A TeX ahead.

I just sent off my first two grad school applications today. There’s still a bit of work do be done for some of the remaining schools, but I’m relieved to have most of it taken care of and ready to go as deadlines approach.

The big project of the morning was figuring out how to do custom headers in LaTeX, so that I could put my name and SSN at the top of each page of my writing sample. It required a number of web searches before I was able to come up with something straightforward, but now it makes sense. For instance, if you want your name and some text at the top right of every page, and the page number centered at the bottom, you would put the following in the preamble of your document:

\usepackage{fancyhdr}
\pagestyle{fancyplain}
\lhead{}
\chead{}
\rhead{{\small Amrys O. Williams\\Writing Sample}}
\lfoot{}
\cfoot{\thepage}
\rfoot{}

LaTeX also puts this nice little line between the header and the page content. Very MIT-Press-style, very classy. For more info, consult this and this.

Since I’m applying to humanities grad school, I suspect that very few of the people reading my applications will be impressed by my LaTeXed papers, but at least I feel good about it.

I mean, what was I going to do, copy it all into Word?

In other news, I now have an optical USB mouse with click-wheel at my desk. Which is going to make working in FileMaker a whole lot more bearable.

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4 thoughts on “A TeX ahead.

  1. I was talking to a philosophy grad student at Stanford who went to Berkeley, and he was saying they all use LaTeX too, and he has to learn it, since never really saw it as an undergrad.

  2. LaTeX surprises me sometimes.
    Like when I was trying to create a BibTeX style for
    my Poli Sci class and found that someone had already
    programmed the style of the American Political Science
    Association. Of course they have those old standbys,
    MLA, APA, and Chicago…
    Go BibTeX!

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