Drawing a stemma with TikZ

Maïeul Rouquette has published an article on LaTeX-Community.org: Stemma with TikZ. It is an English translation of his three French blog articles about that topic.

A stemma codicum is a “family tree” of different manuscripts of a same text, see Stemmatics (Wikipedia). The article explains how to draw such a tree, which is also a method for constructing TikZ trees in general:

  • For simple trees, use nodes, edges and children with the TikZ tree syntax
  • For complex trees, you can go through these steps:
    1. Place the nodes, using coordinates or relatiive positioning, and give them names
    2. Apply styles for the nodes, choose or define your own styles for this
    3. Connect nodes by lines or arrows such as by draw[->] (node1) — (node2);
Stemma with Tikz

Once you have created such a tree, you could easily use this as a template for further trees, if you don’t like to go through such a construction process each time. Though some things seem to be complicated with TikZ, it’s easy to re-use and to adjust for similar drawings. For this, the TikZ example gallery can give good start code. It also provides some examples for TikZ trees.

31. March 2012 by stefan
Categories: Graphics, pgf/TikZ | Leave a comment

TeXworks needs testers

Stefan Löffler wrote to the TeXworks mailing list, that helping participants are needed for trying the latest TeXworks 0.5 r979. This is for preparing the release of version 0.4.4, which is expected to come mid-April, for the inclusion in TeX Live 2012. Recent Windows and Ubuntu builds are available, a Mac build is planned to be provided very soon.

Especially changed features need testing, such as

  • The rewritten log parser
  • Search & replace (such as multi-line copy-to-search/replace)
  • Check if the problems with the disappearing lines still exist
  • Reproducing the crash of TeXworks when pressing the return key at the beginning of a wrapped line. Did you ever notice it?

If you would like to help, download the latest build and test it, and send your test results to Stefan or to the TeXworks mailing list.

29. March 2012 by stefan
Categories: IDEs and Editors, News | 1 comment

Document Freedom Day

Today is the “Document Freedom Day”. Today, we can celebrate information accessibility, and we could raise awareness of open standards, which mean document formats which

  • can fully publicly used without constraints,
  • don’t have dependencies on formats or protocols that are not open,
  • are legally and technically unlimited in utilisation,
  • are maintained and further developed independently of any single vendor
  • and are available in various implementations by competing vendors or just freely available.

Let’s look at TeX and LaTeX. The source document format is plain text, usable on any platform. Only the encoding can be a small issue between operating systems or editors, which can be handled by freely available conversion tools. Furthermore, Unicode text is commonly supported today. But ASCII still works everywhere, while Unicode is convenient.

And the output? Well, PDF is commonly chosen today and widely supported, though I would not call it an open standard, just in parts. However, we have the source, and we still have the DVI format. I wish there were better onscreen display programs.

With nonfree document formats, TeX and LaTeX would hardly be as useful as today, compatible and cross-platform. I can work with my up to 16 year old LaTeX documents in best quality on any hardware today – try it with so old Word or Works files.

For general information regarding free documents and open standards, have a look at documentfreedom.org.

28. March 2012 by stefan
Categories: Events, News | 3 comments

Lucida OpenType verfügbar

Heute schrieb Karl Berry auf der texhax mailing list, dass die Lucida OpenType Schrift nun verfügbar ist. Lucida ist von der TeX Users Group (TUG) erhältlich: http://tug.org/lucida hält Bestell-Informationen zusammen mit weiteren Dokumenten und Beispielen bereit.

Lucida ist eine Schriftfamilie, die von Bigelow & Holmes gestaltet wurde. Sie bietet viele Varianten wie Serifenschift, serifenlose, Script und Monotype, und wurde erweitert um ein vollständiges Set an TeX Mathematiksymbolen. Sehr wenige Schriften unterstützen sowohl Text- als auch Mathematik-Satz, was Lucida außergewöhnlich macht.

