University of Sheffield, Sheffield, November 2018
EPFL, Lausanne, August 2017
EPFL, Lausanne, August-September 2017
EPFL, Lausanne, December 2017.
Southwest Center for Arithmetic Geometry (University of Arizona), Tucson, March 2018.
University of Southampton, Southampton, July 2018.
How I made my poster for YRM2018
As I value the sharing of knowledge, I have decided to outline here the method with which I designed the poster I presented at YRM 2018. This a way to make mathematical posters but it is not the only one, probably not even the most popular, but it is the way I chose. I do not claim to be an expert in poster design nor to have mastered the workflow, but I still hope that sharing what I know will help someone else to make a poster without wasting time (the more obscure the information, the higher the risk to reinvent the wheel).
I used only Free Software:
- Inkscape 0.92.3
- TeX Live 2017
- (not essential) I suggest a GNU/Linux distribution, my favourite is Debian
With this combination you can take advantage of Inkscape features for the visual part and have all the text compiled with pdfLaTeX. This means that you have at the same time all the typographical power TeX provides and the help of a vector graphics editor to design the poster.
The workflow is as follow:
- open Inkscape and create a new document, setting the size to A0 (or A1);
- design your poster as you wish, including both visual items and text. In the final document, the visual items will be exactly as you draw them, so you can freely use all of Inkscape features. The text will be compiled with pdfLaTeX first, and then inserted in the same boxes you are typing it. This means that the positioning may change a bit. Beware of the following:
- all the text meant to be compiled must be on the same level, and that level should not contain any graphic item;
- if a box contains too much text that it overflows and becomes "hidden", it will not be compiled and it may throw errors;
- sometimes, line breaks in the text to be compiled result in errors.
- save the document choosing PDF format. Inkscape then prompts for more option: select "omit text and create a LaTeX file". In this way Inkscape creates two separate files, a PDF with graphics only and a TeX file with the code corresponding to the text and its positioning options;
- (now just follow the instructions in the TeX file just created) create a new TeX file with the following body, replacing "filename" with the actual file name:
- compile this last with pdfLaTeX and enjoy the output.
Tips & Tricks
Sometimes the final compilation throws an error about pages not found. This is due to the fact that Inkscape may arrange the content on multiple pages when exporting to PDF + TeX, while the pdfLaTeX engine expects everything on a single page. Most of the times the content arranged on pages after the first is useless to the final result, so to fix this error search in the file filename.pdf_tex all the lines containing "page=N" with N greater than 1, and comment them.
Inkscape itself has a plugin which compiles text using the TeX engine and then includes it as an image. This allows the poster maker to do all the work within Inkscape while still typesetting math with (La)TeX. Unfortunately, when I was designing my poster a bug prevented the plugin to work, so I chose the above method. On the other hand, it has the advantage that it keeps the original text, so if you want to change just a little bit you don't have to write everything from scratch (this happens when using the plugin, as images are not editable).