LaTeX: KOMA-Script

KOMA-Script is a LaTeX package that introduces modern updates to the classic document classes that LaTeX uses by default. Not only are the styles in the old document classes outdated, they are also set for the letter paper size. The letter paper size is used only in the USA, with the rest of the world having moved on to the ISO A4 size a long time ago. The KOMA-Script layout is noticeably larger, using more of the space in the A4 paper size. The size comparison of the default LaTeX document class with that of KOMA-Script can be seen in the figure above. KOMA-Script also uses a different set of fonts for these document classes, which in my opinion looks fresher.

Using KOMA-Script for your LaTeX documents is very easy. First, download and install the koma-script package. Next, replace the standard document classes (article, book, letter, report) with those provided by KOMA-Script (scrartcl, scrbook, scrlttr2, scrreprt). That is it! :-)

Wondering why the document class names have a prefix of scr? KOMA-Script is the successor of an older package which was named Script, which introduced the scr prefix.

If you are using TeX Live (in Ubuntu for example), KOMA-Script can be found in the texlive-latex-recommended package.

(Via Top 10 LaTeX Modules by Nico Schlömer)

LaTeX: Longtable

Tables are commonly created in LaTeX using the tabular environment. For example, a simple 2 column table:

\begin{tabular}{c c}
Tea & Coffee\\
Coke & Pepsi\\
\end{tabular}

These tables are treated as unbreakable by LaTeX. Thus, a long table will not be broken across a page break, but will be moved into the next page. If you want a table to flow across pages, by being broken across page breaks, the longtable package can be used to achieve that.

Load the longtable package:

\usepackage{longtable}

Replace tabular with longtable:

\begin{longtable}{c c}
Tea & Coffee\\
Coke & Pepsi\\
\end{longtable}

MikTeX: Install/Uninstall packages

To install a package into MikTeX:

  1. Close all open applications that use LaTeX/MikTeX.
  2. Open the MikTeX Package Manager in Admin mode. (Under the Start menu you will find it in MikTeX → Maintenance (Admin) → Package Manager (Admin) )
  3. Type the partial or full name of the package you want to install in the toolbar and click on Filter.
  4. In the search results, right-click on the package you want and choose Install.

Uninstalling a package is the same as above, just choose Uninstall in step 4.

Note: I use LEd as my primary LaTeX editor. Whenever I try to compile a .tex file which uses a package that is not installed in my MikTeX system, LEd tries to install it automatically from the web. However, LEd’s install dialog disappears while installing and neither shows the success/failure of the operation nor the progress. This is the reason I prefer to do installation/uninstallation manually using MikTeX.

MikTeX: Package import

MikTeX 2.8 has been released recently. Since MikTeX cannot intelligently update over its previous installation, the extra (non-MikTeX) packages I had installed in the older installation need to be imported into the new installation. To do this, first install MikTeX 2.8. And then import the packages from the older installation using this command:

mpm --admin --verbose --repository="C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.7" --import-all

Make sure to use the MikTeX 2.8 mpm.exe for this.

For more: MikTeX 2.8 installation page