PhD thesis

Notes on preparing my PhD thesis/dissertation.


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

  • Download additional bundles with commands and syntax highlighting for different languages. www
  • Save your working area as a “project”, so all the different files will be nicely organized in one window. File→Save Project


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


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..
  • All of the cross-references for the table of contents, figure/table lists are handled automatically.
  • Clickable links are added for all citations, figure/table references, and table of contents entries.
  • Editing is very fast - compared to MS Word, which starts to slow down with long documents and frustrates me.
  • Again, the output is beautiful!


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.


training/phd_thesis/main.txt · Last modified: 2012/02/23 8:14 am PST by John Colby
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