LaTeX2e News

This month saw a new release of LaTeX2e. The following has been changed or added:

  • In addition to the yyyy/mm/dd date format, LaTeX now accepts ISO 8601 format date strings in the date argument of \ProvidesPackage , \usepackage , etc. That simply means dash insted of slash. So, today can be 2017-04-17.
  • The new TU encoding for specifying Unicode fonts with LuaTeX and XeTeX got extended support for the dot-under accent, \d.
  • Verbatim environments now use a \language setting to prevent issues with fonts that were not loaded with hyphenation disabled via \hyphenchar=-1.
  • \- now inserts the current font’s \hyphenchar instead of a simple -.
  • LaTeX now supports a default document language parameter, that may be relevant to language packages such as babel.
  • While LaTeX normalises the baseline spacing inside a \parbox already, it now resets \lineskiplimit in addition.

Regarding changes, the latexrelease package may be used to force the older behavior.

The whole announcement is here. This text was posted in German on

17. April 2017 by stefan
Categories: LaTeX General, News | Leave a comment

Impressum and Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy describes how your personal information is collected, used, and shared when you visit (the “Site”) or write a post.


The Site is a privately maintained hobby page of a single person, even though below I write about “us”, for the case somebody else in the future would join my effort to maintain the site. There is no advertisement, no money making, no commercial use at the site. Users can post comments. The data you posted during registration are used for technically operating the site and are stored in the site database and in the backup. Site passwords are encrypted in a secure way (one way hash) and are transferred using an encryption protocol (HTTPS).

Important: Use a fictional name to comment, so you can stay anonymous. Generally, use an email address that is not identifying you, such as from a free mail provider. Don’t state home town, occupation, or any interests or personal details, except if you would like to publish it that way.

Now details follow.


When you visit the Site, we automatically collect certain information about your device, including information about your web browser, IP address, time zone, and some of the cookies that are installed on your device. Additionally, as you browse the Site, we collect information about the individual web pages or products that you view, what websites or search terms referred you to the Site, and information about how you interact with the Site. We refer to this automatically-collected information as “Device Information.”

We collect Device Information using the following technologies:

“Cookies” are data files that are placed on your device or computer and often include an anonymous unique identifier. For more information about cookies, and how to disable cookies, visit

“Log files” track actions occurring on the Site, and collect data including your IP address, browser type, Internet service provider, referring/exit pages, and date/time stamps.

When we talk about “Personal Information” in this Privacy Policy, we are talking both about Device Information and User Information.


We use the information that we collect generally allow you personalized access and to communicate with you.

We use the Device Information that we collect to help us screen for potential risk and fraud (in particular, your IP address), and more generally to improve and optimize our Site (for example, by generating analytics about how our users browse and interact with the site.


We may share your Personal Information, such as IP addresses, with our hosting provider (

Finally, we may also share your Personal Information to comply with applicable laws and regulations, to respond to a subpoena, search warrant or other lawful request for information we receive, or to otherwise protect our rights.


If you are a European resident, you have the right to access personal information we hold about you and to ask that your personal information be corrected, updated, or deleted. If you would like to exercise this right, please contact us through the contact information below.


When you write a post through the site, we will maintain your information for our records unless and until you ask us to delete this information.


The Site is not intended for individuals under the age of 16.


We may update this privacy policy from time to time in order to reflect, for example, changes to our practices or for other operational, legal or regulatory reasons.


For more information about our privacy practices, if you have questions, or if you would like to make a complaint, please contact us by e-mail at or by mail using the details provided below.


Responsible for this web site:

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20257 Hamburg

16. April 2017 by stefan
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TeX Live 2016 frozen

Karl Berry mentioned it on the TL mailing list: TL 2016 is frozen now, a final build has been made. The pretest of TL 2017 will start soon.


14. April 2017 by stefan
Categories: LaTeX Distributions, TeX Live | Leave a comment

Who will go to the BachoTeX?

At the end of this month I would like to go to the BachoTeX. I planned to go with kith and kin. So with wife, two kids, the dog and a few things. I rented a Ford Tourneo 9 seat van. Now I got to know, that the rental car company Hertz prohibits to drive with the car in our neighbor country and EU member Poland. From the “Driver’s Guide“:

Die versuchte Einreise in gesperrte Länder führt zur fristlosen Kündigung des Mietvertrages, den Verlust der Haftungsbeschränkung und des Diebstahlschutzes sowie zur Belastung aller entstehenden Kosten sowie ggfs. zur Sicherstellung des Fahrzeuges durch die Grenzpolizei.

So confiscation, cancellation and  costs. For Poland this is valid:

Verboten für Mercedes, BMW, Fahrzeuge der Premium Kategorie, SUV’s, Cabriolets und alle Transporter und LKWs.

Premium, Ford Tourneo? Well, I asked on the phone. they told me, except with a Ford Fiesta or equivalent I’m not allowed to drive to Poland.

At once the tour to Poland is uncertain.

Does anybody go to the TeX meeting in Poland, from or via Hamburg, with the option of a big car and easy travel with some halts? I happily take the fuel costs, if needed an appropriate part of rental costs. I would be happy about a quick info. My wife already looks at holiday cottages at the North sea and the Baltic Sea, since our vacation week is fixed. I still hope to go to the BachoTeX.

Stefan (

09. April 2017 by stefan
Categories: Conferences, Events, TeX User Group | Leave a comment

DANTE Treffen-Berichte in Deutsch

Zur Info, die deutschsprachigen Berichte notiere ich hier:


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:

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:


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

The TeX on-line documentation service 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, 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 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

  • 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<packagename> is easy to remember.
  • Forums, such as and 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

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