LaTeX Pointers

These pages contain a summary of those LaTeX features that may be helpful to know to fill in and to "latex" your Web version of the NOAO observing run proposal form successfully. If you are new to LaTeX you may also find one of the Leslie Lamport books about LaTeX a handy guide. Questions or problems may be directed to us as well at, including your "username" if your question is about a particular proposal problem.

The Basics

This section covers what we think are the minimal LaTeX concepts needed for completing the Web version of your proposal.

Math and Equations

LaTeX supports a "math" mode for inline mathematical equations, symbols, and equations set off from the text. Text input in math mode that appears to LaTeX to be mathematical variables will be italicized, but can be corrected by a font change, e.g.,$T_{\rm eff}$.


Tabular data are often entered in the "Technical Description" section of the proposal available from the "Enter Observing Runs" page. There are several LateX environments that work well for this information. Or you may wish to use the HTML formatted tables available to you with the "Enter Tables" button on the proposal form which will automatically format and append the tables to the end of the "Run Details" page of your LaTeX proposal.

Additonal Hints

We include here some additional hints from answers to questions that have come from users over the semesters.

LaTeX Errors

If you are new to LaTeX, the messages produced by the "Run LaTeX" button may look like gibberish, but they really can help you find the errors in formatting that need to be corrected in your text fields before the proposal can be submitted for review. The error messages have been massaged by us to help in this process. If it is not obvious from the messages on this output page what the errors might be, try pressing the "Check Proposal" or the "Save and Verify" buttons on any of the proposal form pages to see if this will isolate the errors so they may be found by you more quickly.

Listed below are a few common messages produced by LaTeX that are not covered on the output page from the "Run LaTeX" button. Errors are serious and must be fixed. Warnings should be investigated and fixed if necessary.

If you cannot run a proposal without any error messages and cannot determine how to get rid of them please contact us for assistance at, including your "username" for the proposal that is causing problems.

NOAOprop LaTeX Definitions

Some experienced LaTeX users may want to define their own LaTeX definitions. There are already many special symbols and definitions available to you through the NOAOprop style file. We list here those definitions that are not available through the special symbols page.



Updated: 10Aug99