Tools and tips

We at the Editorial Office of TMI love LaTeX and use it on Windows, so we list some tricks we learned in this environment. If you like to share your experiences and tips in preparing manuscript, please send them to ieee-tmi(at)

Basic LaTeX setup using Windows

Download and install the following softwares (all are freewares) in the specified order.

  1. The PostScript language interpreter Ghostscript and viewer GSview.
  2. MiKTeX, an up-to-date implementation of TeX and related programs for Windows.
  3. TeXnicCenter, a feature rich and easy-to-use integrated environment for creating LaTeX documents on the Windows platform. Don't forget to set preferred paper size as 'letter paper', see MiKTeX manual page for instructions.
  4. The IEEE LaTeX style and BibTeX style files can be found at IEEE website, CTAN, or the author's website. They can also be installed using MiKTeX package manager. These are feature-rich packages, we recommend the user to read their documentations.

Other useful and free tools

  • Excel2LateX converts Excel spreadsheets to LaTeX tables.
  • The maker of MathType had a freeware called TeXaide that allows the user to make equations like in Equation Editor and outputs LaTeX code. It is not available anymore on the company website can be found at various locations (Google it).
  • eps2pdf is a Win32 GUI EPS to PDF converter that supports batch conversion and context menu integration.
  • To create diagram, check out Dia, Inkscape and OpenOffice Draw, all can output high quality drawing in EPS file.
  • Installing a PostScript printer drivr allows to print any figure such as an Excel chart to a PostScript file that can be easily converted to EPS file using GSview.
  • The command-line tools provide as part of ImageMagick can be used to convert image files such as PNG to EPS. Please note that saving a line-art (Matlab plot, Excel chart, etc.) to image and then convert it to EPS is a bad choice.
  • JabRef is an open source bibliography reference manager that can be used to manage and content of BibTeX file with a GUI front end. It is also capable of search web database such as IEEE Xplore and MedLine and import the result into BibTeX file, importing from other database format such as EndNote, and exporting the database to other formats.
  • gnuplot also provides many plotting features as seen in Matlab as well as capability of exporting EPS and LaTeX figure.

Useful tips

  • TeXnicCenter defines four build profiles (methods):
    1. LaTeX => DVI
    2. LaTeX => PDF
    3. LaTeX => PS, which is actually LaTeX => DVI => PS.
    4. LaTeX => PS => PDF, which is actually LaTeX => DVI => PS => PDF.
    Due to the difference in viewer applications, viewing DVI or PS file is slower than viewing PDF file, especially when the paper contains many figures. Creating PDF file using LaTeX => PDF is faster than using LaTeX => PS => PDF. But LaTeX => PDF cannot handle EPS figures, they must be converted to PDF figures.
  • If graphicx package is used, there is no need to include file extension such as .eps or .pdf in \includegraphics{}.
  • There is no need to change paper size in OpenOffice Draw if it is used to create EPS figure. Select all or some the drawn objects and check the 'selection' box when exporting to EPS. The resulting EPS figure has tight margins around the drawn objects.
  • Matlab plot can be saved to EPS figure by following the 'File->Save as' menu on the figure window or using saveas( ) function. Directly save to PDF may change the fonts in the figure.