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Any print publication will naturally have a page limit for articles it publishes. I use LaTeX for typesetting my papers, and I’ve put together here a collection of tricks I use to squeeze space out. I’ve sorted them roughly in decreasing order of effectiveness.

Do this first

• Decrease the document’s font size to the lowest allowed size. For example, reduces your document’s font to 10 points if you’re using the document class.
• If you’re using the document class, add to your preamble. As its name suggests, this package shrinks the margins and uses more of each page.
• Convert display math (, etc.) to inline math (), wherever possible.

Decrease the font size used for references

It is common for print journals to use a smaller font for references than normal text. But the default style files for conference papers (like ACM‘s sig-alternate.cls) often don’t do this. You can do this yourself by enclosing the bibliography portion of your document with a LaTeX font size environment like this:

To make the references even smaller, use instead of , but I don’t recommend using smaller font sizes.

Reduce spacing by changing environment variables

LaTeX uses certain default values set by the style-sheet to determine, for example, the spacing between items in a list, before and after equations, before and after figures, etc. This document on Squeezing Space in LaTeX gives a list of such variables you can manipulate. They usually involve adding a negative amount of space to an existing environment variable. For example:

The above code reduces the separation between items in a list by 0.05 inches. The right amount to add can only be found by trial and error. I’ve found that it is most effective to change the following variables: (about 0.1 in), (about 0.07 in), (about 0.05 in), (about 0.05 in), (about 0.03 in), (about 0.02in)

Note that sometimes, adding a more negative amount does not seem to reduce spacing, and when pushed beyond a point, the typesetting gets totally messed up. Use this technique in moderation.

Using

This is a more direct method to cut down spacing exactly where you need it. It is best illustrated with an example:

This cuts down the space between the end of a paragraph and the figure that follows it.

Use the space meant for author information

If you are submitting a paper for a double blind-reviewed conference, you will not be revealing the author names and affiliations. But the style file often reserves a certain amount of space for it, even if you don’t specify any author information. The only way around is to edit the style file itself. This is how you can do it for ACM’s sig-alternate.cls (Note: you make such modifications at your own risk, I have only tested this for v1.6 of the class file).

• Find the line . Change the 37 to 47.
• Find the line . Comment the next six lines.
• Find the line ending with , and comment it.
• Comment the line .
• Skip the next three lines. Comment the next six lines ( to ).
• Find the line starting with . Comment this line, and the next six lines (up to and including the line that begins with .)
• Find the line starting with . Comment this line, and the next seven lines (up to and including the line that begins with .)

Fix paragraphs that end at the beginning of a column

In any document, it is common to have paragraphs where the last character is at the beginning of a column. Often, it is possible to shorten that paragraph just enough to make the paragraph end in the previous line instead, thus saving one entire line. Browse you entire document looking for such paragraphs, and fix as many as you can.

Convert oversized tables into images

Sometimes, we have tables that span more than one column, but does not really need two columns. For example, the following table may not fit into a single column.

But, we can use the same trick we use for resizing images to make this table fit into, say 90% of the column width, like this:

Shrink images

This obvious trick is, IMO, the main cause of illegible conference papers, but sometimes, there is no other choice. Shrink your images using your favorite LaTeX graphics package till the text size on the figure is about the same size as the main text.

Tags: LaTeX, page limit, conference, proceedings, spacing, style file

This entry was posted on November 19, 2005 at 6:13 pm and is filed under LaTeX and typesetting.

Like this:

When it comes to bibliography management packages, there are three main options in LaTeX: bibtex, natbib and biblatex. Biblatex is a modern program to process bibliography information, provides an easier and more flexible interface and a better language localization that the other two options. This article explains how to use biblatex to manage and format the bibliography in a LaTeX document.

Introduction

A minimal working example of the biblatex package is shown below:

\documentclass{article}\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}\usepackage[english]{babel}   \usepackage{biblatex}\addbibresource{sample.bib}   \begin{document} Let's cite! The Einstein's journal paper \cite{einstein} and the Dirac's book \cite{dirac} are physics related items.   \printbibliography   \end{document}

There are four bibliography-related commands in this example:

Imports the package biblatex.
Imports the bibtex data file sample.bib, this file is the one that includes information about each referenced book, article, etc. See the bibliography file section for more information.
This command inserts a reference within the document, [1] in this case, that corresponds to an element in the bibliography, "einstein" is a keyword corresponding to an entry in sample.bib.
Prints the list of cited references, the default title is "References" for the article document class and "Bibliography" for books and reports.