Seit langer Zeit schon gibt es eine Type 1 (PostScript) Version von Lucida, die jedoch nur 8-bit Zeichensätze unterstützt. Diese Version wird nicht weiterentwickelt. Doch die OpenType Version wird weiterhin gepflegt und entwickelt. Lucida OpenType bietet z.B. sogar eine fette Mathematikschrift.

Die Lucida-Schriften sind nicht frei verfügbar, sie können bei der TUG gekauft werden mit einem Rabatt für TUG-Mitglieder.

Für weitere Informationen siehe

This text is available in English. Dieser Text ist auch in Englisch verfügbar.

21. March 2012 by stefan
Categories: News in German | Leave a comment

Lucida OpenType available

Today Karl Berry announced on the texhax mailing list, that the Lucida OpenType font distribution is now available. You can get it from the TeX Users Group (TUG): http://tug.org/lucida provides ordering information together with documents and samples.

Lucida is a family of typefaces which has been designed by Bigelow & Holmes. It includes many variants, such as serif, sans serif, scripts, and monospaced. It has been extended to contain a full set of TeX mathematical symbols. Very few fonts support both text and math typesetting, which means Lucida is very exceptional.

Since a long time, there’s been a Type 1 (PostScript) version of Lucida, which supports only 8-bit character sets. This version will not be developed further. But the OpenType version will be maintained and developed. Lucida OpenType even provides a bold math variant.

The Lucida fonts are not redistributable, they can be ordered from TUG with a discount for TUG members.

For further information, have a look at

This text is available in German. Dieser Text ist auch in Deutsch verfügbar.

21. March 2012 by stefan
Categories: Fonts and Symbols, News | Leave a comment

WinEdt 7 erschienen

WinEdt Version 7 ist veröffentlicht worden. WinEdt ist ein komfortabler LaTeX-Editor mit sehr vielen Features und läuft auf Windows XP, Vista, 7 und 8, sowohl auf 32-bit als auch auf 64-bit Systemen. Er wird als Shareware vertrieben.

Die neue Version ist Unicode-fähig und arbeitet mit den neuesten TeX-Versionen, wie TeX Live 2011 und MiKTeX 2.9.

Für weitere Informationen und freien Download siehe

This text is available in English. Dieser Text ist auch in Englisch verfügbar.

21. March 2012 by stefan
Categories: News in German | Leave a comment

WinEdt 7 released

WinEdt version 7 has been released. WinEdt is a feature-rich LaTeX editor running on Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8, on 32-bit and 64-bit systems. It is published as shareware.

The new version is unicode-capable, and it works with current TeX versions such as TeX Live 2011 and MiKTeX 2.9.

For more information and free download visit

This text is available in German. Dieser Text ist auch in Deutsch verfügbar.

21. March 2012 by stefan
Categories: IDEs and Editors, News | Leave a comment

Who has experience with OS X?

Just today I read a post by Markus Kohm on komascript.de, which he wrote one week ago: the work on the the English version of the KOMA-Script manual is in progress. I know that many people in the international TeX community are waiting for it. Some users can hardly understand the German manual while the former English translation is very outdated.

However, the good soul who is working on the translation, works on Mac OS X, and there are some problems with the make process of the KOMA-Script manual sources.

If you have experience with OS X and if you would like to help in solving technical problems, or if you know somebody who would like to help, it would be great if you would contact Markus Kohm. You could just write him an email or post a comment on komascript.de.

The KOMA-Script classes and packages are a very valuable contribution to the LaTeX software, that’s why I would appreciate any help in supporting the translation.

See also: The English guide seems to be out-dated. Is there a newer one anywhere?

17. March 2012 by stefan
Categories: Koma-Script | Leave a comment

DANTE 2012 Report

The 46th general meeting of the German language TeX users group DANTE e.V. (DANTE 2012) was held in Leipzig , from March 7 until March 9. It was hosted by the HTWK Leipzig, the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences, and supported by le-tex publishing services.

