Writing my PhD thesis with LaTeX

A few months ago, I handed in my PhD thesis. Just a pile of pages, but that thesis in my hands meant a lot. So many things happened since I had started the PhD, good and bad. Hope and effort, disappointment and euphoria, curiosity and boredom, improvisation and routine… The PhD was for me a great chance to meet and work with great people and to learn a lot of things, some times completely unexpected. This was the case of \LaTeX .

It must have been one year before handing in the thesis that I started thinking on actually writing it. I mean, yeah, writing a big thesis, that’s all about a PhD right? Well, I am a chemist and therefore I spent the first years of the PhD in the lab… the thesis was just too far from my daily routine at work. Time went by pretty quick though, and I finally realized of the few gigabytes of data, pictures, reports and CAD designs I had accumulated over the years. At that moment I could only think one thing: “not with Word”.

I had already experienced the painful nature of formatting some journal papers using the popular Microsoft Word. And those were just a few pages long! At that moment I panicked and started looking for an alternative: \LaTeX. I had always dismissed this typesetting system since I had no background on programming and I thought the learning curve would be too slow. But after a short introduction with my cousin (a great physicist and devout \LaTeX practitioner) I decided to give it a shot.

A few days later I was already sold. The more I learnt, the more I wanted to know. And of course, the results speak by themselves: I could produce beautiful documents without any knowledge on typography and design. Can’t you tell when something was written with \LaTeX? So that’s exactly what I mean.

 

2 comments

  1. Alex

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  2. Alex

    I’m not certain the place you’re getting your information, but great topic. I must spend a while finding out much more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent info I was searching for this info for my mission.

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