University of Utah LaTeX dissertation and thesis styles

Last updates: Fri Sep 24 10:06:57 2004 … Sun Mar 12 16:33:37 2017 Valid HTML 4.0!

This is the master archive site for the definitive version of University of Utah dissertation and thesis styles for LaTeX.

Since the latest package release of 3-May-2016, two issues have arisen:

Fixes for both of those problems are available, and the second is repaired in the 2017-03-12 release, but because the thesis formatting regulations are undergoing a major review, we do not wish to issue yet another intermediate version. If the first applies to you, please contact the maintainer of the thesis packages.

News: The Changing document fonts section below has undergone multiple revisions since it was first written, with many more fonts, and new sections on font scaling, font color and style, and confusing characters. The font samples also now include complete alphabets, digits, and an assortment of special symbols.

Distribution files

This directory tree contains thesis styles for LaTeX 2e to support production of undergraduate and graduate theses and dissertations that conform to the strict formatting requirements of the University of Utah Handbook for Theses and Dissertations . A local copy is available here if that link is broken.

New files for Spring 2016
On 2017-03-12, we released a new snapshot, and a new document Guide to 2016 Extensions in LaTeX Typesetting of University of Utah Dissertations and Theses. Visit the new directory here or fetch this InfoZIP bundle to get the entire collection of new files. The fixup file is named uuthesis-2016-f.sty, and there is new support, and documentation, for creating one or more indexes for a dissertation or thesis.
Under NO circumstances should any of these files be changed or renamed by student authors! If you feel the need to modify any internal macros in these files, do so in a private style file that is input after the University-approved styles, and be prepared to defend your modifications with the University of Utah Thesis Office.
If you print your thesis from a PDF file, do so with a normal Unix lpr command, if possible. Otherwise, if you print from a PDF viewer, make sure in the printer option panel that page scaling is turned off, because viewers have options to rescale pages to fit by width or height, and may remember those options from run to run. With the page dimensions for 2013 or later, the printed output should have lines of text that are exactly 6 inches (152.4mm) wide.
If you find that your page dimensions are correct, but the left and right margins are unequal, then it is likely that your TeX installation is set for a paper size other than US letter. In a PDF viewer, try to display the document properties: that should show the paper size. For example, with Adobe Acrobat Reader, the menu path File -> Properties displays a pop-up panel that should contain a line Page Size: 8.50 × 11.00 in. If instead you find that it says Page Size: 8.27 × 11.69 in, then your TeX installation has been set for the ISO A4 paper size common in much of the rest of the world. Changing the default paper size is easy to do, but not easy to find. For example, with the MikTeX distribution, you must run the executable program, which puts up a GUI tabbed panel, and in the middle of the view from the tab labeled General, there is a block with the label Select your default paper format and an associated pull-down menu. Select the line Letter (letterSize), and then press the OK or Apply button in the lower-right corner, as illustrated here. That starts a series of actions that change the default paper size in multiple installed configuration files, and then regenerates all of the precompiled format files that TeX uses for faster startup. With a TeX Live distribution, the job is easier: in a terminal window, just run the command tlmgr paper letter. Similar actions happen, but entirely automatically.
If you are using TeX on a personal machine, before you start your thesis typesetting work, and again just before your final submission, it is a good idea to run the update system in your TeX installation to ensure that you have current versions of all standard files. With TeX Live, to make updates faster, you should first change the repository location from the master site in Paris, France, to the North American master mirror hosted in Utah: in a terminal window, run the command
tlmgr option repository
That only needs to be done once; all subsequent updates use the Utah mirror, which is never more than a few hours behind the master site. Then run the updates in this two-step process:
tlmgr update --self
tlmgr update --all
The first step updates the TeX Live Manager software, and the second step updates everything else in your TeX Live installation.

In order to not break already-published Web locations for older files at this site, no files have been removed, and remain available through this old top-level index. However, most are of historical interest only, and should not be used for new dissertations and theses. You can see all of the files in this tree by visiting it in a Web browser as a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site, or by using any FTP client program, such as ftp, lftp, or ncftp. A sample FTP session might look like this:

% ncftp
ncftp / > cd /pub/uuthesis
ncftp /pub/uuthesis > dir
... long output ...
ncftp /pub/uuthesis > get writing-tips.pdf
ncftp /pub/uuthesis > exit

Sample theses

The distribution includes a completely new bare-bone sample thesis, with associated files. It is devoid of color and indexing, but does illustrate figure inclusion and labeling.

