# Hugo Ledoux

associate-prof in 3D geoinformation at TU Delft
blog

# The Rules for happily collaborating on a LaTeX document

When it comes to writing my papers, I must admit that I prefer LaTeX over that-other-ubiquitous-software-that-I’d-rather-not-mention. Prefer is an understatement here: I would probably do anything to avoid writing a paper with the other software, eg spending hours harrasing the editor of the journal/conference so that she accepts LaTeX, spending one full day fighting with one of the many converters even if I know they don’t really work1, or asking one of my students to do it for me.

So when I can choose, I always impose LaTeX on my co-authors. Since some of them are users of the other software, that often creates friction and someone ends up fixing manually all the “mistakes” and inconsistencies in the file.

So I propose here The Rules for happily collaborating on a LaTeX document©, a set of 10 rules that: (1) novices can easily apply; (2) will make your co-authors happy.

### 1. You shall use only one sentence per line

And use one empty line to start a new paragraph. It’ll then be easier to track changes in a versioning system such as SVN or Git since these are line-based.

### 2. You shall use natbib for citations

and the commands \citet{} (cite in the text as a noun) \citep{} (cite between parentheses).

### 5. You shall give meaningful labels

A figure’s label should start with fig: and a section’s label with sec:

### 6. You shall put a short space after e.g. and i.e. with the use of a backslash

The following two commands shall thus be used:

### 7. You shall put all figures/graphs in a single subfolder (figs/)

And you shall put the source file (eg IPE, OmniGraffle, Illustrator, etc.) there as well for future use.

### 8. In your BibTeX file, you shall use curly brackets for words/letters you want to have capitalised in the title

The other fields are not affected by this. LaTeX does this to uniformise the capitalisation in all citations.

### 9. You shall not add any commands to change the format until the the paper is finished

\vspace and \newpage are thus forbidden.

### 10. You shall declare all sizes relative to \linewidth.

So that the paper can be switched to a 2-column one without (too much) pain.

1. in all fairness, they work great if your paper has no figures and no mathematical equations