Minimal LaTeX Packages


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Dear friends,

I’ve been using LaTeX (with TeX Studio) for about two years now. I use it mostly for long-formatted document. And by long, I mean more than five pages with several headings and subheadings. More light editing or letter, I use LibreOffice. As a typesetter (not a word processor), most begineer will bump into what package to use, or not to use, or a case of redundant packages.

So here I share what minimal packages that I used daily:

usepackage[ascii]{inputenc} % keyboard encoding tool
usepackage[T1]{fontenc} % keyboard encoding tool
usepackage[english]{babel} % language setting tool
usepackage{amsmath,amssymb,amsfonts,textcomp} % math font type tools
usepackage{color} % font color tool
usepackage{array,hhline} % tabular tool
usepackage{hyperref} % hyperlink tool
usepackage{graphicx} % figure insertion tool
usepackage[authoryear]{natbib} % bibliography tool

One can always search for another similar packages, other than the ones that listed above, but bare in mind that there are probably thousands of packages. So you might want to do a little research on a package before decide to use it.

Other applications a used in my writing are:

  • Zotero as reference manager. We have to convert the database to bibtex format, but it has an extension to work with LibreOffice or Microsoft Office.
  • Evernote as web clipper
  • MoU (on Mac) or Re-Text (on Ubuntu) for Markdown editor

Try LaTeX and leave “point and click” for a while. You might like it.

About the author

My current focus is how to provide the hydrostratigraphy of volcanic aquifers in Bandung area. The research is based on environmental isotope measurement in groundwater and morphometry. My work consists of hydrochemical measurements. I am using multivariate statistical methods to provides more quantitative foundation for the analysis and more insight into the groundwater behavior, especially its interaction with surface water. I use open source apps like R and Python to do the job. In my spare time, I also have a side project to promote open science in Indonesia's research workflow. One of my current focus is promoting INARxiv, as the first preprint server of Indonesia ( and serving as ORCID and OSF ( ambassador. Research interest: Hydrochemistry, multivariate analysis, and R programming. Blog:, (