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πŸ›‘ Carefull the format currently does not match the corporate design intended by the university. I will address this issue as soon as I have more information on that. ☺️ More on that see: #20

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Use the Button to get started with your thesis.

βš οΈπŸ˜‰ Don't be intimidated by the number of files you only really need to care about the contents/ folder!

This template repository should get you quickly up and running with your thesis. It uses pandoc to compile all markdown files into a single PDF. The template is set up for a german πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ paper but can be easily adapted to other languages.

Preview

The example output can be viewed here.

I have created this repo because I didn't want to have the complexity of a LaTeX project, but still use most of the features provided by the LaTeX language.

The project includes:

  • A GitHub Action that automatically generates a new PDF release every time you push to the main branch of this repository.
  • Scripts to run the compilation locally.
  • Support for BibTex.
  • An API to give access to the generated release over a static URL.

The Figma design for the cover (static/beginning.pdf) can be found here:
https://www.figma.com/community/file/1037658856144320408/hsd-markdown-thesis

In case you are interested in a LaTeX Template visit ✌️:
https://github.com/TimB87/HSD-LaTeX-Template

Folder Structure

  • content/: The folder where all the markdown files and assets are stored. It is important that the markdown files are sorted in the same way you want them to appear inside the final PDF file. I suggest you to use a new file for each chapter.
    • 00_meta.md: This file contains some basic metadata as well as the location of the table of contents, the list of figures and the list of tables. With the lang header parameter the document language can be specified.
  • static/: This directory contains all PDF files that should be added as they are. I have added a basic example PDF File to be used for the HSD.
    • beginning.pdf: This file gets prepended to the final PDF.
    • end.pdf: The file gets appended to the final PDF.
  • generate.sh: Script to generate the PDF.
  • watch.sh: Script that watches the content folder for changes and automatically generates the PDF on any change.
  • content.pdf: The generated PDF content. The full document is currently only available through GitHub.
  • style.csl: The citation style used for the PDF. I used a modified version of the IEEE standard πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ. CSL, CSL Library - GitHub
  • bibliography.bib: This is the BibTex file that holds information about your citations. You can use any BibTex editor you want to generate this file. I have been using MyBib, which is an easy and beautifully designed web tool. (I am hoping for an API to make the PDF generation even easier.)
  • glossary.tex: Holds a list of acronyms and abbreviations you can use inside your markdown files. The Syntax for using one can be seen on the official plugin page. (+<IDENTIFIER>)

All other files are not vital to be known of.

Edit on Gitpod

Once you created a copy from this template, you can head to gitpod.io and create a workspace. All the required steps will be taken for you, and you will be presented with a fresh environment where you can immediately start being productive. All you have to do is to open and drag the content.pdf file into a new split pane.

Should the required packages not be installed and there be an error during compilation run:

sudo apt update && wget https://github.com/jgm/pandoc/releases/download/2.17.1.1/pandoc-2.17.1.1-1-amd64.deb && sudo dpkg -i pandoc-2.17.1.1-1-amd64.deb && rm -rf pandoc-2.17.1.1-1-amd64.deb && sudo apt install texlive-xetex -y && pip3 install -r requirements.txt

followed by:

sh ./watch.sh

Setup Local Environment

πŸ₯³ If you just want to use the GitHub Action there is no need to install anything!

In order to compile the PDF locally you need to have the following installed:

Font

In order to design your own cover, you need to download the official LaTeX font from: https://sourceforge.net/projects/cm-unicode/

VSCode

I have added some extensions to go along with VSCode that should help you write more quickly.

macOS

brew install pandoc python

Linux (Ubuntu)

apt update
apt install pandoc python3-pip -y

Windows

choco install pandoc pip

All

If you want to use the watch.sh script you can install when-changed using:

pip install when-changed

Execution

To execute the script you can use the following command:

./watch.sh

Or if you only want to run the generation once without listening for changes:

./generate.sh

Deployment

GitHub Actions

The GitHub Action will run automatically every time you push your changes to the main branch. After a couple of minutes, you will have a new release on your GitHub repository where you can download the generated PDF File.

API (Optional)

The API provides easy access to the generated PDF File. You can use it to download the PDF File from your browser.

The repository is set up in a way that the API can easily be deployed to a free hosting provider called Vercel. Visit the Wiki page for more information.

How to set up the Vercel API?

Cheat Sheet

Pandoc uses a more advanced form of Markdown which allows for LaTeX statements to be directly included in your content. Some of the most useful expressions I have listed in the table below. If you are just looking for a standard markdown cheat sheet you can find it here.

Command Function
\tableofcontents Generates the table of contents based on the markdown headers you have defined.
\listoftables Creates a list of all tables and their location inside your work.
\listoffigures Creates a list of all figures used inside your thesis.
\setcounter{page}{1} When using this statement the page counter gets reset and changes all following page numbers.
$<Expression>$ If you want to write a math expression use two $ to denote the section where your expression is written in.
(+ID) Reference a Glossary entry
![Footnote](path/to/image.png){#fig:abc width=50%} Load an image and define a reference ID, set image width to 50% of the page width
@fig:abc Reference an image by its ID

More Ressources

Contributing / Questions

I am happy to accept any contribution. If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to open up a new issue. New Issue

Note of thanks 🫢

Huge thanks to the ZWEK Schreibberatung (Writing Advisory) for helping me write my thesis. If you are studying at the HSD give them a call.