University of Utah LaTeX dissertation and thesis styles

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


Below are links to 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 .

The latest version is dated 2017-03-12.

Page Size - The Most Common Formatting Error
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.

The printed output should have lines of text that are exactly 6 inches (152.4mm) wide.
Check your margins!
Many LaTeX installations will produce A4 sized LaTeX documents by default! This will appear in printed output as unequal left and right margins and on screen will have a very large bottom margin. 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.
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.

Information on old versions of the LaTeX template is available here.

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.

Advanced formatting options

For some information on some advanced formatting options please click here.

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.