Making your thesis look better!


Sorry for the rubbish title! I have been searching for an old thread about some software you can use for formatting your thesis - and making it look more professional than normal wordprocessing. Does anybody know what I'm talking about? :p I can't remember the name.


======= Date Modified 27 Jan 2009 11:48:32 =======
Yes, it's LaTeX.

I was asking about it - although I haven't used it as it was a little complicated for me to grasp in the short period of time I have to finish my thesis, so I'm reluctantly sticking to MS Word.




Ive heard of this before, how does it differ?


It's far less intuitive to use than Word (i.e you'll need to go on a course/read a manual) but produces better results.

Word is really designed for writing letters - it's not built to deal with massive documents. In LaTex if you put a table in a particular place, with margins defined, it'll stay there, rather than developing a mind of its own. If you change the order of subsections, the numbering will get updated automatically. It doesn't try to auto format things. In short, it produces a far more stable, more attractive document. But it is a bit more of a challenge to use, and you'll want to use it from an early stage in your writing, because if you just paste a load of stuff from Word you will lose the formatting you've already done (bold, italics etc) as it has a different way of doing it.


can you only use it when everything is sorted? I'm thinking about sending stuff to your supervisor which, I suppose for most supervisors will need to be in word format, what would happen to it, would it lose all its formatting, or would they just not be able to open it? (that might not be a bad thing sometimes!:$)


The following pages are a great help for writing a thesis in latex. I used the advice loads.
I used the master.tex file for my thesis and I will never go back to word now!


You can save a Latex document as a Pdf file, which you could then send to your supervisor - instead of clicking the 'Latex' button, you click 'PdF Latex'. A really good reference is It's long, but you don't need to read everything - the info at the beginning will help you get started, and you can then dip into the rest when you need help with specific things. Latex might seem hard at first, but once you get used to it, it's simple!!

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2nd Floor, +1! Great!