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 | 1 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

TUG 2015

I am currently attending the TUG 2015. I met a lot of great people here.

I posted daily reports on

Maybe I will add some rather personal thoughts here too.

21. July 2015 by stefan
Categories: Conferences, Events, TeX User Group | Leave a comment

TeX Live 2015 pretest is running

The TeX Live mailing list shows increasing traffic: the TeX Live 2015 pretest version is available, and many users already downloaded and tested it.

It contains the LaTeX2e 2015 release, which brought a notable change: the fixes, which were previously available by explicitly loading the fixltx2e package, are now enabled by default. You still can revert to the old behavior: the new latex release package enables you to switch on backwards compatibility to a chosen release date. A small but useful improvement is a new float storage allocation mechanism. By default, LaTeX could handle 18 floats at a time, a higher number would cause an error. Now, you can say \extrafloats{600} to allow 600 more. Under the hood, it improved the support for Unicode engines, and the release uses a new build system.

pdfTeX now supports EXIF metadata in JPEG files.

The shell script fmtutil has been reimplemented in Perl. Now it works with multiple formats at once, and it’s better customizable.

If you would like to download and to test it, note that it’s not yet stable so you may see errors. However, that’s what the test phase is for: you can try it out and report errors or possible improvements to the TeX Live team.

For more information, visit the TeX Live pretest page.

15. April 2015 by stefan
Categories: LaTeX Distributions, LaTeX General, TeX Live | 1 comment

LaTeX Beginner’s Guide available for download today

In agreement with Packt Publishing, I can provide the „LaTeX Beginner’s Guide“ as an ebook for free, only today, March 4, 2015.

For further information and updates and background production story you can visit: LaTeX Community forum announcement.

This is a special thanks to all LaTeX supporters for helping in forums and Q&A sites and personally. I know, our experienced LaTeX supporters don’t need this book, but feel free to get it for curiosity. Your download will prove interest to the publisher, so I could offer them a revised updated edition.

Our LaTeX friends, who may be new in this topic, may benefit. And I thank all for their questions in online forums, because they would not exist without you!

Download LaTeX Beginner's Guide

More details, including table of contents and sample chapter: Publisher’s LaTeX book page.

Tell your friends to download a free copy. :-)

We are always happy to welcome LaTeX friends in the LaTeX Community forum, so it would be great if you would join us in the forum. I will answer any question to the book’s contents there. Experts: our forum also needs your help, perhaps have a look at the unanswered questions. Are you able to answer one, even if it’s older? Orginal poster and later readers would be happy!

04. March 2015 by stefan
Categories: Events, LaTeX General | 1 comment

← Older posts

Newer posts →