A sample lab report in LaTeX

  • LaTeX source (save this to your file space as a good starting point)
  • Figures included in the report are in PostScript/Encapsulated PostScript format (.PS/.EPS), suitable for preparing a paper copy. Save the following files to the same directory as the above .tex file:
    circuit.PS | einstein.PS | plot.PS
  • To prepare a paper copy of the sample lab report:
       latex sample_lab_report
       latex sample_lab_report
       dvips sample_lab_report
       lpr sample_lab_report.ps
    To view a PDF of the report on-screen, replace the last line with:
       ps2pdf sample_lab_report.ps sample_lab_report.pdf
       evince sample_lab_report.pdf 
    Note how the latex command does need to be repeated twice, for proper reconciliation of automatic Figure and Section numbering.

    After verifying that everything has worked for you, start editing the .tex file to enter the text of your lab report.

  • Kile is an integrated LaTeX processing environment available on the Linux workstations in the Department; you may find it useful. Make sure Kile is configured (Settings -> Configure Kile -> QuickBuild) to use LaTeX+DVItoPS+PStoPDF+ViewPDF and not PDFLaTeX+ViewPDF.
  • PostScript graphics are "vector" graphics, and can be scaled arbitrarily; in contrast, figures originally in .jpg|.gif|.png etc. formats must not be scaled using LaTeX figure-scaling commands. Instead, use your favourite graphics program to scale the figures to the size in which they will appear on the page, and save (render) them as PostScript files in the resolution you are planning to use on the printer (typically, 600dpi). In the sample lab report, note how the photograph of A.Einstein is included as is, without any further size modifications.
  • The sample lab report is available online as a print-ready PostScript document, as a PDF document, and converted into an on-line HTML document (using latex2html).
  • Most of the lab manuals use figures that are available online in the PostScript format; feel free to download and use them in the preparation of your lab reports. For example:
    PHYS 2P31 figures | PHYS 2P32 figures | PHYS 3P91 figures | PHYS 3P92 figures
    Large PostScript files are often compressed (gzipped); in this case, a pair of files, .ps.gz and .ps.bb, needs to be saved into your directory. The .bb file is a tiny text-only file providing the "Bounding Box" (the location on the page) of the .ps figure, for rapid access by LaTeX. For example, to compress a figure.ps you would use the following:
       grep BoundingBox figure.ps > figure.ps.bb
       gzip figure.ps
    After this, you can use \includegraphics{figure.ps.gz} in your LaTeX file. For some figures the resulting space savings can be quite dramatic.