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Use LaTeX and the KCSS Style

Before you do anything else for your thesis work, you should get the technical issues for writing your thesis out of the way. That is, you should have your advisor create a Git repository for your thesis, familiarize yourself with LaTeX and the KCSS style, and adapt/fill in the KCSS thesis template for your needs. This way, you can fill your thesis with contents as you work along on your thesis topic, instead of keeping notes in various ways and having to consolidate it all later.

Use Git

Our shared repositories are managed with Git. The files associated with the thesis should be kept in the group's Git installation, as a separate repository that your advisor will create for you. The main purpose is to prevent loss of data, but it also facilitates access for fellow group members if needed. If you haven't used Git yet, there's a few excellent introductions to be found on the internet, for example:

The main tex file for a thesis should be <name of repository>.tex. E.g., the bachelor thesis of user xyz can be found in a repository named xyz-bt in the Theses project of our GitLab system, in a file named xyz-bt.tex. If there is a talk to "defend" the thesis (Bachelor-Kolloquium, Disputation), the talk should also be included in this repository, and should be named <name of repository>-talk.tex (e.g. xyz-bt-talk.tex). In case your thesis should be made available on-line, the same names should be used, e.g., xyz.pdf.

See also the notes on preparing a paper, e.g. regarding which files should be kept in Git and which shouldn't.


Prof. von Hanxleden would recommend Emacs as a very flexible and powerful editor for LaTeX (and everything else). But probably you belong to a post-Emacs generation, so here are some alternatives:

  • On all platforms, including Mac, texmaker is a fine editor.
  • Atom and Sublime have plug-ins that provide LaTeX syntax highlighting and an integrated compilation workflow.
  • Kile is a LaTeX IDE which runs on KDE and is powerful and reasonably easy to understand and to use

The ToDo Notes Package

When writing your thesis, you will often want to make a note of something you need to add or change. The todonotes package makes this easy. It lets you add placeholder graphics and notes in or next to the text. To include the package, add the following line to your document:


You can find a short manual over here.

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