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The TeX Catalogue by Graham Williams

Topic Index by Jürgen Fenn

Last modified: 20 February 2010


This part of the TeX Catalogue eventually will list all packages available from the "Comprehensive TeX Archive Network", or CTAN, for using plain TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, etc. by topic. We also try to give some advice that might help you in getting software and guides not available on CTAN.

New packages on CTAN and package updates are announced on the tex-announce mailing list which is also available from Mail Archive, as well as from (blog and rss feed).

Every systematical order is arbitrary in some way or another. This is why entries may appear in more than one place. The following order generally tries to keep to that of "The LaTeX Companion", 2nd. ed., and to The LaTeX Graphics Companion, 2nd ed., by Mittelbach, Goossens, et al.

Contrary to the other parts of the TeX Catalogue, the Topic Index is not (yet) compiled automatically. This is very much a work in progress, so suggestions are quite welcome. As every complex document, the Topic Index is full of errors, so please do not hesitate to report them to the maintainer.

Thanks to Uwe Lück, Morten Høgholm, and Andrea Blomenhofer for proofreading and for making lots of suggestions for improving the Topic Index.



 References and Manuals

You should refer to "lshort" for the basic rules for writing correct LaTeX2e.
On the other hand, the most common mistakes in using LaTeX2e and how to avoid them are listed in Mark Trettin's guide "l2tabu" available in German, English, French, and Italian.

Below are some TeX resources online mostly outside CTAN that deserve to be mentioned, too:

A comprehensive commented reference of the commands available both in LaTeX and the most popular packages can be found at Michael Wiedmann's tex-refs project.

Herbert Voß has gathered together a rather comprehensive collection of Tips & Tricks on (La)TeX.

There also is Norman Walsh's help for Plain TeX, LaTeX, BibTeX, MakeIndex, and SliTeX.

Tutorials on TeX by TUG India are available online, or as PDF. There also is Peter Flynn's Beginner's Introduction available both online and for download.

For news on the development of LaTeX see the LaTeX3 Project.
The ConTeXt project, too, has a homepage of its own.

 Frequently asked questions:

For practical tips on how to use LaTeX in general as well as hints for using particular packages refer to the "Frequently Asked Questions" lists of local TeX User Groups available on the WWW in Czech / Slovak, Dutch, English, French (old and new version), German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, or on CTAN:

 LaTeX Documentation by the LaTeX3 Project:

 Introduction to LaTeX "lshort":

 Usage Guide "l2tabu":

 Some more guides to (La)TeX:


Michel Goossens has published The XeTeX Companion. TeX meets OpenType and Unicode as a work in progress, giving some additional material not included in the second edition of The LaTeX Graphics Companion.

 Templates for using LaTeX, and Examples from Books on LaTeX:

  Fonts and Graphics:


 (La)TeX on Windows:

There are two guides for installing LaTeX on Windows in the first place: Joachim Schlosser provides a guide for a complete setup both in German and in English, while Viktor Witting, Maik Scherer, Florian Hibler, Johannes Schubert, Mathias Wasserthal, and Andreas Hirsch also supply a comprehensive guide to installing a complete MiKTeX system.

 Developing (La)TeX Packages:

 Publishing with TeX:

 (La)TeX on the Web:

 How to create PDF forms:

There is another guide on creating PDF forms by Thomas Feuerstack.

 (La)TeX vs. Word Processors:

LyX is an advanced alternative to word processors which is based on LaTeX.

You may also input text using OpenOffice Writer and later convert it to LaTeX, or HTML with Henrik Just's Java-based Writer2LaTeX.

The TUG offers an overview of converters from PC Textprocessors to LaTeX and vice versa. Some of the converters between LaTeX and word processor formats can be found on CTAN.

 The Symbols available in (La)TeX:

See also the section on symbol fonts.

