I'm please to announce that a Latex based thesis template for students of Manipal University is ready!
What is Latex?
Latex a typesetting system. It is used for creating documents in such a way that you do not have the trouble of specifying the formatting options or contents through a GUI. You can achieve it with "code". Besides, your document is platform and vendor neutral.
In short, you can write your document in plain text and the Latex compiler will take care of creating an output, like say, PDF. For the purpose of formatting, you will use Latex provided commands to create whatever look and feel you need.
The advantage is that you get to focus on the content and not have the headache of worrying about whether you broke your indentation somewhere when you changed some lines elsewhere. Latex also makes typing complex equations easy. A lot of people from the technical community prefer latex rather than Microsoft Word. Other advantages include automatic generation for table of contents, table of figures, index, page numbers, etc. You can even make presentations from your report easily!
About the template
This template I made is specifically for School of Information Sciences, Manipal University. If you do not belong there, you can still make use of it as its very easy to adapt it to another institute. All the typical requirements of a typical thesis report has been addressed in this template.
It also contains the associated boilerplate code for generating a presentation, using the Latex Beamer class.
For absolute beginners, Latex can look like a big learning curve. But the fact is, you dont need to learn all of latex to do your thing. Just the basics will suffice and you will be able to figure out on your own.
There are a lot of resources online, like this, a more exhaustive open wiki book, etc. If you come across any problems, you can ask wonderful community at TeX Stack Exchange.
Getting the template
The template is available from my Github page. This is a command line interface that abstracts all the commands you need to use and then proper order. Bibliography is also dealt with.
This script is only intended for linux. It has been tested on
Fedora 23. However, it should work on most linux distributions. Latex packages are not included. So you will need to install them separately through your distribution's package manager.
Its basic Make project. Unzip to a directory and run
makeinside that directory. Detailed instructions can be found inside the
README file. This script is release under GPL License. So feel free to redistribute! Enjoy!