DANTE Treffen-Berichte in Deutsch

Zur Info, die deutschsprachigen Berichte notiere ich hier: http://texwelt.de/blog/category/dante/


24. March 2017 by stefan
Categories: Conferences, DANTE, Events | Leave a comment

DANTE meeting 2017 day 1 – afternoon second session

At the DANTE meeting, Günter Partosch continued. His second topic was: headings.

Headings are for:

  • Structuring and sectioning of texts
  • Visual indication
  • Cross-referencing

There are various things that can be adjusted:

  • Size
  • Appearance such as font and decoration
  • Distance before and after
  • Numbering

The first look was at the base classes. They allow structuring by \chapter and \section etc. in various depth. There are basic commands in LaTeX that can be used for example for switching numbering off or on and to change how that looks.

He showed additional packages, such as:

  • fncychap - offers seven chapter heading styles, rather decorative
  • quotchap - decorative chapter headings with quotations or sayings
  • sectsty - Changing appearance of headings including lines above and below
  • titlesec - Alternative heading styles with complex interface
  • varsects - simple changing of headings

In his presentation he showed output examples of those packages, such as for decorative chapter headings and various formatting such as indented, centered, block-like or embedded headings.

A table showed the packages versus the features mentioned above.

Finally he considered the customization features included in KOMA-Script. They go far beyond the capabilities of base classes. A variety of settings are possible. Basic properties, such as base font size, can be set via class options. There are commands for setting and changing of font or formatting of various headings (\setkomafont, \addtokomafont). Furthermore there are commands such as \RedeclareSectionCommand for (complex) customizing of distances before and after headings as well as indentation.

Ulrike Fischer followed with the final talk of today. Her topic was how to work with errors:

  • Analyzing errors
  • Correction
  • How to find help if one is stuck with an error

What are good tips that can be given?

  • Better tackle errors immediately, instead of postponing until there are too many errors
  • No nonstopmode
  • Proceed step by step
  • Test new things in a minimal example, such as a bibliography or an index, before it’s implemented in the progressed main document
  • Read documentation and package manuals ;-)
  • Backups, version control, test environment

Will be updated in the late evening… 

22. March 2017 by stefan
Categories: Conferences, DANTE, Events | Leave a comment

DANTE meeting 2017 day 1 – afternoon first session

The afternoon of the DANTE meeting day 1 starts.

After lunch in the canteen, Adelheid Grob explained and demonstrated new and interesting packages, for fun with LaTeX.

  • Bewitched mathematics: the package halloweenmath replaces math symbols by witches and pumpkins and offers more of that kind.
  • Images in the margin: the package randbild offers two environments for placing small pictures into the page margin.
  • EAN and ISBN with LaTeX: the package ean13isbn offers an interface for printing EAN codes and ISBN numbers including bar codes.
  • Smoking break: the package Zigaretten produces wrappers for cigarette boxes, to overprint the annoying warning messages by customizable text.
  • Smileys: the package tikzsymbols offers smileys aka emojis and further graphic symbols, with parametrization for “emotion value” and adjustments for example of colors of smileys and of angles of stick men.
    Another package coloremoji supports smileys as on Twitter or Whatsapp via small embedded images .
  • Old German fonts: Fraktur, Gotik, Schwabach and Sütterlin are possible via packages such as yfontssueterlin, sueterl, suet14, schwell, wesu. Using XeTeX there are even more old German fonts directly usable. An open question from the audience: is there Fraktur for math? For example, it’s used for vectors.

Günter Bartsch made the next presentation. He talked about creating a prescribed page layout in a reasonable way. It’s sometimes not easy to fulfill requirements. KOMA-Script classes and additional packages such as geometry provide suitable tools.