 Typesetting Tables:

 Managing Bibliographies:



 Tips for using fancyhdr:

 Tips for using Floats:

 Components of TeX:

 The TeX Directory Structure documentation:

 Standards for DVI files

 Book Reviews:

 Publicity for (La)TeX:

 Donald E. Knuth's Own Documentation of TeX and Metafont:


 Alternative Document Classes

These class files provide an alternative to the usual LaTeX article, report, or book classes. They are used to change document layout in general and they usually provide some special features, as well. You should check the class file documentation first to make sure whether you can use options or commands that are part of the respective class file before considering the use of one of the packages listed below in alphabetical order.

There are some alternatives to letter.cls, too, for writing letters and faxes.

There are also classes for typesetting theses and papers for scientific journals which also might be of interest to users of TeX in general.





 NTG Class:




 Document Structure

 Document and Section Titles:


 Table of Contents:

 Changing the Counting of Chapters:


 Footnotes, Endnotes, and Margin Notes:

There are some packages for working on critical editions for those interested in the Humanities.




 Enumerating and Listing Items:

 Verbatim Input and Quoting:

 Underlining, Letterspacing, Changing Fontsize, etc.:

 Raggedright and Raggedleft Typesetting

 Formatting Paragraphs

 Creating Boxes


 Page Layout

 Page Margins:

 Page Headings:

scrpage2 is another package for manipulating page headings and footers that comes with the koma-script bundle.

 Landscape Format:

 Typesetting Posters:



 Page Numbers


 Manipulating Counters


 Line and Paragraph Numbers

There are packages for working on critical editions.


 Columns in a Page



See also packages for floats.
There are guides to typesetting tables.
There is Calc2LaTeX for converting OpenOffice spreadsheets to LaTeX tables.

 Typesetting Long Tables:

 Formatting Decimal Columns:

 Adding some Colour to Tables:

There are packages for colour and shading in general.




See also the packages for including graphics and tables.


 Creating Indices and Glossaries



For showing \cite and \bibitem crossreferences use the drftcite package.


Jean-Olivier Irisson provides a LaTeX Bibliography Styles Database if you are looking for a particular bibliography (BibTeX or amsrefs) style for use with a journal you wish to publish your paper in.


 Formatting Citations and Your Bibliography:

Below, major bibliography styles are sorted according to the systems used in different fields of research. E. g., in the humanities we mostly use short-title systems that require styles different from the standard numerical system supported by LaTeX natively. However, there are more packages for formatting numerical systems differently, and author-year systems are also supported.

Please note that this section only lists the major bibliographic styles. So if you are watching for a particular style please refer to the sections Some more Bibliography Styles, Multilingual Support, and Science respectively.

 Numerical System:

 Author-Year System:

 Author-Number System:

 Short-Title System:

 Some more Bibliography Styles:

 Multilingual Bibliographies:

 Multiple Bibliographies in a document:

 Tools for managing your Bibliography:

Some tools that quite facilitate editing your BibTeX database, and that help manage your bibliography.

 Converters for BibTeX databases:

 Some more additional Packages:



See also PostScript Support, and Creating PDF Documents.
PostScript Type 1, and Type 3 Fonts are listed in this section.
There are guides on using different types of fonts.

 Computer Modern Fonts:

 Extended Computer Fonts:

 Text Companion Fonts:

 The Concrete Fonts:

 CM-super Fonts:

 Latin Modern Fonts:

 The Bera Fonts:

 AMS Fonts for Mathematical Typesetting:

 PostScript Type1 Fonts:

 PostScript Type3 Fonts:

 TrueType Fonts:

 MetaFont and MetaPost:

 Symbol Fonts:

The PostScript symbol fonts Zapf Dingbats are supported by the pifont package which is part of psnfss.

An overview of the symbols available in LaTeX can be found in the the comprehensive symbols list. See also the section on the symbols in (La)TeX in the References section.

 The "Euro" Currency Symbol €:

 Typesetting Barcode:

 Typesetting Initials:

 Historic Fonts:

 Antiquity and Early Ages:

 Gothic Fonts:

 Bookhand Fonts:


 Typesetting Handwriting:

 Installing Fonts:



 PostScript Support

There is also a section on the PS-Tricksy graphics package.

PostScript Type 1, and Type 3 fonts are listed in the Fonts section.



The psnfss packages mathppl, mathptm, palatino, utopia and times are obsolete and hence should not be used any more.



