When did you format your thesis?



I'm writing up chapters as I am going along and wondering whether I should adjust the formatting from now to how it is required at submission, or leave it to the end?

I don't really like so much space in between my text and also worry that it will put supervisors off reading it because it will appear to be too long.

What would you recommend, format now or later?


I'd do it correctly as you do it. The last thing you want to do is think you have finished your thesis and then realise that formatting takes days and days...

Also, I liked to have it positioned on the page as it would be in the final version, so that's another reason why I formatted as I wrote.


just like you i didn't like much space in my text either and wrote everything single space fontsize 10 because it gave me a better overview. so i ended up using two versions, the shoddy fontsize 10 version just for me drafting along and another properly formatted version into which i copied the good stuff and which i used to send to my supervisors.

it's good to send them the properly formatted stuff because then they see that you are on top of the presentational aspect of the thesis.


Hi chococake,

Formatting takes a disproportionate amount of time and distracts you from writing! I had very bad experience with word. I would sent the document to two supervisors (maybe some co-authors too), each commenting , until I ended up with corrupted tables spilling over various pages. Another thing I hate about word is that you can't insert a vectorised pdf, so images are of low quality. A friend of mine that used word ended up manually naming all figures and tables (!!!) as for some reason the document would stop updating! I have also seem final theses with "Error! Source not found". So now you all know how much I hate word. I switched to Latex half-way the first draft, as I realised that word was ugly and could not handle it (started crashing, taking ages to save etc). Latex is the best. It looks scary but it is easy. Online versions (like write latex) allow real-time co-working: I used it for proposals where we could work simultaneously with colleagues! You don't waste any time in formatting, you go like : \insert{figure} and keep typing. It was the perfect software for corrections, as there is a package that you add or delete, and then just put [final] and accepts everything! Plenty of free templates too, and the document is beautiful without any effort from your part.

Disadvantages: you need to spend some effort to learn it, but it is cost-effective. Supervisors refuse to learn the basics, so they either edit on the pdf with Adobe reader (they don't need pro) or print and comment on paper. I used word for the publications, as I came across journals that would only accept a .doc upload. Word is ok for small documents with few images. It's not good for books and theses


Formatting your chapters in Word will not be a worry once you have set up your styles (e.g. heading hierarchy and main text).


Quote From Barramack:
Formatting your chapters in Word will not be a worry once you have set up your styles (e.g. heading hierarchy and main text).

Exactly, that's what I meant. Learn to format it before you start, then you don't need to worry about it. It's so much easier when your tables and heading renumber themselves and make tables of contents for you etc


I found the WORD thesis template developed by some Cambridge guys quite helpful. Though WORD is user friendly, at times it can go wrong as someone has already pointed out. With this free template, all I have done is to make cosmetic changes to it, e.g font style and size etc, in line with requirements for my university. Hope other colleagues will find it helpful


Thanks everyone! Did you all use Times new roman?


We don't have a default at uni so I just used Calibri