  • Statement of the problem: for example fixed page margins and line spacing
  • Considered: common pages, not landscape and no title pages
  • Definition of type area: imagined gray area on paper. Without prescribed margin values, it’s good to create a type area via dividing in a grid (9 or 12 parts) or golden ratio. The KOMA-Script manual contains very detailed information.
  • Standard classes such as article, book or report, offer only a few options. LaTeX commands, such as \enlargethispage and \setlength, don’t make the life easy.
  • The geometry package is widely used for typesetting with given page layout parameters such as margins. It can ensure reasonable settings by autocompleting values. There are some further packages, sometimes for specific use, such as fullpagetocenterzwpagelayout (layout, crop marks), and typearea. Packages such as layouts and layout display page layout parameters as text and graphically.
  • lscape and pdflscape are packages for switching to landscape orientation.
  • KOMA-Script classes (typearea) and memoir provide further interfaces.

Coffee break now!


22. March 2017 by stefan
Categories: Conferences, DANTE, Events | Leave a comment

DANTE meeting 2017 in Zeuthen

Right now, from March 22 until March 24, the DESY in Zeuthen near Berlin hosts the meeting of the German speaking TeX users group DANTE.

I travelled yesterday evening with the train to Berlin and then to Zeuthen. The DESY is just a few minutes away from the train station. I stay in the  ”Seehotel Zeuthen” right at the see. There was an informal gathering at 7pm in the “Ristorante Cafe Peperosa”. Due to my late arrival, and because I travelled in the morning from Triest/Italy to Hamburg before taking the train to Berlin, I did not went there.

The registration started at 8:30, at 9:00 Dr. Johannes Knapp started with an introduction about DESY, its history and current projects, from particle physics and colliders up to photon science.

Uwe Ziegenhagen then made a workshop about using LaTeX and Python together. He provided an introduction to the script language Python, to syntax basics such as strings, lists, dictionaries (key-value pairs) up to flow control and functions.

He considered both directions of integration:

  • Generating LaTeX-Code by a Python program
  • Using Python within a LaTeX document

He showed practical examples:

  • Generating tables based on calculated data, output is LaTeX with booktabs
  • Data processing with pandas
  • Reading and writing CSV and Excel files
  • Using the template engine jinja2
  • Automated generation of donation receipts with pandas

All example codes and the presentation slides in German can be downloaded here: https://github.com/UweZiegenhagen/PythonAndLaTeX

Now it’s lunch break. More to see in the afternoon!



22. March 2017 by stefan
Categories: Conferences, DANTE, Events | Leave a comment

Becoming a TUG member becomes easier

Good news for 2017!

Students, seniors and TeX friends from countries with modest economies can become TeX Users Group members for an annual rate of just $15 - for an electronic membership, early bird until March 31, 2017. This means full membership, so the TUGboat journal and TeX software are online available to you, instead of getting it on paper or DVD. Saves money and is good for our environment. :-)

Join us, plant the flag, elect our president, visit our conferences! If you look for a way to support TeX, that’s a great one!

A regular early electronic membership is $45, hopefully still affordable. Non-electronic late bird ;-) regular membership stays the same as last year.

By joining now, you can directly be part of and support the TUG TeX activities. You know,

  • Maintaining and developing the TeX Live distribution, that is also the base of MacTeX
  • Yearly international TeX conferences
  • The TUGboat journal
  • Supporting projects, such as LaTeX3, CTAN, LuaTeX and MetaPost and font creation

Let me know what you think! I love comments here.

It’s all up to us. Want to join in 2017? Link: http://tug.org/join.html


01. January 2017 by stefan
Categories: TeX User Group | 1 comment

Currently Packt sells my LaTeX books for $5

Just to let you know, these days Packt Publishing sells all ebooks (not paper books) for just $5, until beginning of January. This includes my two LaTeX books:

The links lead you to the book page at Packt publishing with description and sample chapter.

I get 16% of the book sales, let me quickly calculate – $0.80 per ebook. So if a few LaTeX friends take this opportunity, the royalties will allow to give a hell of a party. :-D  Just to mention that: writing a book means often just doing it for fun, not for money.

24. December 2016 by stefan
Categories: Books, LaTeX General | Leave a comment

TeXdoc.net updated

The TeX on-line documentation service TeXdoc.net got an update: it’s now based on the newest documentation coming with TeX Live 2016. At this occasion it moved to a new web server.

