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Latex sucks

Latex ("LaTeX" if you're pretentious as hell) is the biggest piece of shit in the history of both pieces and shit. Jesus Christ, every fucking thing is a quest to google the right arbitrary shit to magically make it work properly. Careful, though, half of what you find is outdated or applicable to a different toolchain. That's right, latex→dvipdf is totally different from pdflatex. The latter can't even process EPS files! FUCK!

And if you want to have all your fonts embedded properly (a requirement to be published in any IEEE conference), you need to use pdflatex. This is because the number one skill needed to do science is proper operation of a typesetting language from the 1980s. You don't just need to make basic documents either…you need to be able to diagnose and repair missing embedded fonts in a PDF if you want to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge. It's not like the journals (who by the way do fuck-all in this era of electronic publishing and easychair) could pay someone to handle all this document formatting bullshit – no, this can only be done by the actual people that do the science. Now fork over hundreds of dollars for the privilege of getting this shit handed to you on a $0.10 burned CD.

(The state of science publishing blows, and so does latex.)

Anyway, here are some notes for this crap.

Figures as EPS or PDF

If you want to use actually good tools (e.g. Visio, Excel) instead of anemic command-line crap to produce charts and figures, you'll need to convert them to the format your latex can handle (there is just one).

If you're using pdflatex, the figure has to be a PDF. On Windows:

  1. Install CutePDF, a free PDF writer
  2. Print your figure to a PDF
  3. Use the pdfcrop tool (part of the texlive-extra-utils package on Ubuntu) to crop it from a full page to just what you drew.
  4. Include the cropped PDF file in your document

If you're using plain latex, it has to be EPS. To get one on Windows:

  1. Add a printer with a postscript driver with output set to FILE:
  2. Print your figure to a postscript file
  3. Use this perl script to add a bounding box, effectively cropping it from a full page to just what you drew. TightBoundingBox.pl
  4. Include the trimmed EPS file in your document

If you have an EPS and need a PDF, use epstopdf (part of texlive-font-utils on Ubuntu). If the reverse is true, you could try to concoct something out of pdf2ps, ps2eps, and maybe more.

pdflatex paper size

If you're using pdflatex and the paper size is wrong, even though it worked fine with plain latex, put this below your \documentclass:

\setlength{\pdfpagewidth}{8.5in}
\setlength{\pdfpageheight}{11in}
\usepackage{graphicx}

Why? As the post I learned this from said, "I have no idea why". GREAT JOB, LATEX!

latex.txt · Last modified: 2011/03/19 17:42 by tkbletsc