Stack Exchange confirmed that they would cover travel costs for me. Luckily that’s not very much, as I did not need to fly and neither to book a hotel room. I just rent a car, for traveling from Hamburg to Leipzig and back. Overnight I stayed in my grandmother’s house, in a village near Leipzig.

On Tuesday, March 6, I got the rental car. I took a small one, a FIAT Punto Evo, small and economical regarding fuel. Each day I took the train from Eilenburg to Leipzig, the ticket included tram fare in Leipzig and was just about 1 euro more than the tram ticket. So it’s better than taking the car to the town.

The conference venue

Lipsius building of the HTWK Leipzig

The meeting was held at the Lipsius building of the HTWK, just 15 minutes away from the main train station, if you take the tram. We got two seminar rooms in the second floor. One room was for the talks, with a video projector, the other room was usually frequented during breaks where we had coffee and some fruits and sweets.

The HTWK and le-tex provided WiFi for us during all days.

The attendees

Since it’s been a meeting of DANTE, nearly all attendees were members of DANTE e.V.. I’m also a member. There were quite a few attendees we know from TeX.SX: Herbert Voss, Patrick Gundlach, Martin Schröder, Uwe Ziegenhagen and me. Each of us gave a talk, Herbert and Patrick made several each.

Day One

I got up at 6 am, had a coffee, left at 7 am to catch the train for arriving at 8 am in Leipzig. So I did each of the three days. The HTWK building was easy to find, so I registered at 8:30 am and from 9 pm on I could listen to the talks.

The president of DANTE e.V.,Volker RW Schaa, opened the conference. The first talks were by Günter Partosch and Axel Strübing, who spoke about requirements of tagged PDF and possible ways of achieving the goal of producing barrier-free PDF documents using TeX. Both are working for le-tex, and it’s great that they shared their expertise with us.

Afterwards Thomas Ferber showed how to use hyperref for designing PDF documents and how to benefit from the capabilities of the Portable Document Format. Then Herbert Voss showed ways to produce animations. One is just producing a lot of PDF pages and showing them in quick succession, but there are further ways, as he demonstrated, using JavaScript and LaTeX packages such as animate.

We had a break for lunch, some of us including me took their lunch at an Indian restaurant. Lunch was good, and the menu card was funny. TeX friend, have a look at this font sample from the card:

Example of bad kerning

Specifically, have a look at the kerning and notice the unequal distances between the letters. Just in the case you did not care about kerning of non-TeX-users…

If you really hate someone, teach them to recognize bad kerning

After lunch, Marting Schröder talked about the status of TeX and current developments. He dealt with the new engines, BibTeX and biblatex developments, and the world of fonts for use with TeX. Jean-Michel Hufflen spoke about biblatex und MlBibTeX, and after a coffee break Martin Sievers gave a tutorium about cross-referencing with LaTeX with a focus on the cleveref package.

Finally, Herbert Voss shared his experiences regarding using LaTeX in academic education with us, with a focus on Bachelor students. It was a surprise for me to learn that many of today’s students have difficulties with installing programs and using the command line, which is a bit of a barrier when starting to work with LaTeX.

Day Two

For the morning, the general meeting of DANTE e.V. had been scheduled. We had the election of the commitee, and an extensive discussion about the journal of DANTE, “Die TeXnische Komödie” (DTK). Patrick Gundlach brought forward the proposal, to provide the PDF version of the DTK much earlier than it is now. Currently, members get the printed version, and the PDF version is provided to the public for download after three years. It took a while to find a trade-off between keeping membership benefits and providing the journal to all TeX users. Most important, the DTK will remain to be a printed journal. The result of the discussion is, that the public will get access to the download version of the DTK sooner than before, if technically possible. Perhaps it will be one year between the printed version and the download version, but this still has to be evaluated.