 Creating PDF Documents


 Packages for Special PDF Features:

 Fonts for PDF Files:

 PDF Viewers and Tools:




 Combining Documents

For linking documents by crossreferences use xr.
See also Managing large Documents.


 Bundling all Packages necessary for compiling a Document


 Managing different versions of your document

See also Combining Documents, and Managing large documents.


 Managing large Documents

See also Combining Documents, and Managing different versions of your document.


 Multilingual Support

Try the parallel package for typesetting bilingual versions of a text side by side in two columns. parrun may be useful for typesetting two streams of text running parallel one above the other.
There are packages for typesetting critical editions too.
You may also typeset two-language dictionaries using LaTeX2e.

Omega is intended for multilingual typesetting, supporting unicode and bi-directional typesetting.


The babel Package:

 Multilingual Bibliographies:




 Bangla and Asamese:






 Chinese, Japanese, Korean:

For information on Chinese TeX see the CTeX homepage.




 Czech and Slovak:










For typesetting ancient Greek use the babel package with the option polutonikogreek.

See "Humanities" for more references on the Humanities.









See also CJK.


See also CJK.











See packages for typesetting Cyrillic encodings, and fonts.











A converter from cyrillic letters to ASCII is ascii-cyrillic
See also packages for cyrillic encodings, and fonts.




 "Office" Applications

Those using (La)TeX in office may be interested in packages for lawyers and economists.

 Writing Letters, Faxes, Memos, and Newsletters:

The koma-script bundle provides a letter class of its own called scrlttr2.
There are also packages for producing labels and for addressing envelopes.

 Meeting protocols:

 Fill-in Forms:

 Keeping Lists of Addresses and Mail Merge:

The koma-script bundle provides scraddr that goes with the scrlttr2 letter class for using address data in letters.

 Calendars, Date and Time:

There are two more packages for working with the current date and time. scrdate yields the name of current day of the week, and scrtime yields the current time as a document is processed. Both packages are part of the koma-script bundle.

 Money Currency:

There are some packges for making the Euro currency symbol (€) work in LaTeX.


 Writing Applications for a Job / CV:

There are no packages for writing an application as a whole. So try to combine one of the following packages for CVs with a package for letters that suits your needs.

 Business Cards, Labels and Envelopes:

 Creating Leaflets and Greeting Cards:

 Writing Invoices:

There is also rechnung.sty for writing invoices which is not available from CTAN although it is rather popular among German-speaking users.

 Presentation Slides:

Michael Wiedmann provides a comprehensive overview of tools for making screen presentations, most of them working with LaTeX.


There is Calc2LaTeX for converting OpenOffice spreadsheets to LaTeX tables.






Note: There are some more packages for working on your bibliography. Packages specific to one subject are listed both there and below.

There also is a section on packages you may find useful for typesetting scientific posters.

 Typesetting Theses and Papers for Journals:

Note: There are more alternatice document classes you may use for scientific work as well.

 Typesetting Laboratory Journals:

 Typesetting Physical Units:

 Typesetting Technical Reference Manuals:


Thanks to Morten Høgholm and to Uwe Lück for advice on this section.

For typesetting arrays see also the packages for tables, and for formatting decimal columns.

There are some guides on using LaTeX for Mathematics.


For calculating the day of week for calendars or for legally relevant deadlines or for calculating the phase of moon see the section on Calendars, Date and Time.

 Calculating Random Numbers:


 Support for AMS-LaTeX:

 The easy Family of Packages:

 Other Math Macros:

 Math Fonts:

PostScript math fonts are supported by both the mathpazo package for Palatino, and the mathptmx package for Times which are part of the psnfss package. See the psnfss section for details.

 Math Graphics:






See also Biology. -- Thanks to Noel O'Boyle for advice on this section.


See LaTeX Style and BiBTeX Bibliography Formats for Biologists: TeX and LaTeX Resources by Tom Schneider.

See also Chemistry.



For drawing circuit diagrams see also the PS-Tricks package.

