Joachim Breitner

Diploma Thesis Finished

Published 2010-02-11 in sections English, Mathe.

Earlier today, I went to a local copy shop and had my diploma thesis printed. This afternoon, I will hand it in. The title is “Loop subgroups of Fr and the images of their stabilizer subgroups in GLr(ℤ)” and discusses a group-theoretical result. I assume that very few readers care about the content of the thesis, but maybe some are interested in a few assorted LaTeX hints. I’m also publishing the full TeX source code, maybe someone can make use of it.

Less chatty varioref

I’m using the varioref package, in conjunction with the cleveref package. This provides a command \vref{fig:S3S4l} which will expand to, for example, to “Figure 1 on page 11”. But if the referenced figure is actually on the current page, the next page, the previous page or the facing page (in two-side layouts), it will say so: “Figure 1 on this page.”

This is very nice, but I assume that the reader of my thesis is able to find Figure 1 when it is visible, i.e. on the current or facing page. One can remove the referencing texts with the commands \def\reftextfaceafter{}, \def\reftextfacebefore{} and \def\reftextcurrent{}. But because varioref puts a space between “Figure 1” and this text, we will get a superfluous space – even before punctuation.

The remedy is the command \unskip, which removes this space again. So I use in my preamble:

\def\reftextfaceafter {\unskip}%
\def\reftextcurrent   {\unskip}%

Palatino and extra leading

I chose the Palatino font for my thesis, using the mathpazo package. Various sources (such as the KOMA-Script manual) suggest to use 5% extra leading:


Counting figures independently from chapters

I don’t have too many figures and tables in my thesis, and I want them to be numbered simple 1, 2, ... By default, LaTeX would say 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, ... This can be fixed using the remreset package and these commands:


No widows and club lines

LaTeX already avoids these, but I wanted to get rid of them completely. This can be done with:

% Disable single lines at the start of a paragraph (Schusterjungen)
\clubpenalty = 10000
% Disable single lines at the end of a paragraph (Hurenkinder)
\widowpenalty = 10000 \displaywidowpenalty = 1000

Struck table lines

I had to typeset tables with some lines struck, and I could not find a ready command for that. I used the following definition, based on the code for \hline. Note that it probably does not adjust well to other font sizes and needs to be adjusted manually:

  \noalign{\vskip-.7em\vskip-\arrayrulewidth\hrule \@height \arrayrulewidth\vskip.7em}}

Title page in one-sided layout

According to the KOMA manual, the title page as set by LaTeX is not meant to be the cover of a publication, and therefore has to be set with the margins of a right page – i.e. a larger right margin and a smaller left margin. But when printing cheaply, one often just put a transparent sheet on top of the print, so the title page is the cover. You can convince KOMA that you are right by using


Not flushing the page for chapter heads

LaTeX would put the list of algorithms on a new right page. I found this a waste of paper for my few algorithms, and preferred to put the list right after the table of contents. You can override the LaTeX behavior using:

\let\cleardoublepage\relax  % book
\let\clearpage\relax        % report

This code also reduces the size of the heading to that of a section. The same trick also works with \chapter.

Math in headings vs. PDF bookmarks

LaTeX with the hyperref package creates nice PDF bookmarks from your chapter and section titles. Unfortunately, PDF bookmark names can only be plain strings, while the titles in the document might contain some math symbols. You can make both happy with \texorpdfstring:

\section{Stabilizer subgroups in \texorpdfstring{$\GL_r(\Z/2\Z)$}{GL\_r(Z/2Z)}}

Setting lines for the signature

The diploma thesis contains a small note which I have to sign, saying that I created it on my own etc. Below that, I put two labeled lines for date and signature, using the tabbing environment:

\rule{4cm}{.4pt}\hspace{1cm} \= \rule{7cm}{.4pt} \\
Ort, Datum \> Unterschrift


Well, I was tired of seeing Computer Modern all the time... Is there a way to get ligatures with Palatino in LaTeX?
#1 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2010-02-11
Hey. You can try TeX Gyre's Pagella (, which is an improvement of the old fonts with ligatures and some other things.
#2 Daniel am 2010-02-11
No ligatures!
#3 Kurt am 2010-02-11
Congratulations! :)
#4 Ana (Homepage) am 2010-02-11
Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Und wo geht's nach dem Diplom hin?
#5 Franziska am 2010-02-12
Vermutlich erstmal an der Uni bleiben und noch Informatik fertig studieren.
#6 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2010-02-12

Bin letzte Woche auch mit meiner DA fertig geworden und hab drei Sachen auch genauso wie du angewandt (unabhängiger Zähler, widows+orphants, die \let Sachen).

Das es sowas wie varioref gibt hätte ich vorher wissen sollen, das hat mir gefehlt. Danke aber für den Hinweis :)
#7 Sebastian am 2010-02-25
What did you use for the graphs?
#8 Brad am 2011-12-24
The only and only tool for drawing things in LaTeX: TikZ (based on PGF). See and for more examples.
#9 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2011-12-24

Have something to say? You can post a comment by sending an e-Mail to me at <>, and I will include it here.