LaTeX Templates and Guides

This is a collection of links and information on how to use LaTeX for your academic life at Berkeley, including making slides, conference posters, and theses.

General references

These are a few online references for LaTeX that you may find useful. Some other things not given here (you can google to find them) are how to incorporate Matlab code in LaTeX (for printing) or how to use LaTeX for Matlab figure captions and axis titles.


  • MiKTeX – a LaTeX installation for Windows
  • TexShop – a LaTex program for MacOS
  • TexPoint – a plugin for PowerPoint that will render LaTeX. Highly recommended if you are using PowerPoint for slides.
  • PGF – a graphics package that supports jpg
  • PSTricks – a graphics package using PostScript macros for drawing figures. A little hard to use at first, but the figures turn out well.
  • BibDesk – a MacOS application for managing .bib files.
  • Converter – This tool let's you use firefox to convert a IEEE Xplore Abstract page directly into a BibTeX entry in one keystroke followed by a single click!

BiBTeX and citations

BibTeX is a program that lets you maintain a “dictionary” of references. It's useful if you end up citing the same papers over and over again in multiple papers and also for sending bibliographies to other people. In addition, it makes applying bibliographic formatting rules a breeze by just changing the BibTeX style file. This is especially useful if you submit to non-IEEETrans publications and conferences.


Why would you want to write slides in LaTeX and not PowerPoint? One reason is robustness – PowerPoint presentations often run into font inclusion issues and others that a PDF presentation avoids. LaTeX-based presentations which are “formula-heavy” will get the benefic of LaTeX's much better formula writing and control. That being said, you have to handcode the slides, which can be made easier by using a macro package Three popular packages are:

  • SliTeX – the simplest to use, but it doesn't have very many features at all.
  • Prosper – looks a lot like PowerPoint, but has a steep learning curve.
  • Beamer – has a different aesthetic, and also a steep learning curve.

Beamer-specific hacks

  • There is a Beamer template package customized for the Wireless Foundations Center. Due to copyright issues, this is only available to Wireless Foundations members.
  • In some cases you might want to make a handout version of your slides (4 slides to a page, landscaped). To do this, include the following lines in the preamble of your paper. The first line tells the beamer package to ignore all overlay features (progressive reveals, etc.). The second adds the pgfpages package (you may need to download this), and the third changes around the layout of the page. Clearly you can change the options as you see fit.
  \pgfpagesuselayout{4 on 1}[letterpaper,landscape,border shrink=0.5in]

Converting Beamer to PowerPoint

Sometimes you may run into a situation where you have written a presenation using beamer but then have to convert it to PowerPoint. Prof. Anant Sahai has put together a hack for this. The pstoimg command is on most Unix systems, and a version probably exists for Windows as well.

  1. Use dvips to make a .ps file of the beamer handout. (Put “handout” in the documentclass declaration before dvips).
  2. Copy the postscript file into its own directory and then apply: pstoimg -antialias -aaliastext -density 400 -multi -out foo -type gif
  3. Rename the foo[1-9].gif to foo0[1-9].gif manually.
  4. Copy these files into your “Transfer” directory or however you want to communicate with a Windows virtual machine or dual-boot system.
  5. Open a brand new powerpoint and (see these FAQs):
    • Press ALT+F11
    • Choose Insert, Module from the menu bar to insert a new code module into your project.
    • Paste this VB code into the file.
    • Press F5 to execute the code in VB.
    • Delete the dummy title slide left behind, and you're done! Save the file and exit Windows if you want.

Conference Posters

Here is an early version of a LaTeX template for conference posters. The template is reasonably well-commented, and so it should be straightforward to build your own poster. Some options are not supported yet due to time constraints, so the template is a little barebones at the moment. Please direct any comments/bug reports, etc to Anand Sarwate (asarwate at eecs).

There are several thorny issues with image inclusion and allowable formats so please be sure to read the documentation. To use the template, you can download the archive:

  • confposter.tgz – compressed archive of template and supporting files.

The individual files in the archive are:

  • a0size.sty – provides macros for resizing text.
  • textpos.sty – package that lets you place text boxes arbitrarily on the page. You can also get this from CTAN or one of its mirrors.
  • textpos.drv – more files for textpos.
  • eecs.eps – high resolution (6 MB) EPS version of the department logo.
  • wifound.eps – the current Wireless Foundations logo.
  • samplefig.eps – sample figure used in the template.
  • posterTemplate.tex – the actual poster template source file.
  • – sample output in PostScript format.
  • posterTemplate.pdf – the sample output produced by the poster template. It also has comments and information about the template and how to use it.

Thesis templates

The Plan II Master's Thesis (report) doesn't have any particular formatting requirements. Niels Hoven (nhoven at eecs) has put together a nice LaTeX template that will allow you to drop in your existing BiBTeX entries.

  • – an archive with the template, sample output, and important README information

The Graduate Division has a dissertation guide which is useful reading and contains all of the page specifications for the PhD thesis. There's also a page of links to information.

The archive below is modified from the Earth and Plantary Science Department template compiled by Matthew A. d'Alessio. It should contain all the files you will need. If you want to start from scratch, you can just download the ucthesis package.

latex/latex_resources.txt · Last modified: 2008/08/19 06:59 by sahai
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