Hey, a question for anyone writing their thesis in latex... does anyone know of a good reference manual that is specific to theses? I haven't been using latex long and whilst most of the general advice is more than enough, would be good to know if there are any resources which are specific to overcoming problems with large bibliographies, keeping separate files different chapters, packages useful for PhDs, appendices etc. I'm sure I can find all the help I need on various sites but it would be good to find a reference manual that has it all in one place... particularly in a pdf I can read when not online!

Just a vague hope? Happy New Year all x


Hi Cornflower,

I know you said you wanted a PDF, but I thought you may find this helpfull?

There is heaps of info about Latex out there. A good starting point is here (if you join TUG you get access to the forum, although it does get a little techy!) and also this site ..

This book by Lesley Lamport is really helpfull: LATEX: a Document Preparation System : User's Guide and Reference Manual (Addison-Wesley Series on Tools and Techniques for Computer T) [Paperback]

The on-line books are really good to and free! (good section

Finally, have a search on this forum, there have been posts about this before.

I think you will struggle to get all the stuff in one place, but knowing the main sites will makes things easier!

Happy New year.


Just realised your vague hope has come true, Wiki books have made a Latex pdf document. It's nearly 300 pages long, but hey, knock yourself out!



Wheeeeeee! Thanks very much :)

The pdf is perfect since I basically live in a technological black hole with no wifi (or even a smartphone). I also run away on fieldwork a lot. I have a USB full of every reference manual I could ever need when I'm away from the internet, but over xmas and new year I realised I didn't have one for latex. Guess I never bothered to download one since there are so many great websites.

But thanks! Now I can properly type up my thesis even in the cold darkness of my wifi-free flat. Yippee :)


what's latex?

(weird bodysuit references aside)


Haha, not some pervy fetish thing... it's a document typesetting program, an alternative to writing a 300 page thesis in Word or OpenOffice. Unlike Word, which is a WYSIWYG ("What you see is what you get") editor where you import graphics, change font sizes etc manually as you're going along, LaTeX formats documents according to a script. So instead of just typing your results into Word, you do have to think a little bit about the structure of what you're writing and what you want to say, but the benefits of that effort is having 100% control over every part of your document and being able to change document style, headings, fonts, table numbers, generate tables of contents and bibliographies, very quickly and without fear of accidentally forgetting a page number or reference because LaTeX adds it all automatically. It also makes adding equations, code and tables really easy.

If you're using Word, a good LaTeX editor and compiler can be downloaded from TeXworks:

I use pdflatex which allows me to output my work automatically as a .pdf document, and include jpgs without worrying about them.

Like I said it takes a lot of getting used to but I think it has quite a lot of benefits over writing in Word.


thanks for the info!!!!!