My standard LaTeX preamble

Date

21 March 2010

Topics
LaTeX

When I was a PhD student, I found I needed a lot of LaTeX functionality that did not then exist. So I wrote my own package which has served me well for about 20 years. It is called HyTeX.sty (the name being a shameless take-off of LaTeX from Leslie Lamport as well as a homonym of High-Tech). The advantage of having my own package is that almost every file starts with

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{hytex}
\begin{document}

All the other packages that I use are called from within HyTeX.sty.

After 20 years of using HyTeX, I’ve decided it is time to put it to rest. Most of the functionality in the package is now available in packages on CTAN, and usually with more features and facilities. Further, when I work with coauthors, I need to send them the latest version of HyTeX as well (as I revise it from time to time).

So from now on, I’m only using packages from CTAN. These are automatically available to all my coauthors so we don’t have any issue with different versions (provided they keep their TeX implementation up to date!).

An immediate consequence of this is that I need to replace my standard preamble. After experimenting a little, here is what I am now using:

\usepackage{graphicx,hyperref,amsmath,natbib,bm,url}
\usepackage{microtype,todonotes}
\usepackage[australian]{babel}
\usepackage[a4paper,text={16.5cm,25.2cm},centering]{geometry}
\usepackage[compact,small]{titlesec}
\setlength{\parskip}{1.2ex}
\setlength{\parindent}{0em}
\clubpenalty = 10000
\widowpenalty = 10000
\usepackage{kpfonts}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

A few words of explanation may be in order.

I’d be interested to know how this preamble compares with the standard preambles used by other LaTeXers.