 Computer Science:


For typesetting ancient Greek use the babel package with the option polutonikogreek.
For typesetting Latin you may also use the babel package with the option latin.
There are packages for typesetting Poetry and Drama.


See also the general section on bibliographies.

 Critical Editions:

There are some packages for working on footnotes and endnotes as well as for numbering lines and paragraphs, and multilingual support.
A summary of the edmac package in comparison to ednotes, and ledmac as well as links to additional software helping in writing critical editions can be found on Dominik Wujastik's homepage.

 Typesetting Dictionaries:




Lawyers may be interested in using (La)TeX in office.



Economists may be interested in using (La)TeX in office, especially in packages for writing invoices.





 Including Graphics:

See also the packages for including floats, and for adding colour and shading.
We also list guides on including graphics.


 Drawing Graph Paper and Grids:

 Metafont and Metapost:


PS-Tricks has its own homepage.
There are more packages for drawing curcuit diagrams and for working in the field of electronics.



Kjell Magne Fauske keeps a gallery of examples for using pgf/TikZ.

 Drawing Charts and Diagrams:

 Arrow Theoretic Diagrams:


 Bezier Curves

 Bridge Diagrams:

 Cartesian Coordinate Systems:

 Drawing Circles:


 Commutative Diagrams:

 Computer Keyboards:

 Drawing Dice

 Electric Circuit Diagrams:

See also the electronics section and the PS-Tricks package.

 Feynman Diagrams:

 Flow Charts:


 Karnaugh-Maps, and Veitch-Charts:

 Logic Diagrams:

 Nassi-Schneidermann Diagrams:



 Postscript Macros for Drawing:

Please cf. the PS-Tricks section for details.

 Syntax Diagrams:

 Timing Diagrams:


 Tree Figures:

 Vector Arrows:



 Adding some Colour and Shading

There are more packages for adding some colour to tables.


 Typesetting Exam Scripts, Quizzes, Flashcards, and Questionnaires



For music engraving you might like to try Lilypond whic seems to work very well with LaTeX. There also is ConTeXt support for lilipond.


 Poetry and Drama

There are some more packages for those interested in the Humanities, including work on critical editions.


 Cooking Recipes


 Documenting Games








 Crossword Puzzles


 DVD, CD, and MC Covers and Collections


 Support for the Blind

BrlTeX is an open source LaTeX to braille translator which is designed to handle maths codes. It is written as a renderer for plasTeX.


 Using different character sets


 Developing and Documenting LaTeX Packages


 Handling and Parsing Strings and Numerical Data




 Support for Plain TeX


 Handling DVI files


 (La)TeX Distributions

The TeX User Groups' TeX Collection includes texlive for Unices, and for MS Windows, as well as MacTeX for the Macintosh. Windows users may also refer to MikTeX, or ProTeXt, the latter being a more comprehensive distribution that is easy to install, including a number of additional applications.





Gary L. Gray and Joseph C. Slater have compiled a comprehensive site for the Macintosh TeX community.



 LaTeX 3

LaTeX3 development code is published on the project's website and can be discussed on the LaTeX-L mailing list.



ConTeXt is another macro package for using TeX, so it supplies an alternative to LaTeX. The ConTeXt project has a rather lively mailing list.
For those speaking German there is a comprehensive paper by Günter Partosch summarising his talk on ConTeXt vs. LaTeX held at a Dante meeting in 2003.





See also LyX.






 Previewers and Plugins


 Spelling Checker



 TeX, and Word Processors:

You may input text using OpenOffice Writer and later convert it to LaTeX with Java-based Writer2LaTeX which is both a part of and a command-line tool.

If you are using LyX there are two converters coming with LyX for importing LaTeX files: reLyX (a perl script), and tex2lyx (still experimental).

The TUG offers an overview of converters from PC Textprocessors to LaTeX and vice versa From LaTeX to PC. Some of the converters between LaTeX and word processor formats can be found on CTAN:

 TeX to HTML:

 Font Formats:


There is Calc2LaTeX for converting OpenOffice spreadsheets to LaTeX tables.


 Using Perl with LaTeX


 Using SGML and XML with LaTeX


 Some more binaries


 Miscellanous Packages