LaTeX forum ⇒ Math & ScienceExcel workbook for symbol, units and equation maintenance

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Excel workbook for symbol, units and equation maintenance

Postby johanf1985 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:27 pm


I've build an Excel workbook to help maintain Symbols, units and equations for a thesis document.

The output can be used to produce a symbols list and parameter definitions under equations. Advantage is that definitions only have to be entered once and macros are automatically composed by Excel.

I created a github project for this:

Update october 5: read the ReadMe here: ... /

Would love to see others to check this out and hear if there are situations which I have overlooked and are not working in practice.

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Postby johanf1985 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:16 am

Would love to hear some feedback on this!

Direct download of files:

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Stefan Kottwitz
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Postby Stefan Kottwitz » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:54 am

Hi Johan,

thank you for letting us know!

At first I did not test it (yet) since the big expensive Microsoft Excel spreadsheet application is required. ;-) I guess that's mainly for entering data, right? You use macros to build expressions from that data. Theoretically, macros could be a good Job for LaTeX itself. ;-)

No real problem with Excel, I like the work you did! I use Excel too, to simplify work, to generate code from data cells. Though now sometimes I generate the same using LaTeX. Text concatenation and macro expansion with loops is LaTeX's native work. Specifically, I had Excel spreadsheets for generating Cisco switch configuration files based on parameters (VLAN IDs, IP addresses, names, ...) and now my switch configuration files are actually LaTeX documents - I run LaTeX on it and it generates my config based on the contained macros.

Stefan admin

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Postby johanf1985 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:21 pm

Thanks for checking it out Stefan.

Yes, it's an Excel file that generates LaTeX macros (commands). It's all based on Excel formulas, no VBA macros are used.

Let LaTeX do similar work is an interesting idea. Is there a possibility to create new macros based on other macros. So for each macro one or two other macros?

Next to generating macros, I mainly did this to generate the right parameter descriptions underneath an equation (Equations tab in the workbook). And it also helps to structure the used symbols, units and equations. It can be easily expanded for a glossaries list and an abbreviation list (which are more simple commands). But as the goal was to generate the parameter descriptions, I kept it as it is now.

Interesting idea for the config file of your switch. That's remarkable appliance of LaTeX.

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