ShareLaTeX provides several templates with pre-defined styles to manage bibliography. See this link

Open an example of the biblatex package in ShareLaTeX

Basic usage

Several parameters can be passed to the package importing statement, let's see

\documentclass{article}\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}\usepackage[english]{babel}   \usepackage{comment}   \usepackage[ backend=biber, style=alphabetic, sorting=ynt ]{biblatex}\addbibresource{sample.bib}   \title{Bibliography management: \texttt{biblatex} package}\author{Share\LaTeX}\date{}   \begin{document}   \maketitle   Using \texttt{biblatex} you can display bibliography divided into sections, depending of citation type. Let's cite! The Einstein's journal paper \cite{einstein} and the Dirac's book \cite{dirac} are physics related items. Next, \textit{The \LaTeX\ Companion} book \cite{latexcompanion}, the Donald Knuth's website \cite{knuthwebsite}, \textit{The Comprehensive Tex Archive Network} (CTAN) \cite{ctan} are \LaTeX\ related items; but the others Donald Knuth's items \cite{knuth-fa,knuth-acp} are dedicated to programming.   \medskip   \printbibliography

Some extra options, inside brackets and comma-separated, are added when importing biblatex:

Sets the backend to sort the bibliography, is the default one and recommended since it provides full localization for several commands and the styles for biber are easier to modify because they use standard LaTeX macros. The other supported backend is , which is a more traditional program; if set as backend will only used to sort the bibliography, so no bibtex styles can be used here.
Defines the bibliography style and the citation style, in this case . Depending on the style more citation commands might be available. See bibliography styles and citation styles for more information.
Determines the criteria to sort the bibliographic sources. In this case they are sorted by year, name and title. See the reference guide for a list of sorting options.

The rest of the commands were already explained at the introduction.

Open an example of the biblatex package in ShareLaTeX

The bibliography file

The bibliography files must have the standard bibtex syntax

This file contains records in a special format, for instance, the first bibliographic reference is defined by:

This is the first line of a record entry, tells BibTeX that the information stored here is about an article. The information about this entry is enclosed within braces. Besides the entry types shown in the example (, , and ) there are a lot more, see the reference guide.
The label is assigned to this entry, is an identifier that can be used to refer this article within the document.
This is the first field in the bibliography entry, indicates that the author of this article is Albert Einstein. Several comma-separated fields can be added using the same syntax , for instance: title, pages, year, URL, etc. See the reference guide for a list of possible fields.

The information in this file can later be printed and referenced within a LaTeX document, as shown in the previous sections, with the command . Not all the information in the .bib file will be displayed, it depends on the bibliography style set in the document.

Open an example of the biblatex package in ShareLaTeX

Customizing the bibliography

Biblatex allows high customization of the bibliography section with little effort. It was mentioned that several citation styles and bibliography styles are available, and you can also create new ones. Another customization option is to change the default title of the bibliography section.

\documentclass{article}\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}\usepackage[english]{babel}   \usepackage{comment}   \usepackage[ backend=biber, style=alphabetic, sorting=ynt ]{biblatex}\addbibresource{sample.bib}   \title{Bibliography management: \texttt{biblatex} package}\author{Share\LaTeX}\date{}   \begin{document}   \maketitle   Using \texttt{biblatex} you can display bibliography divided into sections, depending of citation type. Let's cite! The Einstein's journal paper \cite{einstein} and the Dirac's book \cite{dirac} are physics related items. Next, \textit{The \LaTeX\ Companion} book \cite{latexcompanion}, the Donald Knuth's website \cite{knuthwebsite}, \textit{The Comprehensive Tex Archive Network} (CTAN) \cite{ctan} are \LaTeX\ related items; but the others Donald Knuth's items \cite{knuth-fa,knuth-acp} are dedicated to programming.   \medskip   \printbibliography[title={Whole bibliography}]

The additional parameter passed inside brackets to the command is the one that changes the title.

The bibliography can also be subdivided into sections based on different filters, for instance: print only references from the same author, the same journal or similar title. Below an example.

\printbibliography[type=article,title={Articles only}]\printbibliography[type=book,title={Books only}]   \printbibliography[keyword={physics},title={Physics-related only}]\printbibliography[keyword={latex},title={\LaTeX-related only}]

Here, the bibliography is divided in 4 sections. The syntax of the commands used here is explained below:

Only prints entries whose type is "article", and sets the title "Articles only" for this section. The same syntax works for any other entry type.
Filters bibliography entries that include the word "physics" in any of the fields. Sets the title "Physics-related only" for said section.

Open an example of the biblatex package in ShareLaTeX

For the bibliography the be printed in the table of contents an extra option must be passed to

• The second case is that adds the title as a second level entry in the table of contents, in this example as a subsection nested in "Whole bibliography".

Open an example of the biblatex package in ShareLaTeX

Reference guide

Supported entry types

 article book mvbook inbook bookinbook suppbook booklet collection mvcollection incollection suppcollection manual misc online patent periodical suppperiodical proceedings mvproceedings inproceedings reference mvreference inreference report set thesis unpublished custom conference electronic masterthesis phdthesis techreport

Supported entry fields (The printed information depends on the bibliography style)

 abstract afterword annotation annotator author authortype bookauthor bookpagination booksubtitle booktitle chapter commentator date doi edition editor editortype eid entrysubtype eprint eprinttype eprintclass eventdate eventtitle file foreword holder howpublished indextitle institution introduction isan isbn ismn isrn issue issuesubtitle issuetitle iswc journalsubtitle journaltitle label language library location mainsubtitle maintitle month note number organization origdate origlanguage origlocation origpublisher origtitle pages pagetotal pagination part publisher pubstate reprinttitle series shortauthor shortedition shorthand shorthandintro shortjournal shortseries shorttitle subtitle title translator type url venue version volume year

Bibliography sorting options

option description
sort by name, title, year
sort by name, year, title
sort by name, year, volume, title
sort by alphabetic label, name, year, title
sort by alphabetic label, name, year, volume, title
sort by year (descending), name, title
entries are processed in citation order