T
E
X. To cite
areference,youuse the \ncite" or \nciteasnoun" command. For example, you
shouldreadthecompletedescriptionofT
E
X(Knuth1990),andLamport (1986)
describestheL
A
T
E
Xmacroextensions.Theprevioussentencewasgeneratedwith
For example, you should read the complete description of \TeX\
\cite{knuthtex}, and \citeasnoun{Lamport} describes the \LaTeX\ macro
extensions.
Ifyoulikereferringtopapersbytheirauthorsanddates (i.e.APAstyle),check
out the\harvard.sty"package. (Youmust usethe\harvard.sty" packagetouse
\citeasnoun.") Finally,the \nocite" command is useful for making documents
appear inyourbibliography whicharenotcitedinyourdocument.
ThreelesarerequiredforabibTeXdocument:
1. A.texlecontaininga\bibliographystyle"commandanda\bibliography"
command.
2. A.bstle(referencedbythe\bibliographystyle"command)whichdescribes
the format of bibliography entries. Several such les are included on the
Suns,andhundreds morecanbedownloadedfrom ctan.
7
3. A .bib database le (referenced by the \bibliography" command) which
contains informationonthe papers youwantto cite.
To compile a bibTeX document, rst run it through L
A
T
E
X2
"
, then through
bibTeX,andthenthroughL
A
T
E
X2
"
asecond(andmaybeathird)timesoallthe
referencesareresolved.
Hereisashortexcerptfromthisdocument'sassociatedbibliographyle,tools.bib.Note
that eachentry: (1)names the typeofpublication;(2)includesa keywordthatisusedto
referencetheentryin\cite"commands;and(3)containstherelevantbibliographicinforma-
tion,includingyour optionalannotations.
@Manual{gnumake,
title =
{GNU Make},
OPTkey =
{},
author =
{Richard M. Stallman and Roland McGrath},
organization = {Free Software Foundation},
OPTaddress =
{},
OPTedition =
{},
year =
{1988},
OPTmonth =
{},
note =
{Available from http://www.gnu.ai.mit.edu/software/make/make.html},
OPTannote =
{}
}
@string{aw = "Addison--Wesley Publishing Company"}
@book{knuthtex,
author="Donald E. Knuth",
title="The {\TeX}book",
publisher=aw,
year=1990,
annote="This book is the definative reference on the
{TEX} document formatting language. However, it
contains no information on \LaTeX\ extensions, and
is therefore of limited use to casual \LaTeX\
users."}
andhereisareprintofthelinesthat causethebibliography tobeprintedattheendofthis
le. Thefollowingappear asthelastlinesofthisle.
\bibliographystyle{/usr/local/texmf/bibtex/bst/kluwer}
\bibliography{tools}
\nocite{*}
I cannot emphasize enough how useful and time-saving I found BibTeX while writing
my dissertation. There are utilities, many available for free that enable you to do more
8
sophisticatedmanagementofBibTeXdatabases. Theemacsbibtexutilitywillallowyouto
alphabetizeentries anddo some simplemanagement. There are also scripts availablefrom
the ComprehensivePerlArchiveNetwork (CPAN,ftp://uiarchive.cso.uiuc.edu/pub/
lang/perl/CPAN/)thatwillconvertcommondatabase formats,e.g.,EconLitandMedLine,
intoBibTeXentries.
1.6 nlabel and nref
L
A
T
E
Xkeeps track of numberingsections, equations, list items,gures,and tables and can
also manage reference tothem at other points inthetext. For example,youwant torefer
correctly to the table with your criticalregression results whether it's Table 17 or Table
18. Ifyouuse emacsto edityourL
A
T
E
Xles andto insertsections,gures,andtables (see
Section4.2),emacswillpromptyoufor labels. The basic labelingsyntaxis
\caption{This is my figure}
\label{fig:myfig}
or
\section{My section}
\label{sec:mysect}
Itisnot necessary touse\g:" or\sec:" inthename,butIndit ausefulmnemonic. To
refertothelabel,usetherefsyntax:
As we shall see in Section \ref{sec:mysect}...
andL
A
T
E
Xwillinsertthe correctnumbereachtimeitprocessesthele.
1.7 Fonts
L
A
T
E
Xallowssomecontroloverfonts.Youcanchoosethesizeoftext. Thefollowingstandard
typesizecommandsaresupportedbyL
A
T
E
X. Thecommandsaslistedhereare\declaration
forms". The scope of the declarationform lasts untilthe nexttype style commandor the
endofthecurrentgroup.
\tiny, \scriptsize, \footnotesize, \small, \normalsize, \large,
\Large, \LARGE, \huge, \Huge,
Youcanalsousetheenvironmentformofthesecommands;e.g.
\begin{tiny}...\end{tiny}
You can also choose dierent typefaces, e.g., italic, boldface, sans serif, slanted. The
following type style commands are supported by L
A
T
E
X. These commands are used so
ntextitfitalics textg will give italics text. The corresponding command in parenthe-
sisisthe "declarationform",whichtakesnoarguments. Thescope ofthe declarationform
lasts untilthe nexttypestylecommandortheendof thecurrentgroup.
Thedeclarationformsarecumulative;i.e.,youcansay
9
\sffamily\bfseries
togetsans serif boldface. Youcanalso use the environmentform ofthedeclarationforms;
e.g.
\begin{ttfamily}...\end{ttfamily}.
\textrm (\rmfamily) Roman.
\textit (\itshape) \emph Emphasis (toggles between \textit and \textrm).
\textmd (\mdseries) Medium weight (default). The opposite of boldface.
\textbf (\bfseries) Boldface.
\textup (\upshape) Upright (default). The opposite of slanted.
\textsl (\slshape) Slanted.
\textsf (\sffamily) Sans serif.
\textsc (\scshape) Small caps.
\texttt (\ttfamily) Typewriter.
\textnormal (\normalfont) Main document font.
\mathrm Roman, for use in math mode.
\mathbf Boldface, for use in math mode.
\mathsf Sans serif, for use in math mode.
\mathtt Typewriter, for use in math mode.
\mathit Italics, for use in math mode, e.g. variable names with
several letters.
\mathnormal For use in math mode, e.g. inside another type style
declaration.
\mathcal Calligraphic letters, for use in math mode.
1.7.1 Fonts and Numbering in Section Headings and Captions
Because L
A
T
E
Xdoes a good job maintaining the unity of structure of the document, it is
slightly inflexible in allowing you to choose the format of these structures. The packages
sectsty.styandtitlesec.styavailablefromCTAN(seeSection1.4)givesomecontroloverthe
look (fonts and numbering)ofsectionheadings. Thepackages caption.sty and ccaption.sty
givesomecontroloverthelook of gureor tablecaptions.
2
1.7.2 Textin math mode
Especiallyineconomics,wemaywant toincludetextinequations. Thenmboxftextgcon-
struction will keep text from being italicized and will preserve spaces. Also, some math
functionsinvolvetext,e.g.,log,exp,andsin. Theseshouldalwaysbewrittenwith$nlog$,
$nexp$,and$nsin$
Compare
ln(Labor
Kapital
)=lnLabor+lnKapital
(1)
whichwas producedwith
2Ingeneral,youcanlearnwhichpackagetousebysearchingthe catalogue. . Inthiscase,thekeyword
\section"or\caption"wouldyieldthesepackages.SeeSection1.4.
10
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