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Quotation Marks

Use `` for the left mark, and two apostrophes for the right.


  • Hyphens separate the parts of a compound word. Use a single '-', without spaces.
  • Endashes separate the bounds of a range, usually numerics. Use two '-' characters, without spaces.
  • Emdashes separate distinct thoughts. Use three '-' characters, without spaces.
  • Minus signs are a mathematical entity. Use a single '-' in math mode.


To get correct spacing:

  • Use ".\ " if the period does not end the sentence.
  • Use "\@. " if the period ends the sentence, and follows a capital letter.


Use \ldots (or \cdots for line-centered dots).

  • Don't use three periods (bad spacing) or the Unicode character '…' (HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS, U+2026).
  • What about \dots? fixme


Generally, \textasciitilde{} is the way to go. In math mode, use \sim.

  • When typesetting a url, the url and hyperref packages handle tildes properly.


Use \textbackslash{} to render a backslash in text.


Enclose bulleted lists within a \begin{itemize} and \end{itemize} block. Each element is preceded by \item.

  • enumerate will give numbers instead of bullets
  • description generates labeled items. Provide each label in square brackets: \item[label]



  • Bold: \textbf{boldfaced text}
  • Italics: \textit{italicized text} (it is advised to end most italicized sequences with "\/")
  • Monospace: \texttt{typewriter-stylized text}


  • The default margins are generally 1.5" or more, more suitable for books than other documents. For 1" margins, add \usepackage{fullpage}.
  • Double-spacing can be achieved (in the main body) via \usepackage{doublespace}
    • Return to single-spacing via \begin{singlespace} and \end{singlespace} blocks.
  • \vfill, \vspace{amount} and \pagebreak

Special Forms

To include monospaced documents (code, emails, etc) use \VerbatimInput on a filename argument. This requires the moreverb package.

  • Important attributes include fontsize, frame, framerule, label, and numbers


Basic LaTeX doesn't support UTF-8 beyond expanding macros based on lexical sequences. If this is intended, use the utf8 parameter to the inputenc package. XeTeX aims to be a fully Unicode-aware TeX engine.



Of these, ChkTeX seems more fully-featured than lacheck. Neither is actively maintained.

  • ChkTeX
    • Watch out for some idiosyncrasies of ChkTeX. In particular, its error #38 is a false positive using the standard rules of American English.
    • Rule emission can be controlled with command-line options or ~/.chktexrc
      • I use -n 38
      • This has the (more descriptive) .chktexrc equivalent QuoteStyle = Traditional (default: Logical)
  • lacheck

See Also