PhD thesis

Notes on preparing my PhD thesis/dissertation.

TextMate

Textmate is my favorite plain text editor for Mac OS X.

• Save your working area as a “project”, so all the different files will be nicely organized in one window. File→Save Project

Zotero

Zotero is a free open-source citation manager. It lives right in your browser as a Firefox extension.

LaTeX

LaTeX lets you write documents as simple plain text with markup, and then it compiles them into beautiful pdf documents. For me

• There is an excellent UCLA Thesis LaTeX document class that takes care of all the very particular formatting requirements for you. This includes all the specifics of the preliminary material, margins, etc..
XeTeX is a modern extension of LaTeX that supports Unicode. This means that you can more easily copy/paste old MS Word documents into your thesis, without having to reformat as many characters. Similarly, you can add new Unicode characters right in your source documents - even in math mode. For example ± instead of \pm.