Installing the LaTeX system

We are going to install everything to our “TeX & Metafont” (TEXMF) home folder. This is where all of your custom styles should be installed, so you may have a lot of this structure already.

Run kpsewhich -var-value TEXMFHOME to determine where these user-level TeX sources should go. (TEXMFHOME isn’t a proper environment variable, but if you export the TEXMFHOME variable in your shell, kpsewhich will use that value instead.)

With MacTeX (the standard LaTeX distribution for macOS), this is ~/Library/texmf, which I’ll use in the example instructions below. It may be different on your machine, so adjust accordingly. (E.g., on Ubuntu 12.04, it’s ~/texmf.)

The sp documentclass

Download the file sp.cls (you may need to right click and “Save Link As…”) to ~/Library/texmf/tex/latex/sp.cls. You may need to create the directory ~/Library/texmf/tex/latex if it does not exist.

You should now be able to render your document in this style by setting your documentclass to sp, i.e., \documentclass{sp}. But you will probably be better off starting from our minimal template, which includes placeholders for the required sections, like authors, abstract, keywords, etc.: sp-template.tex.

S&P uses Lucida in all publications. Lucida is a commercial font that is not freely redistributable, so by default the sp documentclass uses Times.

The S&P bibliography style

S&P currently uses BibLaTeX to render the bibliography and citations in all published papers.

We also provide a plain BibTeX style file for users without BibLaTeX. The differences from the user’s perspective are minimal, but I will provide instructions for both options here. As an author, you need only choose one.

Example filesystem layout

If you opted for BibLaTeX, the result should look like this:

└── tex
    └── latex
        ├── biblatex
        │   ├── bbx
        │   │   └── biblatex-sp-unified.bbx
        │   └── cbx
        │       └── sp-authoryear-comp.cbx
        └── sp.cls

You can check that LaTeX knows where to look for files by calling kpsewhich with just the filename, e.g.:

kpsewhich sp.cls


Rendering in development

latexmk is a Perl script that comes with most LaTeX distributions and runs pdflatex and biber (or bibtex) as necessary. It’s handy for automatically rendering a document when changes have been made to any of its source files.

I use Sublime Text for editing LaTeX, rather than an IDE like or But I still use for viewing the PDFs, since it automatically reloads the PDF when changed (which Acrobat Reader does not), and keeps track of what page you’re currently looking at (which does not).

This is the latexmk config file I use, which by default is located at ~/.latexmkrc:

# record the filenames that pdflatex depends on to a .fls file
$recorder = 1;
# -pdf (generate pdf by pdflatex)
$pdf_mode = 1;
# -f (force continued processing past errors)
$force_mode = 1;
$pdflatex = 'pdflatex -interaction=nonstopmode %O %S';
# -pvc (preview document and continuously update.)
$preview_continuous_mode = 1;
# open in TeXShop rather than the system default
$pdf_previewer = "open -a %O %S";
# delete .bbl when cleaning
$bibtex_use = 2;
# biber by default assumes we're running a more modern compiler like
# XeLaTeX or LuaTeX on the backend, which isn't true in our case
$biber = "biber --output-safechars --output-safecharsset=full %O %S"

Then I can simply call latexmk MyPaper.tex, and it will run pdflatex and biber as many times as necessary, and open the freshly rendered PDF in when done. If there’s only one .tex file in the working directory, you don’t even have to specify the filename; just latexmk will do. Due to the $preview_continuous_mode = 1; setting, latexmk will keep running until I kill it with Ctrl+C, continually re-rendering the PDF whenever any of the sources (which includes the .tex and .bib files, as well as any figures) have been changed.

There is one potential annoyance in that demands focus whenever it reloads the changed PDF, but this behavior is usually more convenient than annoying.