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LaTeX template for Master, Bachelor, Diploma, and Student Theses

LaTeX Template for Scientific Theses Build Status

This template is a general template for scientific theses. Currently, it is the unofficial LaTeX template for Master, Bachelor, Diploma, and Student Theses at following institutions:

The template will be extended to support theses from different institutions.

For architectural decision records see docs/adr.

Characteristics of the template

Even though AuToLaTeX is more powerful than latexmk, it is not included in MiKTeX and therefore it is not used here.

Quick start

  1. Download
    1. Go to the latest release via
    2. Download the file
    3. Extract to the directory you want to work. E.g., c:\users\user\documents\thesis.
  2. Start Start texing
    • University of Stuttgart:
      • English: main-english.tex
      • German: main-german.tex
      • German advanced usage: main-minted-german.tex (see below)
    • Paderborn University:
      • Start texing at main-paderborn-english.tex or main-paderborn-german.tex.
      • Adapt logos/UBP-background-picture.pdf to your needs. It has the format 20cm x 10cm.
      • Change !TeX root = in latexhints-english.tex and latexhints-german.tex.

Usage at overleaf

See overleaf.

Usage using plain git

We do not recommend to fork this project as a fork denotes that you work on improving the template itself. Thus, just create a new git repository and populate it using the files provided at, which you downloaded at the latest release page.

Offline usage

Grammar and spell checking is available at TeXstudio. Please download LanguageTool and configure TeXstudio to use it. Note that it is enough to point to languagetool-server.jar. language-tool-configuration

Use JabRef to manage your bibliography. Quick installation using Chocolatey: choco install texstudio languagetool jabref.

A comparison to other literature management software is available at See LaTeX Editors/IDEs question on TeX.SX for a complete list of LaTeX editors.

Online usage

overleaf has been tesed by multiple users. It also comes with git support.

Installation hints for Ubuntu

Always working solution: Use the docker image. This is provides a perfectly configured latex distribution with all required tools.

  1. Execute sudo visudo to edit the sudoers file
  2. Add the line myusername ALL = (root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/docker. Replace myusername accordingly. (Source:
  3. Execute sudo docker pull koppor/texlive. This should not ask for any password. Will download approx. 4GB.
  4. Open TeXstudio
  5. Options > Configure TeXstudio > Commands
  6. Set “LuaLaTeX” to docker run --rm -v DIROFTEXDOCUMENT:/home koppor/texlive lualatex --shell-escape -synctex=1 -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex, replace DIROFTEXDOCUMENT by the directory of your latex document. Example: /home/user/thesis.
  7. Set “Biber” to docker run --rm -v DIROFTEXDOCUMENT:/home koppor/texlive biber %, replace DIROFTEXDOCUMENT by the directory of your latex document. Example: /home/user/thesis.
  8. Check if the “docker pull” command from step 3 succeed. If not, wait.
  9. Try to press the “Compile” (F6) button in TeXstudio.

Installation hints for Windows

Note: The default installation of MiKTeX might ship with incompatible biblatex and biber packages. You have to keep your MiKTeX up to date. In case you followed the linked installation steps, you only have to run “Update MiKTeX”. If you installed MiKTeX other ways, you have to run “Update MiKTeX (Admin)” and “Update MiKTeX” and check in both tools for updates (see


  1. Install chocolatey:
    1. Open cmd.exe as Administartor
    2. Paste and hit Enter @"%SystemRoot%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe" -NoProfile -InputFormat None -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(''))" && SET "PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin"
  2. Execute choco feature enable -n=allowGlobalConfirmation to get rid off additional installation confirmations.
  3. Execute choco install texstudio sumatrapdf.install strawberryperl jre8 jabref languagetool to install necessary tooling.
  4. In case PlantUML should be used, follow the installation instructions at listed at the “pre-conditions” section.
  5. For more recommended tooling see
  1. Download the basic installer from
  2. Start it
  3. First screen: Read the license conditions and be sure that you really agree.
    • Check “I accept the MiKTeX copying conditions”
    • Click “Next”
  4. Second screen: “Shared Installation”: Install MiKTeX for: “Only for: username”.
    • Check first option
    • Click “Next”
  5. Third screen: “Installation Directory”: Install MiKTeX to: C:\MiKTeX. This enabled browsing for documentation at C:\MiKTeX29\doc\latex
    • Input “C:\MiKTeX” in the input field
    • Click “Next”
  6. Fourth screen: “Settings”: Preferred paper: A4 and install missing packages on the fly.
    • First combo box: “A4”
    • Second combo box: “Yes”:
    • Click “Next”
  7. Fifth screen: Press “Start”
  8. Now a window “Executing” appears. It will take about 5 minutes until this is finished.
  9. At the last screen: Click “Close”
  10. After the installation:
    1. Open cmd.exe
    2. Execute refreshenv to make MiKTeX’s binaries known right after the installation
    3. Execute mpm --update-db
    4. Execute mpm --update
    5. Execute mpm --install=tex-gyre (to resolve fontspec error: "font-not-found", \setmainfont{TeX Gyre Termes})
    6. Execute mpm --install=tex-gyre-math
    7. Execute mpm --install=cm-super
    8. Execute initexmf --update-fndb (ensure that no other MiKTeX tooling such as the MiKTeX Console is run in parallel - see
    9. Execute initexmf --mklinks --force

LaTeX compilation

The template is compiled using normal compilation commands. Your LaTeX environment (such as TeXStudio) should take care about the compilation transparently.

If you open main-minted-german.tex, there will be a warning that the compilation command will be overridden. Please answer (a) allow for this document:

allow --shell-escape for this document

At “Build & View”, there will be a question to update to biber. Please answer (a) allow for this document:

allow biber for this document

When the “Package Installation” dialog pops up at TeXStudio, choose your username at “The package will be installed for:” and uncheck “Always show this dialog before installing packages.” If you want to include .svg graphics, inkscape has to be in your path.

Attention! The first compilation will take at least 30 seconds, because there will be some LaTeX packages installed.

Using the command line

For debugging, it might be better to use the command line for latexing. Use lualatex --shell-escape main-minted-german to compile the main document. Run biber main-minted-german to get the bibliography rendered (execute lualatex afterwards).

Automatic compilation is also possible:

latexmk main-german

If you want automatic compilation use following command:

latexmk -pvc main-german

This will also open a Sumatra PDF and only works with the supplied configuration.

latexmk configuration

This repository ships a .latexmk which is read by latexmk. It is configured for Windows and especially sets Sumatra PDF as default PDF viewer. You can make this local configuration a global configuration, when you put it at the right place.

If you want to add more packages, configure it there. For instance, for support of makeglossaries see


Q: What is the issue with ligatures?

A ligature is the joining of letters to look better. There are rules that there should be no ligatures at “morpheme boundaries”. See for a long discusisson.

Example with correct ligatures:

selnolig activated

Example with wrong ligatures:

selnolig not activated

See ADR-0004 for a discussion on the technical solution possiblities.

Q: There is an output that biber/biblatex too old

See installation hints of how to update them at different systems.

Q: Overleaf complains about missing .sty files.

Google for the name of the sty and upload it to overleaf. As of 2018-02-17, these are:

Q: MiKTeX complains about missing .sty files.

Use the MiKTeX console to refresh the package index. Then, automatic installation should work again.

Q: I cannot get minted to run. There is this -shell-escape warning.

Please ensure that your compiliation command includes -shell-escape. E.g., lualatex -shell-escape -synctex=1 main-minted-german.tex. When compiling main-minted-german.tex with TeXStudio, you will see a dialog warning about overriding the comipiliation command. Just anser “(a) allow for this document” and it will work.

Q: My Paderborn title page is strange. The boxes seem to be located arbitrarily.

Just run pdflatex again.

Q: I get the error ! pdfTeX error (font expansion): auto expansion is only possible with scalable fonts.

Install the cm-super package using the MiKTeX package manager. Then, run initexmf --mkmaps on the command line. (Long description:

Q: How do I change the appearance of chapter headings?

Edit preambel/chapterheads.tex.

Q: How to include Excel charts properly?

  1. Select the excel chart you want to use.
  2. Print to PDF with the option “Print Selected Chart”.
  3. Remove empty space of the created PDF page with pdfcrop chart.pdf chart_cropped.pdf (install via MikTex first, if not available; check via pdfcrop --version).
  4. Use pdfscissors ( to crop the borders and title (maybe you have to allow in the Java security center in the control panel).
  5. Include the PDF in LaTex via \includegraphics{chart_cropped.pdf}.

Q: Do I need to take special care because of Visual Studio Code?

Please remove the magic comments (% !TeX program ...) at the top of the main-....tex file. Although LaTeX-Workshop supports magic comments, it currently does not work reliably. Without the magic comments, compilation works.

Q: Do I have to do something special for the final version?

Q: I want to use make instead of latexmk

For those, who have cygwin installed or run a linux machine, this template offers a simple LaTeX makefile. It is not as sophisticated as other projects, but does its job.


Make targets:

Q: Are there any other alternatives to latexmk and make?

Q: I want to use minted as its syntax highlighting seems to be better

  1. Install python and pygments:
    • choco install python
    • pip install pygments
  2. Start with main-minted-german.tex
  3. Use -shell-escape when texing: lualatex -shell-escape main-minted-german.tex

Q: main-minted-german.tex does not compile: File `main-minted-german-plantuml.latex' not found. \end{plantuml}. What can I do?

You did not setup the plantuml package correctly. Please head to for installation instructions.

Q: Is there any other place to look for further information?

For German users, go to

This template uses the alphabetic style. That style is explained at the biblatex documentation on page 60:

The alphabetic labels resemble a compact author-year style to some extent, but the way they are employed is similar to a numeric citation scheme. For example, instead of “Jones 1995” this style would use the label “[Jon95]”. “Jones and Williams 1986” would be rendered as “[JW86]”.

We are aware that the University of Stuttgart recommends to use the Hardvard style. However, this style is not common in natural sciences and information science.

Q: How can I reformat my .tex files?

Execute latexindent -l -s -sl -w main-english.tex

Q: How I want to obey the one-sentence-per-line rule.

Execute latexindent -m -l -s -sl -w main-english.tex. Attention! This is work in progress and does not always produce best results.

Q: Aren’t there other templates?

Sure. The Hagenberg Thesis Document Collection seems to be the most promising. However, they currently do not support microtype and not the cover of the University of Stuttgart.

We are collecting alternatives at the issue #25 and plan to add a comparison to each other template.

Contained Files and Directories



Following additional files are included, which do not need to be adapted:


Donate to koppor on Liberapay


The license of this work is CC0, which corresponds to “public domain”.


The images in logos are subject to other copyright from other parties: