Report Writing using LaTeX – III

Once the title page is done, the main part of the report writing is very easy. Start filling in the sections and chapters you’ve created. The main problem that you notice one faces is during insertion of images and tables.

Inserting images and tables in LaTeX is unfortunately a-not-so-trivial job. This is mainly because of the standards that LaTeX specifies for page margins, and borders, etc. Thus, if a figure / table doesn’t fit in, it automatically gets pushed to the next page. Note that, the figure and table has to fit along with the caption. It gets pushed to next page for such reasons too.

So, I generally follow a practice of putting the figures / tables at the beginning of the chapter / section, so as to then let LaTeX adjust with the spacing. Nevertheless, you may find entire single pages (in case your text part is less – like an observations section) containing your figure / table. These will be automatically centered.

Experience will get you approximate estimates, and you’ll start knowing which sort of image / table will fit in which place. So put it accordingly, before you start the text.

Another important point would be to insert a caption, and label for each of these figures and tables. A caption is a must in any sort of technical report. Note that LaTeX takes care of the numbering according to the chapter, automatically. Labels are useful when you want to reference to any figures or tables. So you would want to say, refer to Figure \ref{block_diag}, and it will automatically find the figure / table with label “block_diag” and insert its number in this location.

Similarly, you can also number your equations and refer to them, using \begin{equation} – \end{equation} mode instead of the standard $-based math mode.

You can also refer to sections and chapters, just insert your \label in appropriate places. This referral is a boon since, you may want a slight change in the structure at the end, which may cause a havoc in the numbering.


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