Updates for mmuthesis and umalayathesis

Just a quick note that updated classes of mmuthesis and umalayathesis has been uploaded at my website.


Based on feedback from a MMU student who submitted her thesis recently, IPS now requires that the Publications List be categorised in to Journal Articles and Conference Proceedings, and that text in the appendices should be 10pt. Please read the updated user manual on how to prepare the Publication List under the new scheme.


Bug fixes of some spacing of appendices entries in the ToC, as well as adjusting the overall line spacing to conform with the expected output by IPS. Font of the cover page now uses Arial Narrow look-alike.

New uumthesis LaTeX Class and LyX Layout

On request, I have created a LaTeX class and LyX layout for writing Universiti Utara Malaysia theses. Credit goes to Dr. Mohd. Hasbullah bin Omar for getting the output endorsed by UUM’s Graduate Office.

The uumthesis LaTeX class, LyX layout, sample files and user manual can be downloaded from my website. Happy LaTeXing to UUMians!

Putting Dates in Watermarks

It’s been rather a long time sine I last posted anything as I’ve been working on my thesis and article… sorry!

Theses and articles typically go through many versions, ding-dong to-and-fro between supervisors and co-authors. Some people keep track of the version number (or date-last-modified) by giving each draft a different file name. Personally, though, I tend to get inconsistent with the file naming, especially when it’s 2:30am. So I figured it might work better for me if the date-last-modified was printed in the PDF of the thesis/article draft itself.

One could always put the date in the header or footer, but there might already be some content in those regions. Besides, it’s probably not a good idea to mess with the formattings for a journal article. Instead, I put \today in a watermark, so the date would get updated I compile my draft:

\usepackage{draft watermark}

The colour, lightness, font and other attributes of the watermark are configurable. I also used the datetime package to configure the date formatting. Here’s how the output looks like (a page from my thesis draft):

Creating an Online Academic Portfolio with LaTeX and TeX4ht

This was originally asked on TeX.SX, the requirements being:

Any one know of a good script to turn a bibtex file into a nice academic portfolio that:

  • links to electronic versions where known (from url or doi)
  • works with local files (e.g. with bibdesk’s format or otherwise)
  • automatically creates a thumbnail of the first page
  • and generally produces a polished web page suitable for showing off your work?

Well, I maintain my own online publication list by generating the HTML code from my BibTeX, using BibLaTeX, Biber and TeX4ht. So my answer to the above question was a quick modification of my own workflow, adding Ghostscript to the mix to generate thumbnail images of the papers. The output looks like this: (The publication lists can be split according to their types)

(BibLaTeX is a complete reimplementation of the bibliographic facilities provided by LaTeX in conjunction with BibTeX. It’s very flexible, and many find it easier to deal with compared to the BST language. Biber is the replacement of the BibTeX binary, for users of BibLaTeX.)

The source codes can be downloaded here as a .zip file. Further elaborations follow.

The Bibliography File

Back to the task at hand. First we have the BibTeX file, the content of which is pretty much the norm, except that I used the custom BibLaTeX field to hold the local PDF file name. My publications.bib contains entries like:

author = {Lim, Lian Tze and Ranaivo-Malan\c{c}on, Bali and Tang, Enya Kong},
title = {Low Cost Construction of a Multilingual Lexicon from Bilingual Lists},
journal = {Polibits},
year = {2011},
volume = {43},
pages = {45–51},
url = {http://polibits.gelbukh.com/2011_43/43-06.htm},
usera = {LLT-polibits.pdf}

The LaTeX Source File

Next is the portfolio.tex file, in which I set up a hook at every bibliography item to include the first page of the file pointed to by usera. I’ve also added a bibmacro called string+hyperlink, to make the publication title link to the url or doi field if these are available, as shown in this answer.




\section{My Academic Portfolio}
\printbibliography[title={Conference Proceedings},type={inproceedings}]


TeX4ht Configuration File

I then set up a TeX4ht personal configuration file, called portfolio.cfg (included in the .zip file). It contains some simple CSS, and tells TeX4ht to convert the first page of the local PDFs into PNGs using ghostscript. (So yes you will need to have ghostscript installed for this to work.)

Generating the HTML

Right, now we can run the following commands:

$  htlatex portfolio “portfolio”
$  biber portfolio
$  htlatex portfolio “portfolio”

And you should then get portfolio.html, which you can further embellish with more CSS. Well that was fun!