Making Scientific Posters in LaTeX

Recently I had to make a scientific poster for the Berkeley neuroscience retreat. I had asked my lab mates what they used to create posters. Most of them, I think, used PowerPoint, which I can't use since I'm on Linux. Using LibreOffice Impress also seemed like a pain. And I really wanted my poster to be in PDF format.

So I stumbled upon using Scribus, which is used for desktop publishing. Scribus can create print-ready PDFs and has facilities for wrapping text around images. I used it for about a week until I finally gave up. It turns out that Scribus is a real PITA to use. Laying out text with the story editor is irritating to say the least. For example, if you try to emphasize text like this in the story editor, you can't see it within the story editor. On top of that, you have to select all the text you want to change, like if I wanted to change from Arphic Uming to Courier or whatever, I have to select everything. But because the font's not automatically previewed within the story editor, you don't realize that you've changed absolutely nothing by using the drop-down menu. There's also no undo history as far as I can tell, which is probably why it's recommended to edit your text in a .txt file first.

What?! How is there no 'undo'?!!

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Getting LaTeX Math to work in Pelican

Basically, you can follow this post verbatim.

I’ll just explain how I got to work on my personal setup. First of all, in order to do this you’ll need to edit your template. I have a copy of the “notmyidea” template in my blog directory, so I can make changes to it. You can copy /usr/share/pyshared/pelican/themes/notmyidea to your blog directory, for example if my pelican files live in ~/blog/ I’d copy notmyidea to ~/blog/themes/notmyidea. Now you’ll need to tell Pelican where to look for your theme, you can do this by editing your to include:

THEME = "themes/notmyidea"
CSS_FILE = "main.css"

Now, in blog/themes/notmyidea/templates/base.html you’ll need to add

<!-- Using MathJax, with the delimiters $ -->
<!-- Conflict with pygments for the .mo and .mi -->
<script type="text/x-mathjax-config">
  "HTML-CSS": {
  styles: {
  ".MathJax .mo, .MathJax .mi": {color: "black ! important"}}
  tex2jax: {inlineMath: [['$','$'], ['\\\\(','\\\\)']],processEscapes: true}

<script type="text/javascript" src="//"></script>

in the <head> section.

Now that you have this done, you should be able to start using inline equations using \$a^{\\beta}\$ to get $a^{\\beta}$ (note the double backslash).

I was having problems, however, getting the math directive to work with MathJax. What was happening was that instead of creating a <div class="math"> for the mathblock, RST was parsing the $\LaTeX$ as HTML. In order to fix this, you need to edit your docutils settings, as documented here. I did this by having a docutils.conf in my ~/blog folder with the following contents:

[html4css1 writer]
math_output: MathJax


.. math::


Outputs to: