My preferred writing environment

When working from home, my preferred writing environment is to use a huge fixed-width font on a large monitor with a matte finish, and nothing else on the screen. I write my text using either Markdown or LaTeX, depending on what the output format is going to be. And Yoda and Meditating Guy make me feel a little less crazy when I’m talking to myself. ;)

How to control LaTeX titlepage top margin spacing

As a brief note to self, when you need to control spacing at the top of the title page (titlepage) in a LaTeX document, use the \vspace command, as shown in this example:

MacOS, Pandoc, PDFs, and MacTex

Note to self: When trying to use Pandoc to create a PDF on MacOS, you need to install MacTex separately. Install everything, because it will make things much easier later.

All fonts available with XeTex and XeLaTeX

To generate a list of all fonts available available with XeTex and XeLaTeX, use this command at your Unix command line:

fc-list : family

I found that command at this URL.

That command may also work with Windows, but I don’t have a Windows system to test with. Note that it took a little while to run the first time, then it returns almost instantly after that.

Markdown comments syntax: Comments that won’t appear in generated output

Markdown FAQ: How do I create comments in Markdown? Especially comments that won’t appear in the generated output.

Part 1 of my answer is that technically there is no way — or at least no standard way — to create comments in Markdown documents, other than to use HTML comments like this:

Getting started converting documents with Pandoc

I’m looking into producing my Scala/FP book as a PDF, and as part of that I have been looking into Pandoc. With the exception of converting HTML tables into other formats such as Markdown or LaTeX, Pandoc has been working well so far.

Here are a couple of Pandoc commands to show you how easy this is: