• Maryam Daryalal

LaTeX Time-Saving Tips

I will keep this post updated with LaTeX tips I learn along the way.

When deadlines are looming, nothing is more frustrating than fixing that fractional value at the second column of the tenth row of a table in a LaTeX document! LaTeX is beautiful and a joy to work with, but some tricks here and there can make it even more pleasant.



My go to solution for fast table manipulation is Excel2LATEX. This is an Excel macro for exporting tables from Excel and converting them to LaTeX code. It's powerful and often precise, although you might still need to do some tweaks yourself to get exactly what you need if the table format is complicated. It supports column and row merges as well as table stylizing operations.


In case you don't have access to Excel, you can use TableConvert which is an online conversion tool that works with a various languages, including LaTeX. It doesn't seem to be as versatile as Excel2LATEX in terms of functionality, but it's an easy to use tool for quick generation of rows and columns of a simple table.

Vector Graphics

The following are tools for easy generation and manipulation of figures to be used in LaTeX documents. They both make drawing complicated figures a breeze, however I believe it is still very useful to understand the code and know how to edit it for quick fixes.


Recently I've been using mathcha for drawing my figures in an editor and it generates the TikZ code. Then the code can be simply copy and pasted in the "figure" environment. It can also import the codes that are already generated, so the editing becomes easier.

Among the similar tools, the feature that I like about matchcha is that it provides you with an account where your drawings are stored on the cloud, so you can always have access to them. Furthermore, you can define projects and organize the drawings. Many other tools that I've tried so far have been laggy and difficult to work with, but mathcha is fast and smooth, like overleaf smooth! And it's completely free.


LaTeXDraw is an editor for drawing figures. It can directly generate a pdf file of your figure, as well as the PSTricks code. It's come a long way and has improved in all aspects. It can be installed on all common platforms and is well-painted with regular updates and fixes.

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