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LaTeX template for PhD theses

The template consists of two parts:

  1. phduio.cls – This file defines the thesis specific layout. It is not intended to be manipulated by the end user. Please read the documentation.
  2. phdstyle.sty and .tex files – These form a skeleton for the thesis and is an optional addition to keep the writing structured and organised. These files can be edited freely by the user. See the accompanying guide for large documents.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Which TeX distribution do you recommend? TeX Live. It is an excellent distribution for Mac, Windows and Linux.
  2. How do I remove labels from the margin? Use the document class option final: \documentclass[final]{phduio}
  3. How do I compile the bibliography? The file phdstyle.sty imports the package biblatex with the option backend = biber. To compile the bibliography,  run biber on the main file or change to backend = bibtex and run bibtex. In the latter case, you will need to run bibtex on every .aux file created by refsection if using the article-based template.
  4. How do I change the reference and citation style? The file phdstyle.sty imports the package biblatex with the option style = alphabetic. Replace alphabetic with another style name.
  5. Why do I get an error saying giveninits is undefined? The file phdstyle.sty imports the package biblatex with the option giveninits = true. The error indicates that you have installed an old version of biblatex. The best solution is to update your TeX distribution to the latest version. Alternatively, change giveninits to firstinits.
  6. Why is \citet and \citep not working? These commands are not defined in biblatex; their analogues are called \cite and \parencite, respectively. You can define \citet and \citep to issue their counterparts by adding \let\citet\cite and \let\citep\parencite to the preamble.
  7. How can I use fragile macros inside \title or \author? Add \protect before the macro.
  8. Why is the paper number reset to I? Most likely the previous paper initialises appendices with the global macro \appendix, which resets the chapter counter. Instead, the appendices should be placed inside the local environment \begin{subappendices} ... \end{subappendices}.
  9. Why are some chapters preceded by a blank page? By the formal layout requirements, chapters should start on a recto page. A blank page is inserted if this does not occur naturally.

Need help?

If you need further assistance with the template, you may send an e-mail to

Published Feb. 15, 2019 6:05 PM - Last modified Aug. 31, 2020 11:12 PM