The distribution also includes an enhanced sample thesis, with associated files, that exercises many of the features described in the above document, including three end-of-volume indexes.

A third even-more-enhanced sample thesis, is similar, but shows how a PDF file of a published journal article can be included as a separate chapter, with separate bibliographies in each chapter and appendix that has literature citations.

A fourth yet-more-enhanced sample thesis, is similar, but has an additional Chapter 6 to illustrate use of theorem-like declarations.

Typesetting the sample theses

To build the samples on any Unix system with a recent TeX Live installation, just type make in their respective directories.

To start from scratch, first type make distclean to remove all automatically-generated files. Then type make again to do the complete job. That builds the default target, pdf. Type make dvi to get a TeX DVI file instead. The second sample thesis, however, requires PDF-file inclusion, which is not possible with latex; it must be typeset with pdflatex.

Convenience targets let you do just a single pass of the essential tools: make dvi-pass or make pdf-pass. That is what you would likely do after a round of editing or writing, when complete consistency of cross-references, list of figures and tables, reference lists, and so on, is not essential.

Use the heavily-commented top-level LaTeX files as a guide for your own dissertation or thesis. You just need to change the names of included packages, and the many fields that are specific to you. The sample included files may be helpful in understanding how to typeset particular objects, including figures, quotes, quotations, tables, and verbatim environments for showing computer input and output, and how to prepare document indexes.

Please note that production of technical documents with bibliographies, cross references, figures, indexes, tables, and so on is a complex process that is best guided by a computer program or batch/shell script. That job has to be done many times during the writing of your document. Pushing buttons in a GUI to carry out those steps can only provide part of those needs, and is unlikely to result in consistent typesetting.

Changing document fonts

To encourage students to make use of alternate typefaces over the default Computer Modern ones, a new document written in Fall 2015 gives samples of 32 text fonts and 14 typewriter fonts with instructions on how to use them by adding just one or two lines to the preamble of any LaTeX document. Because character widths vary with typeface, changing the document fonts affects all line breaking and page breaking. The choice of typeface is therefore best made early in the document production process, rather than at the end, when you might otherwise have to make further tweaks to address overfull boxes, bad line breaks, suboptimal page breaks, and figure and table positioning. The complete set of files needed to make that document is available here as an InfoZIP file, and as a subdirectory of files.

Page layout parameters

For a diagram showing how page layout is specified, see Figure C.3, page 182, of The LaTeX User's Guide and Reference Manual (1994). There are more detailed diagrams here: layout.dvi, layout.pdf,, and layout.tex.

Figure-measurement support

For measuring coordinates on included graphics files, use this PDF or Encapsulated PostScript file with a numbered grid in units of PostScript points, known in TeX as big points (bp), where 72bp = 1in. Print it on a transparency on the same printer that you use for printing your graphics files, then overlay the grid on one of your pictures to measure the lower-left and upper-right (x, y) corner coordinates that are often needed to correct erroneous %%BoundingBox comments in a PostScript file, or the /MediaBox command in a PDF file. Those commands can be edited with a text editor, like those in the emacs family, that is capable of editing files with binary contents.

You can also supply the coordinates of a smaller rectangle that you wish to use as a figure, overriding the default image size by a command

\includegraphics [bb = 50 75 425 350, clip = true] {mypict}

to select the rectangle with corners at (50bp, 75bp) and (425bp, 350bp) from the image in mypict.eps or mypict.pdf, and suppress the parts of the image outside that rectangle.

Guidelines and tips on technical writing

A new document introduced in Fall 2013, Typesetting and writing hints for theses and dissertations , contains solutions for many problems that students routinely meet during their writing projects. There is also a color PDF version for offline printing and viewing. Despite the last four words of the title, much of the information is generic and applicable to other technical documents.

More recently, one of the world's leading English-language newspapers has put online its own advice that may be a convenient reference: The Guardian and Observer style guide. Just be aware of British versus American style issues.

Booboos, bugs, and problems

If you believe that you have found a bug, or infelicity, or missing and/or confusing documentation, in any of the macros and style files defined at Utah for support of student dissertations and theses, please report the circumstances, preferably with all of the files necessary to reproduce the problem on another computer, to the maintainer of this Web page. However, the basic class file, uuthesis2e.cls, is frozen forever, and does not carry any support guarantee. All changes and corrections to its formatting actions are made only in style files named uuthesis-*.sty that are loaded last, after all other requested standard LaTeX packages have been read.