In the background, TeXdoc.net runs the texdoc application that comes with TeX Live. The front-end runs with Apache on Debian Linux, using the dwoo PHP5 template engine. The content gets updates via a script. Recently, the step to TL ’16 was delayed, as it should happen on the new server.

So, for example, there are the manuals of the brand-new TikZ 3.0.1a and pgfplots 1.14.

You can browse documentation by topics, or simply type into a search field. Auto-completion will offer suggestions:


OpenSearch is supported: when you are on the TeXdoc.net web site, you can add it to your search engines, such as here on Firefox:


You can view documentation on your own computer, just typing texdoc <keyword> on the command line. Just to mention that – an experienced TeX user knows that, while a new user sometimes did not yet use the command line mode.

What is the purpose of TeXdoc.net?

  • You can read TeX documentation even without having TeX installed.
  • You can access TeX documentation on tablets and mobile phones too, in addition to PCs or laptops.
  • Even if an older TeX is installed, you can get the newest documentation on the Web.
  • You can read a package manual before you install it.
  • The standardized link syntax http://texdoc.net/pkg/<packagename> is easy to remember.
  • Forums, such as LaTeX-Community.org and goLaTeX.de have buttons and BBCode tags for linking keywords (package names) to the corresponding documentation – saying RTFM is made easier ;-) of course meant in a friendly way. Whenever you mention a package or want to point to its manual, it’s as easy as a mouse click.

The last point lead to the idea to start this service, adding value and easiness to thousands of forum posts.

17. August 2016 by stefan
Categories: Online Ressources, Tools for LaTeX | Leave a comment

TeX Live 2016 released

You may have read the great news on ctan-ann or TeX.tips: this year’s update of TeX Live has been released. It is available on CTAN and via http://tug.org/texlive. What’s new?

  • GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) is used for file verification for update security.
  • There are a lot of changes in LuaTeX backend.
  • pdfTeX and XeTeX got new primitives (fundamental commands).
  • MetaFont got experimental Lua integration.
  • MetaPost got bug fixes and was prepared for a new major version coming soon.
  • Some tools got updates, including the TeX Live Manager aka tlmgr.

It doesn’t sound like a big change, but it comes with updates for a lot of packages compared to last year’s TeX Live 2015.

I thank the TeX Users Group and the TeX Live team for that yearly milestone!


09. June 2016 by stefan
Categories: LaTeX Distributions, TeX Live | Leave a comment

LyX 2.2 released

After two years of work, LyX 2.2.0 has been released. There’s a lot of new features, some of the most important are:

  • High resolution display support (aka retina)
  • Qt5 support (Qt4 still supported)
  • Improved text display: proper kerning and ligatures, higher rendering speed
  • Horizontal scrolling for large insets such as tabular and math material, keeping the cursor visible
  • Improved control of paragraph breaks: plain separators split consecutive environments, parbreak separators do the same and introduce a blank line in the LaTeX output.
  • Improved text color support – 11 new colors: brown, darkgray, gray, lightgray, lime, orange, olive, pink, purple, teal, and violet
  • Better handling of boxes and tables
  • Faster and better instant preview
  • Enhanced source panel, outliner and navigation menu
  • Layout and module enhancements
  • Support for mathtools commands
  • New converters such as for Microsoft’s docx format

For further information and download visit:


31. May 2016 by stefan
Categories: IDEs and Editors | Leave a comment

Registering for the DANTE autumn meeting 2015

At http://www.dante.de/events/Herbst2015/anmeldung.html you can now register to the autumn meeting 2015 of DANTE e.V. It takes place on September 5th at the TU Graz. Besides the member’s meeting and the program with talks, there will be an evening gathering the day before, and a tourist program afterwards. Early registering is extremely helpful for the organizers!

The meeting is also open for TeX friends who are not member of DANTE e.V. Participation at the meeting and at the talks is free.

I registered already, and I will fly Sep 4 from Hamburg to Graz and Sep 6 back. If anybody likes to join me, send me an email: I can get up to 2 cheaper tickets for travelling partners, because I work at the airline.

All information regarding place, travel information, and program can be found here.

15. August 2015 by stefan
Categories: Conferences, DANTE, Events | Leave a comment

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