Cover Letters for Publications in LaTeX


I admit it. Although I compose most of my journal publications in LaTeX, I use Microsoft Word for writing the cover letters. The university's letterhead is provided in Word, and setting up and compiling a LaTeX document for a single text page is not worth the trouble.

However, a cover letter I was writing today was an exception. The corresponding paper is a major revision of a submission; about half of the text is new or updated material. Describing these changes in the cover letter proved challenging, because I kept referring to sections, tables, figures, and equations that I was moving around. Using the symbolic labels I had defined in the document would really help, allowing me to write things like:

Table \ref{tab:id} has been expanded to include the six largest systems,
while the values for all 32 systems now appear in the new Figure

Using the labels of one document in another proved quite easy. I first filtered with a shell command only the references I was interested in (the newlfm letter style I used was choking on the table of contents commands).

egrep "newlabel|bibcite" paper.aux >labels.aux
I then included the file with those labels in the cover letter.

I expected to spend a lot of time composing our letterhead in LaTeX, but I adopted a much simpler solution. I converted the Word document to PDF, cropped the PDF page to the size of the letterhead, and included the PDF file as a graphic.

\sbox{\Caueb}{\parbox[t]{6 in}{%
Not the most elegant solution, but it was fast to implement, and, because PDF documents are vector-based, the quality of the end result is indistinguishable from the original.

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Last modified: Thursday, November 22, 2007 11:30 am

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