Template Issues

There are three main issues that may occur when trying to compile the LaTeX Thesis Template on your system:

  1. Missing packages
  2. “epstopdf” and “bounding box” errors (for images)
  3. pdftex “shell escape not enabled” and “badbox” warnings

1. Missing Packages

The LaTeX Thesis Template requires a series of LaTeX packages to be installed for it to compile completely. If any of the required packages are missing, it will fail. As LaTeX distributions vary greatly in what packages they include by default, you may come across a compile error when certain packages that are required by the LaTeX Thesis Template are not installed and hence “not found”.

If your LaTeX distribution comes without certain packages needed by the LaTeX Thesis Template, then the included folder named, “Missing Packages” contains the most common packages that you are likely to need. Simply copy the “.sty” file with the missing package name into the root directory of the LaTeX Thesis Template. You may need to repeat this for more than one package until all the packages needed by the LaTeX Thesis Template are present and it compiles without errors.

The best practice is to ensure that your installation of LaTeX is up-to-date, LaTeX distributions typically come with an “updater” application you can run that will automatically update older versions of LaTeX packages.

2. “epstopdf” and “bounding box” errors (for images)

The “epstopdf” and “unable to determine bounding box” errors occur on Windows and Linux systems when you compile the LaTeX Thesis Template using the “LaTeX => PS” and then “PS => PDF” route. This is a setting in your LaTeX Editor and needs to be changed so that you use the direct “LaTeX => PDF” route using a program called, “pdftex”:

The way to switch to using “pdftex” will depend on the LaTeX Editor you use, in most cases there will be a drop-down menu or an option in the program preferences. When you are compiling directly to PDF, the bounding box errors will disappear.

3. pdftex “shell escape not enabled” and “badbox” warnings

The “pdftex: shell escape not enabled” warning has no effect upon the final PDF and you do not need to bother about it at all, however, if you do want to remove this warning, you need to append the option:


to the “pdftex” command (ie. “pdftex –enable-write18”). You can set this as an option in the preferences for the LaTeX Editor you are using and the “shell escape” warning will disappear.

Finally, “badboxes” are generated when LaTeX cannot make an object or text fit into the space available on the page within the margins (eg. if a URL or formula is too long or an image or table is too wide). Most times, LaTeX will be able to hyphenate words to make them fit but sometimes, it is just not possible and the badbox remains. Most times, they are not noticeable and can usually be ignored. If you still do not like having badboxes (whether “overfull” or “underfull” badboxes), then the only option it to actually re-word the sentence or paragraph until the offending badbox disappears.