LaTeX Lists

Lists are an incredibly useful construct, and let you present information in a way that shows they are connected.

Wikibooks has a very useful reference on lists:

A simple bullet list is very easy to do.


Bullet lists are done with itemize

\item one
\item two
\item three

If you use this, you will see output like this list here. In this book, the hierarchy goes:

  • chapter

  • section

  • subsection

  • paragraph

  • subparagraph

How to: Formatted sections

The ability to show formatted text is vital to show code sample, shell scripts, or anything else that needs to be displayed exactly as it’s typed. There are two ways to do this for blocks of text, and a couple of special ways for URLs and short phrases.


Code that has control characters is in verbatim blocks.

This is how a 'verbatim' block looks.

When in a verbatim block, the only LaTeX command that is interpretted is the \end{verbatim} statement - everything else is output as-is.

{.latex language="TeX"} \begin{verbatim} This is the code for a verbatim block. \end{verbatim}


Code that really is code goes in lstlisting blocks. This is the one I’ve used most, as it has several advantages over verbatim. Firstly, it wraps lines in a good way. Verbatim doesn’t wrap lines for you. Secondly, it is straightforward to add styles to lstlisting blocks, and what you see here is the result of setting the defaults in the preamble of the book. Finally, it has built-in syntax highlighting, so the source code might actually look like source code.

This is how a 'lstlisting' block looks.

When in a lstlisting block, LaTeX commands are interpretted.

This is the code for a verbatim block.

Another tool you can use to output formatted text is \verb which can output small phrases inline, such as above where the text used \verb;\end{verbatim}; to output the command used. It’s a powerful function that’s really useful in technical texts, particularly when writing about how to use LaTeXwhile also using it to create the text.

there is a url directive for links, it makes them clickable in the output pdf document file as well as changing the typeface. it also eliminates the need to escape ampersands and other characters that control LaTeX. For example, go to \url{} for my website.

Including other .tex files

The input directive is used to stitch together the files to compose a complete document. For example:


This will include the bar.tex file directly into your current file. I find this quite handy to keep everything organised, and to make it easier to restructure the document later.

How to: Glossaries

The quick and easy way to get a glossary. To add a glossary to your document you need to add a couple of packages into the preamble:


This will use the ‘glossaries’ package, and the ‘hyperref’ package to make them into links - it is far to useful to the reader not to do this, unless you are targetting printed media only.

Now that you have enabled glossary functionality you will need to instruct LaTeXto make them. Insert this line before start of the main document.


All that remains is to output the glossary. At the end of the document is a good location to add this snippet of code:


You can change a few options, and for a good measure make text in the body of the document link to the entries:

  • remove ‘nonumberlist’ option

  • remove glsaddall maybe if you don’t want the unreferenced entries

  • then add gls definitions to the text with a shotgun. Seriously, put them everywhere that you want a link in the glossary to appear.