Various LaTeX tips

I decided to bring together LaTeX tips from my other blog.

How to change line spacing?

To change spacing between baselines:
% to set one-and-half spacing
% put before \begin{document}
More flexible way is provided by setspace package. It allows to change line spacing for parts of the text. To use the package, add before \begin{document}:
\onehalfspacing % one-and-half spacing globally
% or \singlespacing % normal spacing
% or \doublespacing % double spacing
% or \setstretch{factor} % arbitrary spacing
Then after \begin{document} you can use onehalfspace and doublespace environments:
This text will be set with one-and-half line spacing.
This text will be set with double line spacing.

How to change margins?

The easiest way is to use geometry package, add before \begin{document}:
To change layout and margins of the particular pages use chngpage package.

How to fit the text on one page?

First, try to \enlargethispage:
\enlargethispage{2\baselineskip} % add two more lines to this page
\pagebreak % finish the page
If you want to shrink the text, use the “starred” version \enlargethispage*{length}:

How to rotate a page?

Use lscape package and the landscape environment it provides to rotate arbitrary pages. This may be useful to fit wide tables or figures:
% before \begin{document}
% after \begin{document}
This text will appear on a rotated, i.e. landscape, page.

Why figure numbering is wrong?

Check your figure environment. \label should always go after \caption. \caption first, \label second. The right template for the figure is:
... % insert your figure here
\caption{Caption text}
See also figure numbers wrong in LaTeX.

How to make my own BibTeX style?

Fortunately, it is easy. Use makebst.tex program. In my system I can run it as
$ latex /usr/share/texmf-texlive/tex/latex/custom-bib/makebst.tex
Choose merlin as a template, choose any name for your style (e.g. mystyle), answer all the questions patiently. Finally, copy ile mystyle.bst to the directory with your article. Use it like this:

How to enable/disable page numbering?

To disable page numbers:
\pagestyle{empty} % no page numbers
To enable page numbers:
\pagestyle{plain} % enable page numbers
To change it just for one page:
To do more fancy things, use fancyhdr package.

How to make the PDF I produce with PDFLaTeX searchable?


How to strike-through or highlight the text?

To strike through words in LaTeX use package ulem:
% before \begin{document}:
% in the text, after \begin{document}:
\sout{Wrong.} Right.
The result will be something like this:
Wrong. Right
To highlight words with different colour, use xcolor package:
% before \begin{document}
% after \begin{document}
I want some words to \textcolor{red}{stand out}.
Expect the result to be:
I want some words to be stand out.
If you want to change the background colour, \colorbox will help you:
% to make text appear on whitish blue (blue 50% – white 50%)
\colorbox{blue!50!white}{Text on whitish blue background}
And the result:
Text on whitish blue background

How to make notes on margins?

This is what \marginpar command does:
\marginpar{This text appears in the margin.}
Check also Todo notes in LaTeX by Henrik Skov Midtiby. He uses \marginpar to add side notes to the draft document. They look awesome (but don't work for me). I settled on a simplified version. Put before \begin{document}:
%%% todo notes, idea from
%%% http://midtiby.blogspot.com/2007/09/todo-notes-in-latex.html
      \colorbox{orange!90!black}{\textcolor{white}{\tt TODO}}
      \parbox{4cm}{\small\tt\raggedright TODO:\\#1}
\newcommand\listoftodos{\clearpage\section*{Todo list} \@starttoc{tdo}}
\newcommand\l@todo[2] {\par\noindent {\Large $\Box$\;#1\dotfill\makebox[1.5em][r]{#2}\;}\par}
Then in the text add notes with:
\todo{rewrite this}
and finally add in the end: