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Masters-Doctoral-Thesis-Template -- unofficial usage guide

A bit of information about the Masters-Doctoral-Thesis-Template (from now on called MDT), version 2.5 (2017/08/27).
This is no official guide.

What is this template?

MDT is a basic skeleton for writing a thesis document or scientific report. It predefines a few commands and environments that some might consider useful.

What do I need to know to use the template?

MDT basically just defines the layout of the document. You need to have a basic knowledge1 of LaTeX to write your report. MDT is based on the standard LaTeX class book and is therefore typeset in twoside mode.

MDT options

  • consistentlayout
    The template set the pages for abstract, declaration and others with a special formatting. This option makes the layout more consistent

  • chapterinoneline
    Default book class sets the word chapter and the current number in one line, and the chapter title in the next line. This option just sets the current number and the title, both in one line

  • liststotoc, toctotoc
    Add entries for the list of tables, list of figures and table of contents to the table of contents. The user has to decide how useful it is to have an entry for the table of contents within the table of contents. liststotoc also influences the predefined environments for List of Abbreviations, Physical Constants and List of Symbols if you should decide to really use them. You don't have to. Packages like acro or glossaries can give you much more power.

  • nolistspacing
    Package setspace is used by the template, so you can set the spacing to singlespacing (default), onehalfspacing or doublespacing if you need it. Option nolistspacing keeps the singlespacing in the lists and keeps them compact.

  • parskip The template default is the usual paragraph indentation as seen in almost any book. If you want to separate paragraphs of text by a blank line, use this option. In the background, package parskip will be loaded.

  • nohyperref
    Probably one of the most important options. As a rule of thumb, package hyperref should be loaded last. Use that option to prevent the class from loading the package, giving you full control about the time to load the package.

Options to be passed down further

Options that are not handled by the class directly are passed down to the already loaded package packages (see below)

  • headsepline is passed to package scrlayer-scrpage, it sets a thin line between the running header and the text of your document. Alternatively, you can have such a line between text and footer with footsepline, but the footer is empty by default.

  • english or ngerman is passed down to package babel. babel takes care of proper hyphenation. The language you use also changes predefined strings (for example Contents in english and Inhaltsverzeichnis in german). You can use any langauge known to babel, but might need to add strings for the language you are using.

  • oneside is one of the options of standard LaTeX classes. The default for the book class is typesetting in twoside mode, that means if you open your printed report, left and right hand pages have ink on them. If you want only right hand pages to have text (so the back of every page is empty after printing), remove the comment character.

standard packages used by MDT

Packages inputenc and fontenc are important when compiling with pdfTeX. If you need to compile with another engine, you need to make the according changes.

Modern package biblatex is used to do the bibliography. You can split the bibliography if you want, you can also do a bibliography for every chapter.
If you need, for some reason, to use the older natbib package, feel free to do so.
The backend is set to use BibTeX to sort the bibliography. Modern tool biber has more features and can handle scripts with accents better. As soon as you have accents in your bibliography, consider switching to biber (backend=biber).

Package caption is used to define the captions of tables and figures.

Package geometry is used to set the paper margins.

Package booktabs is used for the example tables.

Package scrlayer-scrpage is used to define the headers and footers.

The template provides three different page styles by default, called thesis (page number in the outer header, chapter/section marks at the inside header), thesisSimple (same as before, but only the chapter mark appears in the header) and review. The review page style adds the current date, the name of the author and the short title of the thesis to the footer of your thesis. If you have a messy professor, this can be helpful for him to review.

If you need to change the material in the head and foot, have a look at the KOMA-script documentation.

Dealing with unnumbered chapters and sections

The template provides \addchap*{The title of your unnumbered chapter} to typeset unnumbered chapters. If you want an additional entry in the table of contents and properly set headers, remove the asterisk. The same mechanism is provided for sections: \addsec{Title} adds an unnumbered section with an according entry in the table of contents.

I want to customize the template to my needs, what to do?

No problem, feel free to do so. Please take a look at the license of the class file. Disclaimer: Once again, basic LaTeX knowledge is needed.

I want to change the title page?

Do so. A good guide can be found in the LaTeX-Wikibook

I want to change the layout of predefined abstract/declaration/etc. page?

Don't bother redefining class definitions. Just do what you would do if you would not use the class.

I want a different language.

Add the babel language you want to need in the global options. You need to add some language strings yourself, for example:

\providecaptionname{spanish}{\abbrevname}{Lista de Abreviaciones}

Strings you can change:
\abbrevname (List of Abbreviations)
\byname (by in the abstract)
\abstractname (Abstract)
\acknowledgementname (Acknowledgements)
\authorshipname (Declaration of Authorship)
\constantsname (Physical Constants)
\symbolsname (List of Symbols)

I want to change how chapter titles look.

A few commands are available to change the appearance of chapter titles.

\abovechapterskip The spacing above the chapter
\chapterbelowskip The spacing below the chapter
\chapterinbetweenskip The spacing between the chapter lines
\chapteralign Alignment of the chapter
chapterfont The font of the chapter
chapterprefixfont The font of the chapter prefix

If you don't know how to customize the output yourself, have a look at the support section below.

If you need more than the given features, have a look at package titlesec.

Often asked questions

How to change the colors of hyperlinks?

Hyperlinks are useful within pdfs. They are coloured by default. If you want to omit the color, use \hypersetup{allcolors=.} or \hypersetup{hidelinks}.

If you want the links to be visible in the pdf only, use \hypersetup{colorlinks=false}. The boxes you see in the pdf won't be printed on paper.

If you want to change the colors of links individually, you can do the following:

\hypersetup{urlcolor=red}, or
\hypersetup{citecolor=green}, or

Occasional blank pages appearing?

As MDT relies on book, it defaults to chapters starting on right hand pages only. You can change the behavior by adding the global option openany. Please also have a look at oneside explained above. If you want a header (or footer) on that pages, use \setblankpagestyle{thesis} or any other defined page style.

The header dissappears wheneer a new chapter starts.

This is normal behaviour. The header is used by the reader for orientation. As the chapter title is usually pretty big, no header is needed. If you want a different page style for those pages, you can use \setchapterpagestyle{<pagestyle>}, where <pagestyle> is ay defined page style (see above).

The margins of my thesis are changing back and forth.

This is normal for books which are printed that left and right hand pages are full of content. Maybe you want a oneside document? Please read about it above.

I don't get a bibliography

You have to press the BibTeX button in your editor. After the process finished, you need to recreate the pdf once more.

If that wasn't enough to help you create the bibliography, please read Bold citation key instead of citation number.

You can use the file bibTest as a working test case.
Hint: wombat will always be undefined

The title of the abstract is at the bottom and the content on the next page

The abstract is flushed to the bottom om the page. If you don't want that, you can use \begin{abstract}[] (note the empty pair of brackets).

Note: This will not happen with the consistentlayout option.

Hint: Abstracts should be reasonably short.

Where do i get support?

Standard location for template support is Remember to give a detailed description (minimal working example) of what is not working.

Where do i report a bug?

Standard location for template support is Remember to give a detailed description (minimal working example) of what is not working.

1 A bit useful material:

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