LaTeX Recipes

I just spent the last weeks writ­ing my dis­ser­ta­tion on Collectivist Housing. Like every­one else, I did it in Word, which was a huge pain.

I spent at least a day and a half get­ting all my fig­ures num­bered cor­rectly, mak­ing sure my bib­li­og­ra­phy was for­mat­ted cor­rectly, all my ci­ta­tions were in the right for­mat. Numbering things, mak­ing sure data is in the right for­mat - sounds like some­thing a com­puter would be good at.

Turns out there is soft­ware to do pre­cisely this, and it’s been around for 20 years: it’s called LaTex.

Bold, Italic

The link between \textit{consumer choice} and political freedom is especially pronounced in the 1980s
The link between \textit{consumer choice} and political freedom is especially pronounced in the 1980s


    \caption{Video stills from 'The New Dwelling' ['Die Neue Wohnung'], a 1930 film showing the benefits of modernist housing}

h is a la­bel that con­trols where in the doc­u­ment the fig­ure will show up. h will put it where it ap­pears in the source doc­u­ment. ht puts it at the top of the page. There’s loads of other op­tions


\section{Section Title}
\subsection{Sub Section Title}


All your ref­er­ences go in a seper­ate file in this for­mat:

    author = "Charly Wilder",
    year = "2016",
    institution = "The New York Times",
    note = "Accessed Nov. 14, 2017",
    title = "On the Bauhaus Trail in Germany",
    url = ""

This lets you keep a more in­for­ma­tion than will even­tu­ally end up in the bib­li­og­ra­phy, ie. the au­thor’s full name. In your ac­tual text doc­u­ment, you ref­er­ence en­tries in your bib­li­og­ra­phy file like this:

In a country still struggling to recover from the First World War, with violent revolutions going on in Europe and new technology changing every aspect of life, change seemed inevitable. \autocite{wilder}
Popular critics such as \textcite{wolfe} criticise modernist housing as being overly academic and fundamentally unfit for its purpose. 

Again, there are many more op­tions

LaTeX is go­ing to pull in any in­for­ma­tion it needs to do a cor­rect ci­ta­tion from the bib­li­og­ra­phy style. This means you can eas­ily change your ci­ta­tion for­mat if you need to - since we’ve seper­ated data from pre­sen­ta­tion, we can re­com­pile the doc­u­ment in a dif­fer­ent for­mat at any point.

Front Matter

Since we’ve given LaTeX all sorts of in­for­ma­tion about our doc­u­ment, we can do neat things like this:


Headers and Footers