Friday, October 9, 2009

Puthesis for AGEC thesis

The puthesis template does 99% of your thesis formatting. The 1% left, however, is a pain in the neck. For example, using puthesis out of the shelve gave me the following problems (Ask Lou Ann for the format requirements, do it early):

1. The margins were not as required
2. The spaces between headings and subheadings were not as specified.
3. The little dots of the table of contents did not touch the number pages.
4. The table captions did not met the requirements.
5. The headings and subheadings had a format different than what is needed.
6. The original template I got did not indent the first line after Chapter headings.

To fix 1-3 and 5 I modified the puthesis.cls file and renamed it as
puthesis_mod.cls. (Download puthesis_mod.cls ) You can search over comments starting with NV to see what I did. I counted 16 modifications; sadly, I do not remember why I did half of them. Moreover, the brackets specifying the options for agecon include several tweaks. My fix to the table of contents leaders only works for two subdivisions, if you have more, have fun trying to add extra divisions in a similar way to the ones that I added. To fix 4, and other little things I do not remember, puthesis.cls has built-in options. So, in addition to using puthesis_mod.cls, I used this as the first line of the preamble:


Notice that puthesis_mod.cls is genetically engineered to include the bibliographical AAEA style, which was mentioned in an earlier post.

I also noticed that other people working with puthesis had not the same problems I had, and I ignore why that is the case.

Two more things:

1. Margins work --- but you have to be sure that Page Scaling is set to none when you use Adobe Acrobat Reader to print.
2. Figures and tables that are aligned at the top of the page tend to break the 1 inch top margin. My solution was to use \begin{}[hb]. Itworked (h for here, b for bottom). As a very last resource, for tables that occupy an entire (or more) page, a \vspace{-.1in} statement did the trick. Put it after the \begin{} and before the \caption.


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  2. Your contribution to this forum in unparalleled.

  3. Couple of things I had trouble with might be worth pointing out.
    1) When you print the PDF use "None" for scaling and turn off auto-rotate.
    2) Use the float [hb] for all figures and tables.

    This straightened out a couple of problems I had. Nelson deserves the credit for the solutions.

  4. I have not looked at the thesis formatting posts very thoroughly yet because, well..., I am not at that stage yet, but thank you very much Nelson, I am sure that these posts will be very valuable in due time!

  5. A silly small note: As Nelson's "modded" file has a different name than the original one, you will receive a warning that the class is not the same as you requested. Change the first line in Nelson's mod from:
    \ProvidesClass{puthesis}[2009/08/10 Purdue thesis class]
    \ProvidesClass{puthesis_mod}[2009/08/10 Purdue thesis class]
    (I told you this was silly)

  6. So, did you end up finding all of the answers to your problems with Puthesis? Well, the advancement of technology can really give us a big boost, especially working phd dissertation or MA thesis. But, like everything in the world, there are pros and cons that you need to consider before using something. And from the looks of it, you certainly found some problems already with the software.