Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Latex Questions

I have a couple of Latex-related questions. I could spend a few minutes googling, of course. But I can also post them here, wait go teach class, and find the answers waiting for me when I come back. Plus, maybe some other people are interested in this information. (I know, nobody is.)

1. Is Latex embedding fonts in my PDF file automatically, or is there something I have to do to make it embed them? If so, what?

2. How does one make a template containing various preamble data and formatting boilerplate? I'd like to be able to go to this little dropdown menu, select "philosophy paper" and get everything I've been copy-and-pasting from another document. How do I get this into my dropdown menu?

Thanks, Smokers!

--Mr. Zero

P.S. I'm using TexShop for Mac.


Kevin Klement said...

The answer to your first question is yes, it embeds the fonts automatically.

(At least if you're using pdflatex. It is also possible to compile to a .dvi file instead and then convert the .dvi to a .pdf. It would then depend on how you converted it, but the tools that come with latex for conversion would also embed the fonts unless you explicitly told it not to.)

Someone who knows about TeXShop will have to answer your second question. I am not someone who is willing to pay Steve Jobs for the privilege of taking what would otherwise be free open source UNIX software and making it proprietary, nor am I overly impressed with shiny white boxes.

Kevin Klement said...

I should also have mentioned that The PhilTeX blog now has a help and discussion forum, dedicated to LaTeX and related technologies fr philosophy and others in the humanities, where questions like this are more than welcome. The LaTeX StackExchange site is also a good place to ask questions.

jwr said...

1. I'm also using TeXShop for mac, and I don't have to do anything special to embed fonts in a pdf.

2. Open a new TeXShop document. Set up the preamble, etc. as you want it. Save that document (with an appropriate name, e.g., paper template) to the Templates folder in /Library/TeXShop.

Hope this helps,


Joshua said...

One of the joys of using LaTeX is the terrific online community, and the wealth of information that community provides. I'm very happy to see that this community and that community overlap.

Also, high five for making and sticking to the switch, Mr. Zero!

Anonymous said...

Answer to the second question: there's an easier solution than jrw's, namely open the Macros menu, click Open Macro Editor, click New Item, and then copy and paste your template. Give it a name, and now you have a drop-down menu that'll automatically insert that stuff.

There's also the option of creating your own style file, but this is easiest for quick manipulation.

Anonymous said...

Way to bring some class to the joint, Kevin.

It would just be sufficient to say you don't use TexShop. We don't need the commentary implying how obsessed other people must be with shiny white boxes to stupidly give their money to Steve Jobs and how superior you and your open source software are to them.

Try harder at being a decent person.

Anonymous said...

If you want your preable to be portable, and you further want the preamble not to appear in the body of the text, there's a simpler solution. Create a new file, insert the code you would put in all your files, and save it as a .sty file. Save it inside ~/Library/texmf/tex/latex/Macros. Once you do that, you can simply type


in your .tex file.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon September 8, 2010 2:06 PM

Kevin wrote a rather tame comment about a defensible position about not paying for UNIX based products. This makes perfect sense. I don't pay to watch the movie Jackass b/c I don't think those guys should be rich for acting stupid.

He never name calls or implies you are stupid for using a Mac. He might be impressed with Apple's products, just not overly impressed. (I bet he builds his own stuff.)

And as for class. The guy does a lot to support the LaTeX community even those of us, like me, who do use TeXShop. He also signs his name to his views.

I think you are an ass for telling him to try harder at being a decent person. You don't know him at all.

jwr said...


TeXShop is free, well supported by an online community, and has nothing to do with Steve Jobs.

Anon 11:20,

Neat trick!


Overly Impressed said...

Anon. Sept. 8 2:57 pm:

Come on, that's disingenuous. "He might be impressed with Apple's products, just not overly impressed." Ya think? Someone who says he is "not overly impressed with shiny white boxes" might be pretty damned impressed, but not *overly* impressed, is that what you *really* think it means? Bullshit.

I'm sure he does plenty to help the LaTex community, and there is no doubt in my mind that KK has many other sterling qualities. But that comment was, in fact, dickish.

Anonymous said...

I'm a total dick, but not disingenuous. It's not like KK said Apple is terrible and unimpressive. He just doesn't want to pay for stuff that's free. For example, he might have an iPod.

