latex tips and tricks view markdown

Contains simple instructions for common issues with writing in latex


  • really good introduction here

diffing complex latex files

Pipeline for finding the differences between 2 versions of complex latex projects.

Note: this assumes that style files for the two do not change (only changes to .tex files).

  1. Download all files for the original version and the new version into folders named old and new

  2. “Flatten” the tex files by replacing \input{fname.tex} with the contents of the file fname.tex
    • simple python code to do this here
    • installing (locally):
        git clone
        cd flatex
        pip install --editable . 
      cd old
      flatex --include_bbl _main.tex old.tex
      cd ..
      cd new
      flatex --include_bbl _main.tex new.tex
      cd ..
  3. Copy the non-tex files (.cls, .bib, .sty, .bst, figs) you want to use to a new directory. Then From this directory download and run latexdiff on the flattened files - this should produce the desired diff!
      mkdir diff
      cp -r new/* diff/
      cp old/old.tex diff/
    cd diff
    latexdiff old.tex new.tex > diff.tex

toggling documents with a simple boolean

a simple way to use booleans in latex without needing to import any packages

defining a boolean:

\newif\ifanonymize % define a boolean named `anonymize`

\anonymizefalse % set it to false
% \anonymizetrue % set it to true

use it in an if-statement


create a helper command named \anonfinal which takes two arguments and will print only one of them based on the boolean


making figures

  • figures should be saved as pdf unless they have a ton of points