After lunch, Thomas Ferber und Dominik Wagenführ talked about producing EPUB from LaTeX sources. Dominik Wagenführ is the responsible editor of the journal “freies magazin“, a monthly journal dealing with free software, Open Source and Linux. He explained the way how they produce an EPUB version of the journal from the LaTeX sources. Generally, converting from PDF to EPUB seems hardly to be possible today if you would like to get good results.

Patrick Gundlach talked about database publishing with LuaTeX, automated production of documents from database content. He explained a solution using the “speedata Publisher“. This software is based on LuaTeX, and it is available both as Open Source and under a commercial license.

Herbert Voß made his second presentation, it was about OpenType and TrueType fonts for text and math with XeTeX and LuaTeX. Finally, Christof Meigen explained how to use Lua libraries in TeX documents. For example, he showed a simple and quick way using LuaTeX and wxLua for adding a graphical user interface to documents, with free text areas, choice boxes, and more. Depending on the interactive input, a PDF document would be created. Further examples are luasql for querying databases and lua-curl for accessing web services.

The attendees met for dinner at the evening in the “Pilot” restaurant. I could not be there, as I had to catch the train back.

Day Three

The last day begun with the second talk of Patrick Gundlach. He spoke about programming with LuaTeX. Specifically, Patrick showed how to program LuaTeX on node list level, what nodes are and how to manipulate node lists. During this, he introduced the new package lua-visual-debug.

Then I made a presentation about TeX online communities, such as discussion groups, mailing lists and web forums. I introduced the TeX Stack Exchange site, and I showed some of its key features which make it a very good choice for developing and sharing TeX content and for building a TeX knowledge base. This talk was similar to the one I gave at the TUG 2011 in Kerala, India, just in German for the German speaking TeX users. The English version can be found here: Bringing together TeX users online.

Uwe Ziegenhagen made the next talk about designing and producing letter envelopes and photo books with LaTeX with pdfLaTeX and ocgtools. Philipp Poll reported about the progress of the Libertine Open Fonts project, specifically about the development of a monospaced font version.

Finally, Martin Kraetke talked about the role of TeX in the le-tex company. le-tex also offered a tour through the company later, and there was a tour visiting the Museum
of the Printing Arts Leipzig
on Friday afternoon.

As on the previous days, there was an evening meeting. I just could not attend the evening chats.

On Saturday, I went home to Hamburg. This was a very interesting meeting, where we could listen to insightful talks, and it was a great opportunity to meet TeX users who I did not know yet in person.

Thanks to DANTE e.V., le-tex and the HTWK for the great organization.

11. March 2012 by stefan
Categories: Conferences, DANTE, Events | Leave a comment

LyX 2.0.3 veröffentlicht

Die Version 2.0.3 von LyX ist erschienen. Neue und verbesserte Features sind:

  • Unterstützung für knitr, eine Alternative für Sweave mit R >= 2.14.1
  • Verbesserte Ausgabe von Kommentar-Notizen für XHTML
  • Neues Layout und neue Template-Datei für Artikel im Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
  • Schnelleres Auto-Speichern
  • Erlauben der Umlenkung von stderr in Konvertern
  • Weitere LaTeX-Befehle für die Unicode-Symbole U+200c, U+2011, U+2017, U+2027 und U+202f zur Anwendung mit nicht-Unicode LaTeX-Backends
  • Mehrere Verbesserungen von tex2lyx
  • Verbesserte Benutzer-Schnittstelle, u.a. mit skalierbarem SVG LyX Icon und leicht reduziertem Raum um Schaltflächen
  • Aktualisierte Dokumentation und Benutzer-Schnittstellen-Lokalisierung

Diese Version behebt viele Fehler, daher ist ein Update empfehlenswert.

Für weitere Informationen und Download siehe:

This text is available in English. Dieser Text ist auch in Englisch verfügbar.

04. March 2012 by stefan
Categories: News in German | Leave a comment

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