Exporting from LyX to MS Word and LibreOffice

Julien Dutand has written a tutorial about how to export from LyX to MS Word Office XML format (.docx) and LibreOffice OpenDocument (.odt) with bibliography, almost out of the box. It requires a rather new version of LyX (2.1 and above) and the pandoc document converter. The article provides detailed installation instructions, and troubleshooting steps. Once it’s set up, it’s just clicking to Export in the main menu. Very handy!

Another part of the article deals with encoding and gives advice for exporting documents with bibliographies, and explains using bibliography styles with citation style language (CSL) format.

Here is the article: LyX Tutorial: export .docx or .odt with bibliography.

TeX on-line documentation

On PCs, tablets and smart-phones you can easily access TeX manuals and documentation via a web site: TeXdoc.net.

What does it provide?

  • Keyword search with auto-completion as you type, listing all matches
  • OpenSearch for browsers with a search engine toolbar
  • Documentation sorted in categories by topic
  • Accessing TeX documentation even without having TeX installed
  • Reading TeX documentation on any PDF capable device with a web browser, such as a smart-phone.
  • Newest documentation even if your PC has an older TeX version
  • Reading a package manual before installing it
  • Easy-to-remember standardized link syntax http://texdoc.net/pkg/<packagename>
  • Forums, such as LaTeX-Community.org and goLaTeX.de have buttons and BBCode tags for linking keywords (package names) to the corresponding documentation

Recently it got an update: read more.

Define new macros for logical markup

When you encounter some logical markup, i.e. some things that belong to the same “class” and should be displayed equally (like names etc.), don’t use \textit and the like to format them but instead define a new macro to format those things. Then you’ll be consistent and you can change things later on quite easy.

In your text there are lots of names, that should be – at the moment – displayed in italics. Then define a macro \person (or what ever you consider a meaningful name for these things) to format the output:

This gives you the opportunity to change the styling later and even do some fancy stuff like highlighting only the first occurrence of a name or generating an index with those names etc.

Some will say: “But I can just search and replace \textit later.” Yes but not if you used it also to format book titles or other things that should keep the italic format ;-)

Don’t use short cut macros

Today I took over a client’s project containing lots of definitions like

etc. Don’t do this! It’s absolutely awful to maintain and in some month when you get back on your document you’ll probably have forgotten what all those shortcuts mean. On a first sight they save some time while typing but that is actually a task for autocompletion and a proper editor. Furthermore things probably get complicated if you redefine (\renewcommand) macros that are already defined without knowing what you do and which other packages rely on the original definition …

It gets even worse if you share your documents with someone else and force them to learn you abbreviations, while e.g. \beta is perfectly clear for everyone. Not to think about a case where two authors use different definitions/abbreviations like

Thus: Don’t use shortcuts instead of the original macros and use “speaking” (meaningful) names for your macros.

Post updated according to Clemens’ and Moss’ comments.

Order of float placement parameters

Did you know that the order of the float placement specifiers h, t, b and p, like in

has absolutely no effect? Thus [hb] is exactly the same as [bh]: both allow the float only to be placed “here” or at the bottom but not the top of a page nor on a float page.

The order of possible positions is hard-coded in the algorithm: 1. here, 2. top of this page, 3. bottom of this page, 4. float page, 5. top of next page and finally 6. bottom of next page.

Get TeX Live 2016 now

The 2016 version of TeX Live (and MacTeX for Mac OS X users) is now available for download at tug.org/texlive (or tug.org/mactex in case of OS X). You can install TL 2016 beside older versions harmlessly and optionally delete the old version(s) afterwards to save some disk space.

Happy TeXing!

PS: Members of TUG and/or dante (and probably other TeX user groups) will receive a copy on DVD. So join the one of them 😉

TeXstudio 2.11.0 was released

There’s a new version of TeXstudio available at http://texstudio.sourceforge.net. Here are some of the many changes:

  • support two editors next to each other
  • new tabular wizard
  • improve table manipulation of tabu/longtabu
  • do not remove cursor mirrors on undo
  • several updates to col files

Event tip: TeX Users Group meeting 2016 Toronto

Early bird registration discount ends soon!

The TeX Users Group meeting 2016 will be in Toronto, July 25-27. There will be presentations about typesetting, fonts, tools, and more.

tuglogoUntil May 15 there’s a registration discount. That’s tomorrow! So there’s still the chance to register for less than the full price. In case you might miss it: I read in the fine print, that rates will increase after May 23, so there might be some further time to get that rate.

For students, no matter if member or not, there’s a significant discount: $100 instead of $350 (non student members). That’s an incredible offer, since the registration includes lunch on each day as well as morning and afternoon coffee breaks (breakfest usually included in the hotel fee).

Look at the program to see a list of presentation topics as of today. There you also can see how many people already registered from a lot of countries. You can find me there too, I plan to talk about TeX in industry.

Meet people from our TeX Users Group, that made TeX big, that provides the TeX Live software and ensures worldwide support!