Research Computing >> Software >> TEX, LATEX >> Northwestern Dissertation templatein MikTEX<


Miguel Lerma, in Northwestern's Math Department, has created a LATEX class file and template to fulfill Northwestern's dissertation guidelines. Even if the files are available in the computer you are using, it would be recommendable to download a fresh copy of "nuthesis.cls" since this file is kept up to date with the latest requirements from the Graduate School.

The instructions below require that you download the files from the Math Department and that you verify that the LATEX "setspace" package is installed. This package defines three commands for you, based on the point size of the font in use (12 points for the dissertation): \singlespacing, \doublespacing and \onehalfspacing

The Graduate School's manuscript preparation guidelines are available online:

Graduate School Dissertation Submission Guide

Do not forget to check the deadlines for degree application and submission of the dissertation, and the Graduate School's "Degree Completion" page.

For doubts about how to document your dissertation and general stylistic issues, you can also consult the "Chicago Manual of Style" and the Turabian "A manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations." Both publications are available to Kellogg doctoral students and faculty in Jacobs, room 4219, for short term borrowing.

If you have tips that would improve these instructions, send e-mail to Research Computing. Please note that we do not troubleshoot LATEX problems, but we are willing to incorporate your tips to this page; Kellogg doctoral students may refer to the LATEX books available for short term borrowing in the Research Computing library in Jacobs 4219.

These instructions were written for MikTEX 2.3 and WinEdt, running under Windows XP. The installation instructions are available in the following page: MikTEX installation instructions.

Install the Northwestern dissertation template to the "localtexmf" directory. The picture below shows the directory structure suggested in the installation instructions for MikTEX:

The logic of this structure is as follows: Any "system" installations (those performed with MikTEX Package Manager or with the Update Wizard) are installed automatically to the "tex\texmf" folder. When documentation is available, MikTEX Options will place the documentation files (ASCII, DVI or PDF) under "\texmf\doc\latex\". Running the MikTEX Update Wizard will keep files in this folder up to date.

"Manual" installations such as the one for the Northwestern dissertation template, are few and far between. These should be done to the "localtexmf" directory. In "localtexmf", create a "tex" folder and, in "tex", a "latex" folder.If you create any customized files, these should be placed in "localtexmf."

  1. Download the Northwestern thesis class file (nuthesis.cls)

    Download "nuthesis.cls" and "nuthesis-template.tex" from the Math Department's web site (access restricted to the Northwestern IP domain; use proxy services if needed):

    Save these files to "..\localtexmf\tex\latex\nuthesis".

  2. Verify that the "setspace" package is installed

    1. Open MikTeX Package Manager.

    2. Scroll down and check if "setspace" is available. If "setspace" is already available, there will be an installation date right next to the name. If not, click on the "+" button to install this package.

  3. Update your MikTEX installation:

    Now you only need to make MikTEX register the changes you made. There are two ways of doing this: either from a command prompt or opening MikTEX Options again.

    • With MikTEX Options: Open MikTEX Options and click on the "General" tab. Click on the "Refresh now" button. A small windows will pop up and show progress on the update. When it disappears, click on "OK" to close MikTEX Options.

    • From a command prompt: Open a command window (from the Windows Start menu, type "cmd") and type "initexmf -u." You will see a series of dots appear in a line. Close the command window once you get the DOS prompt back.

  4. Test the installation:

    To test, open and compile the "nuthesis-template.tex" file you installed to "..\localtexmf\tex\latex\nuthesis." The template includes many of the options you need to generate the cover and sections of the dissertation.

Other tips:

  • For complex tables, you may want to add other packages such as "longtable", "supertabular" or "xtab". These packages allow, among other things, to break tables automatically according to the page margins. Any documentation available is also installed by MikTEX. The process is the same as the one outlined in #2. "longtable" is installed with a large installation of MikTEX and its documentation appears under "..\texmf\doc\latex\tools".

  • If you need to convert Excel tables into LATEX, there is a convenient add-in that will create the code for you: Excel2Latex. Once you install the add-in. all you have to do is select the table in Excel and choose "Convert table to Latex" from the Excel Tools menu.

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