LaTeX writing tips

Here are some small tips on how to use LaTex
(a.k.a. Frequent errors on student papers)

  • Swedish characters. Check for the ability to write Swedish characters (most often noticed on Umeå University).
    If you are using Swedish characters regularly through a paper, att the UTF-8 package (see below). If you are using just a few Swedish characters (or other special characters), you can type special characters directly into your code (see example below).
%Adding the UTF-8 package
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

%Special characters
\AA    = Å
\aa    = å
\"{A}  = Ä
\"{a}  = ä
\"{O}  = Ö
\"{o}  = ö
  • Put a space between word and reference: “… as been shown [7].”
Use “ “ or “~” (non-breaking space) in source code.
  • Nice packages for writing and styling.
    Include the hyperref package to use hyperlinks in your text.
    Include the graphicx package for enhanced graphics support.
    Include the xcolor package for color support.
\usepackage{hyperref}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\usepackage{xcolor}
  • Quotation marks. Single quotation marks are produced using ` and ‘. Double quotation marks (for citation) are produced by typing ` ` and ‘ ‘ (two directed single quote characters at the beginning and two undirected single quotation characters at the end of the quote. Then you will get distinctly left-handed and right-handed typographic quotation marks.

    Output: Previous research has defined this as “a total waste of time” regarding tracing.
Previous research has defined this as a ` `total waste of time' ' regarding tracing.

Output: Mejtoft (2000) states that “previous research has defined this as ‘a total waste of time’ regarding tracing”.

Mejtoft (2000) states that ` `previous research has defined this as `a total waste of time' regarding tracing' '.
  • BibTeX. For most references you can export references as BibTeX from the publishers’ websites and the databases, e.g. ACM Digital Library, IEEE Xplore, ScienceDirect etc.

    Use the right type in the BibTex entries. @article, @inproceedings, @book, @inbook, @online, @techreport being some of the most used.

More on writing references using BibTeX here.

(First published by Thomas Mejtoft: 2020-02-20; Last updated: 2021-09-29)