Category Archives: software

New experience with LyZ!

Today I find a wonderful plugin for Zotero and LyX. In fact, it integrate Zotero and LyX via LyXServer. Therefore we can cite the reference stored in Zotero more easily!

From the author's website, its main features are:

  • Inserting citations to LyX from Zotero.
  • BibTeX database automatically updated when citation is inserted.
  • BibTeX database can be updated when the references in Zotero are modified.Get Zotero
  • Custom BibTeX key format.
  • Unique BibTeX key check.
  • Synchronization of BibTex keys between LyX document, BibTeX database and LyZ.
  • Editing of master/child documents (the same BibTeX database) and multiple documents (different BibTeX database for each document).
  • Persistent association of LyX documents and BibTeX databases.
  • Support for group cooperation.

They are really cooooool, aren't they?

After an easy installation, I start my journal with LyZ.

How easy? See the screenshots!



Sorry these screenshots are noted in Chinese. In fact if you are looking for more details about it, you can either visit the author's webpage (in English) or see my Chinese blog:

  1. a brief introduction
  2. Chinese translation of its official explanations.

The outline for Latex Lecuture


Latex and its application in economic essay writing


Latex is the best tool for college students to write their papers as well as some beamers for presentation. It is pretty convenient to typeset mathematical formulas and vectorized pictures. This series of lecture will be divided into three parts, with basic introduction of the operation principle of latex, including formulas, tables, pictures and reference etc. After the brief introduction, I will use visual method to show you how to finish a paper with latex, therefore avoiding  the terrible feeling when dealing with original codes.

After the lecture, you will be able to write an article with latex independently.


Lesson 1: Basic Knowledge

1.1 basic pinciple

  • breif introduction: the origin of latex, different distributed version, the idea of latex's typeset, and mutually convert to word
  • user group: research, publication, why use latex?
  • application: academic papers, resume (CV), books and beamers
  • localization and Chinese
  • Layout: setting up the page, footnotes, fonts and colors

1.2 mathematical formula

  • introduction: grammar (Greek letters), common symbols, subscript and upscript, and different formula environments
  • advanced support: AMS package

1.3 table

  • float environment
  • insert and config a table

Lesson 2: Common Functions

2.1 visual editing

  • introduce Lyx: functions and installations.

2.2 figures

  • Insert a pic: supported formats, typeset, rotate and zoom
  • How to draw a scientific picture: the format of EPS, Illustrator

2.3 reference

  • Cross reference: insert a lable, refer a objection (formula, table, figure)
  • reference: format (default, Bibtex), reference methods (serial numbers, author and year)
  • automatically reference collection: zotero, and Endnote

Lesson 3: Advanced Functions

3.1 Tex Editors and real-time preview

  • the latex editor: simple introduction of LED, its appearance and functions
  • real-time preview: configuration

3.2 make a beamer

  • the principle of a beamer
  • steps to make a beamer: based on available templates

3.3 templates

  • situation: the difference compared with common documents
  • some international journal's templates: how to use and edit
  • use latex to make a book: compared with articles

3.4 cooperation with word

  • word to latex: Mathtype and formula
  • tex to word: solutions

3.5 work with R and stata

  • R project
  • Stata

How to show latex formulas on your blog/webpage/wordpress

For most people who are familiar with latex, we are addicted to the grammar of latex's mathematical formulas. However, although we can do well in PDF files, we can do little on traditional media like web pages (html) or our blog.

Fortunately, as the demand of it, some talent people provide the powerful tool. Like wikipedia, you can see the pictures  of these formulas directly and if you copy and paste them, you may get the latex code in your latex editor. Specifically, if you are using Lyx like me, you can see the formula as soon as you paste it in the mathematical environment like "equation". How cool it is!

But the fact is, what can we do on our blog? After searching for a while, I have found several solutions and tried one by one.

  • the best way is to install latex service on your servers. According to here, you can download  LatexRender. Then for those who are wordpress users, you can use the plugin WP LaTeX. Done!
  • But for those who are using third-part server like me, it is impossible to install latex service. From HERE: we can use John Forkosh's , can insert "real math images in html documents”. You only need to add latex code behind mathtex.cgi? and then you will get the image.
  • But don't you feel that it is inconvenient? You must enter the link by keyboard every time. Fortunately we have a wordpress plugin Latex for WordPess ( MimeTex for wordpress & bbPress,from here ). After the installation, it will automatically convert latex codes into gif images and cache them on your blog.

Note: Maybe you will fail to open your web pages after installing latex for wordpress. Then you may try to edit the plugin:

find this line:

class mimetex {

and then replace the following two lines with

var $server = “”;
var $img_format = “gif”;

Thanks for and its public cgi.

Complete guide to reference collection (with pictures): Latex+Lyx+Zotero

For every individual who is at university, the unavoidable question is, how to make a beautiful reference list at the end of their paper? Different journals have different requirements of the format. Copy the articles' name and paste, then repeat... the most boring process!

[Note: Chinese version of this post is available at]


In this information era, intelligent software may solve all these problems. Some people recommend EndNote or NoteExpress, but they are commercial software and you must pay for them. Furthermore, the are not well combined with web browsers like Firefox or Chrome.

Fortunately, I found Zotero! From its official website,

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself.

How powerful it is! Simple clicks and automatic save!

The video guide on its website is very clear, so there is no need for me to write something about supports. Please visit:

save reference via goole scholar

save reference via goole scholar

You may save the information of articles while browsing online. Several database are supported, like Google Scholar, Jstor etc.

select items and save

select items and save

Select items which you want to be saved.

open zotero (click the icon on the bottom bar)

open zotero (click the icon on the bottom bar)

Open Zotero ( click the icon on the bottom bar ) and you can see them now.

make notes if you like

make notes if you like

After the collection, you can add notes if you like.

attach some important files, like PDFs

attach some important files, like PDFs

Then attach the necessary files, like original paper (PDFs) and screenshots, Zotero will help you manage them.

mark them

mark them

Mark them with different tags and classify them into different folders. The "Filter" will help you find them quickly.

export items

export items

Select items and export to BibTex format.

select items or folders and then create bibliography

select items or folders and then create bibliography

Or you may select items or folders and then create bibliography, then paste it into Word etc. You can export different kinds of lists. There are already more than 100 journals' formats available.

Moreover, if you are using Latex ( Lyx ), you may simply export the BibTex file. I usually use the WYSIWYM editor software Lyx. It's more easy to import BibTex file by a simple click. Then insert the reference to where you need.

Open Lyx and import BibTex

Open Lyx and import BibTex

add database

add database

click on "insert citation" button

click on "insert citation" button

select reference and style

select reference and style

All done! Now you can see it in your paper!

All done! Now you can see it in your paper!

I have saved much time with Zotero and Lyx, so will you.