The template produces an academic paper with LaTeX . The paper format is minimalist so the paper is easy to read, of course, and easy to scan. Many scientists look at papers in search of specific results, methods, or references—those should be easy to find.



  • The font for text, roman math, and numbers is Source Serif Pro.
  • The font for Greek and calligraphic math is Euler.
  • No colors are used in the text (only black) to reduce distraction, and so the paper prints well.
  • Colors are reserved for graphs.
  • Margins, spacing, and font size are set for comfortable reading.
  • Headings and labels are designed so the paper is easy to scan.
  • Formatting is specified for appendix and online appendix.
  • Formatting is specified for references.

Title page

The template’s title page is pretty minimalist but contains all the required information: title, authors, date, abstract, affiliations, and acknowledgements. An URL for the paper can be placed at the bottom of the title page by placing the command \available{URL} in the preamble of the document. Such URL allows readers to go easily to the latest version of the paper.

Text font

The font determines the appearance and readability of the entire paper, so choosing a good font is key. Following Butterick’s advice , the template uses Source Serif Pro for the template. Source Serif Pro is a serif font—a typical choice for long-form writing. Source Serif Pro is not part of typical paper templates (unlike Times New Roman or Palatino), so it has a new, fresh feel. And since Source Serif Pro was designed in the last decade, it also has a modern feel.

Another advantage is that there is a sans-serif font in the Source Pro family: Source Sans Pro . This presentation template uses Source Sans Pro, which gives presentations and papers produced by the two templates a similar look.

Math font

LaTeX uses one font for text and other fonts for math. For consistency, the template sticks with Source Serif Pro for roman math. It also uses Source Sans Pro for all the numbers in math, so the commands 1.5 and $1.5$ do not produce different-looking numbers.

For the Greek letters in math, the template uses the Euler font . These Greek letters look good, have the same thickness and height as the text letters, and are distinctive.

The template also uses the Euler font for calligraphic letters in math. This calligraphic letters fit well with the other fonts and are very readable.

Finally, the template uses a simple geometric sans-serif font as blackboard bold font. It is cleaner than the default blackboard bold font.

Font size

The font size is 12pt, which is standard. It is easily readable but not too big. (See also Butterick’s discussion of font sizes.)

Line spacing

The spacing is 150% of the point size. This is in line with Butterick’s advice . This avoids that the text is too cramped or too spread out, and makes readings more comfortable.

Text margins

The margins are 1.1 inch. This provides a bit of white space on the page. Furthermore, with such margins, there are always 80–90 characters per line, just as Butterick recommends . (Longer lines are harder to read.)


The template’s headings follow Butterick’s advice . Section headings are a bit larger and bold. Subsection headings are bold. And paragraph headings are just italic, so they are noticeable but not too prominent. To clearly separate sections, the template uses centered section headings.

The template does not tailor formatting for subsubsections and smaller headings. Such small headings are a sign that the paper’s organization is too messy, and should be avoided.

Color scheme

As Butterick says , use color with restraint. A lot of colors, especially bright ones, are distracting. Furthermore, many colors are hard to read when they are printed in black and white. To reduce distraction, and to have a paper that prints well, the template only uses the color black for text.


An advantage of avoiding colors in the text is that the colors in figures really stand out.

The figure environment is set up so you can reference a figure (figure 1) or directly a panel in a figure (figure 1A). With the command \note{Text}, it is easy to enter a note below the figure caption with details about the figure and sources.

The graphs are scaled so a figure with two panels fits well at the top of a page. A figure with four or six panels fits on a whole page.


It is easy to produce tables with the template. The caption for the table comes on top of the table, as usual. Top and bottom table lines are thicker to clearly demarcate the table. With the command \note{Text}, it is easy to enter a note below the table with details about the table and sources.


It is also easy to use itemized or numbered list in the paper template. The lists are customized to fit well with the surrounding text.


The template comes with a style file for the bibliography. The format of citations and references follow the guidelines from the Chicago Manual of Style .


The template is also designed so it is easy to add an appendix at the end of the paper. All the appendix sections are clearly marked “Appendix” and are numbered as “appendix A”, “appendix B”, “appendix C”, and so on. The appendix subsections are also numbered so they can be referred to (for instance, appendix A.1).

All numbered items in the appendix are labelled with an “A” so it is clear that they come from the appendix (for instance corollary A1 and equation (A1)).

Online appendix

Once a paper gets published, the appendix must often be transformed into an online appendix. To help with this task, the repository also includes a template for online appendices. It adds two features to the paper template:

  • The abstract is replaced by a table of contents.
  • All the references from the paper continue to be usable. So the cross-references from paper to appendix are not broken even though the appendix is now in a separate file. This requires the following :
    • appendix.tex is in the same folder as paper.tex.
    • paper.tex is compiled first.
    • The auxiliary file paper.aux is available when appendix.tex is compiled.