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Sep

LaTeX Laboratory Report Template with Many Examples

I have prepared a complete laboratory report template which gives examples of nearly everything a student could need or want in a lab write-up. Most of the document is self-documenting, but for the sections or items that are not, I have commented. You can download it here (the resultant PDF file is included in this zip file and can be seen below):
LaTeX Laboratory Write-Up Template. Edit: Like mentioned in the comments below, if you’re on a Linux box, you’ll need to install texlive-publishers using the command sudo apt-get install texlive-publishers. I’m pretty sure MikTeX and others have package managers that should recognize the need for this package and then fetch it automagically.

This template is geared towards students who are new to LaTeX and would like to utilize the powerful features it has to offer. The main benefit to using LaTeX to write a lab write-up is that you’ll spend far less time formatting your paper, typing equations, and referring back to specific outline requirements for different professors/teachers. The other benefit is that you’ll have a very professional, consistent lab report to hand in and you’ll be able to archive and organize your reports easier. This was something I wish I had done in college.

The reason I put this template together was because I received lots of positive feedback from my professors and peers about the quality of my work; they all wanted to know how I accomplished such a nice looking report. I told them I used LaTeX and they had no idea what it was. I was able to point to a general location where they were able to create a “hello world” document and then they were asking for examples. I wanted them to have the same great experience I had after I got everything figured out (not the bad experience I had while trying to figure it out). In order to do this, I had to make it comprehensive with examples of headers, sections, subsection, figures, sub-figures, equations, equation arrays, references, bookmarks, hyper-links, k-maps, tables, lists, and much, much more. The only thing that this LaTeX file is really missing is a bibliography section with footnotes and references (and that’s another area where LaTeX shines).

If you’re a student looking at this (or even a professional needing better documentation), I hope you’ll write at least one of your lab reports given this template. It might take a little bit longer to get used to writing in LaTeX than in a word processor, but once you see the final result I believe you’ll be hooked like I was. LaTeX has some quirks, but for the most part, it’s an incredible tool for writing technical documentation and lab reports in. It’s a shame most schools only hint at the existence of LaTeX when asking their master students to write a dissertation. I say, there needs to be an optional class or group which can teach anybody LaTeX earlier for college or, dare I say, high school.

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There's 17 Comments So Far

  • Sahand
    October 19th, 2009 at 5:35 am

    Hi,

    Thank you so much for this great template! I have been looking to find a good reference to start “LaTexing” my lab reports and this is such a comprehensive guide!

    Thanks,
    Sahand

  • SendDerek
    October 25th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    That’s great to hear! I was starting to wonder if it was going to be of use to anybody… 🙂

  • Ting
    January 22nd, 2010 at 5:54 am

    wonderful template! thanks so much. very very nice!

  • Ting
    January 22nd, 2010 at 5:55 am

    this really is the best template I have found since 2008. the structure is so nice. it makes me wanna work! ^_^

  • SendDerek
    January 22nd, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Thank you for the very kind words! I hope it will serve you well. I tried to include everything that I used through my senior year of college, so I think it’s pretty complete. Glad to hear I’m not the only one that thinks so. 🙂

  • Egelbert
    March 3rd, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I’m using Kile (Ubuntu), and the tex system it uses apparently has revtex4, but for some reason I’m getting a “can’t find revtex4.css” error. I changed it to an ‘article’ document like the comments said. But the format is changed a little. (Mainly the sections headers are left justified, and labled with numbers instead of sequential letters.) Do you know what the issue with the revtex4 is? What tex system do you use?

  • SendDerek
    March 4th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I dabbled in Texmaker, but I ultimately fell in love with the gedit + LaTeX plugin. I would highly suggest it:
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/gedit-latex/

    I also remember by-passing rubber and using pdflatex --interaction=nonstopmode “%f”. You can read more about that here:
    http://www.derekhildreth.com/blog/bypassing-rubber-in-gedit-latex-plugin-tip

  • Egelbert
    March 3rd, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you for the beautiful template BTW.

  • Hoi Le
    March 3rd, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks for the nice template !!!

  • SendDerek
    March 4th, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    You’re all very welcome! I’m glad it’s getting some use out there.

  • Martynas
    December 2nd, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Good day,

    It some why cannot create dvi file for me. I am not getting what is wrong.
    I used Winedt with MikTex behind it.

    P.S. I am just starting my journey ito Latex.

  • [email protected]
    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Have you been able to successfully create a “hello world” LaTeX document? That’s where I would begin… Otherwise, check out the error message you’re getting, fire up Google, and start searching. Or, come back here with the error and maybe I can help.

  • Ron
    February 10th, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Thanks a lot! New to LaTex and this was just what I was looking for.

  • orschiro
    August 19th, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Well done. You should add a note that the package texlive-publishers needs to be installed under Ubuntu based systems.

    Regards

  • [email protected]
    August 20th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Done! Thanks for the tip. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten a lot of the details. Plus, when I made this post, I was trying to be as OS-generic as possible.

  • Alex
    September 5th, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Having a few problems in TexShop with the .png files…..Thoughts???

    LaTeX Warning: File `period_led4.png’ not found on input line 177.

    ./lab report v2.tex:177: Package pdftex.def Error: File `period_led4.png’ not f
    ound.

    See the pdftex.def package documentation for explanation.
    Type H for immediate help.

    l.177 …cs[width=0.4\textwidth]{period_led4.png}}
    \\
    ?

    LaTeX Warning: File `period_led5.png’ not found on input line 178.

    ./lab report v2.tex:178: Package pdftex.def Error: File `period_led5.png’ not f
    ound.

    See the pdftex.def package documentation for explanation.
    Type H for immediate help.

    l.178 …cs[width=0.4\textwidth]{period_led5.png}}

    ?

    LaTeX Warning: File `period_led6.png’ not found on input line 179.

    ./lab report v2.tex:179: Package pdftex.def Error: File `period_led6.png’ not f
    ound.

    See the pdftex.def package documentation for explanation.
    Type H for immediate help.

    l.179 …cs[width=0.4\textwidth]{period_led6.png}}

    ?
    [3]

    ! Package Listings Error: File `code(.c)’ not found.

    Type X to quit or to proceed,
    or enter new name. (Default extension: c)

    Enter file name:
    ./lab report v2.tex:189: Undefined control sequence.
    \\[email protected] …}}\[email protected] }\[email protected]
    \@newlistfalse \ignorespaces
    l.189 \lstinputlisting{code.c}

    ?
    (/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/amsfonts/umsa.fd)
    (/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/amsfonts/umsb.fd) [4]

    LaTeX Warning: File `graph.png’ not found on input line 284.

    ./lab report v2.tex:284: Package pdftex.def Error: File `graph.png’ not found.

    See the pdftex.def package documentation for explanation.
    Type H for immediate help.

    l.284 …graphics[width=0.33\textwidth]{graph.png}

    ?
    [5] [6] [7] (./lab report v2.aux)

    LaTeX Warning: There were multiply-defined labels.

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