Then again, he might run Songbird on some device he made in his garage. But he didn't say that. He wasn't Apple bashing.

My point is that KK wasn't "classless" as the poster pointed claimed, ironically. The man was answering questions on this blog for *free*. If you have to endure a little bit of editorial comments about open source, then that's the price of the free info.

From my POV, the ironic poster is a twit for wrongly calling out a man who signs his names to his views but does so anonymously. I seriously doubt that the objector to KK's open source claims would admit to who they are and never would have written that without the cover of anonymity. It is an abuse of anonymity.

And I might add, KK's comment was no where near some of the classless things written on this blog anonymously.

So, yes, I'm a dick, but my comment was legit and sincere. I don't know KK, but he seems from what I have read of him to be a fine guy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:06 here again.

To 2:57/6:50: It's hard to understand why you are so up-in-arms over an anonymous comment criticizing a tenured professor on a site designed for ABDs and people who are on the market. Beyond which, I didn't call him names, I said that his comments were not adding class to the place (true, even if you think mine were worse) and that he wasn't acting as a decent person should. So, at worst, I called him classless and indecent (though I did not, and think it requires more than one classless or indecent act to make someone classless or indecent). But what exactly is a 'twit'? What's your beef with my comment, besides that I criticized a tenured professor anonymously for something you think isn't a big deal because he's sooooo helpful?

Look, I'm sure that Kevin Klement is generally a fine person. But his comment was jerky and uncalled for. I don't think people should have to put up with editorial comments with implied abuse for the sake of free advice.

You might think that his helpful nature in the field of LaTex or the fact that he signs his name means that he should be above critique when he is jerky, I disagree.

I never claimed he denigrated Apple (though I think he did) but that by explaining why he was not in a position to give Apple-related advice by listing what negative characteristics he did not have, he was (classlessly, and as someone who was being decent would not do) implying that these negative characteristics applied to Apple users, including the original poster.

It's disingenuous to deny that he denigrated Apple when the objection was never that, but rather that he denigrated Apple *users*, of whom the original poster is one. Well, disingenuous or not very bright.

Also: You might think that my post was unintentionally ironic, but this seems to turn on the point of contention.

zombie said...

I'm allergic to latex, actually. And have nothing to contribute re: LaTex, exCept that I'm in favor of InTerNal caps whenEver posSible.

I just want to butt in and say that Sept 8, 2009 there were 47 job ads in the Summer JFP (online), and this year there are 84.
What does it mean?

Mr. Zero said...

Thanks for the tips, everybody. They were very helpful, and I appreciate it.

Kevin Klement said...

Let me say what I meant by "not overly impressed".

My problem is not with TeXshop itself. It is GPL. It will only work with MacOS, and I do have problems with MacOS. No, not "Oh, I'm using Linux and I'm so superior" problems; these are moral misgivings about a company that feeds like a parasite off of open source while at the same time doing everything it can to make the internet and other online content as closed, proprietary and un-open as possible.

Apple's business practices lately are simply scandalous, and it hugely depresses me how popular their stuff is with the upcoming breed of academics, and scares me too. Apple supports censorship, actively works against interopability and open standards for online content, threatens legal action against those who would dare release open sourced multimedia codecs or advocate them for HTML5 instead of proprietary technologies in which they are stakeholders, blatantly rips off people who buy their products by charging them for the privilege of taking an otherwise free BSD-like UNIX system and locking it down specific to their hardware, lies about their accomplishments, and invests in technologies which, if they goes forward will basically mean that you don't own the hardware you buy; you are simply renting a space in front of their app store and advertising platform. It depresses me all the more, since years ago Apple was a company that cared about education and other more noble goals. As education becomes more and more reliant on technology, these issues are vitally important to be concerned about.

If you want more details about these accusations, feel free to email me.

Kevin Klement said...


Contrast this with open source platforms, which if spread, could potentially save our universities millions of badly needed dollars, while at the same time, encouraging people to create educational software which could be used freely anywhere by anyone, even if they cannot afford a Western education.

My dislike of Apple is motivated by my desire to be a better person. But I probably shouldn't have made an offhand and slightly sarcastic comment in response to this question It wasn't the time or place, and so I apologize for that. It certainly wasn't meant as a dig on Zero or any other mac user. But since the issue has been breached, and my integrity questioned, I hope you don't mind my saying this in my own defense.