While writing my PhD thesis I have invested a lot of time to typeset the text forming the thesis content. The actual goal was not to reach some level in the appearance of the thesis, but just to remove or modify things I did not like about the default result produced by the employed typesetting software.
To typeset my thesis I have used LaTeX software, and during preparation of the thesis I have logged modifications of the default settings of my LaTeX setup. Based on these logs an on-line document was produced which you are reading now. In this document I summarize my experience of working with LaTeX by describing and discussing the employed commands; I primarily discuss modifications of the default LaTeX behavior, but installation and activation of the basic LaTeX features are also briefly covered in order to make the story more complete. I hope the information presented here may save time to many thesis writers just because I was one of those writers, and finding a document similar to this would have been quite helpful to me.
Before proceeding with this document, I suggest you to start from the very end :), i.e. to take a look at the thesis itself (, 26MB) to decide if you really want to invest time on modification of the default result produced by your typesetting software (which is probably LaTeX). Just note that many of (often simple) solutions presented here are not restricted to LaTeX and can be done with MS Word, Adobe InDesign, or other typesetting software.