Cam's Blog

October 31, 2010

Custom headers in latex letters

Filed under: Latex — cfranc @ 1:00 pm

Hi and Happy Halloween! I hope you’re having fun because I’m stuck working on job applications for postdoctoral positions. Thankfully they’re essentially finished. Yesterday I put the finishing touches on my cover letters and discovered how to add custom headers to the default latex letter class. Here’s how I did it; I warn you, though, that my solution is a little ad-hoc…

The solution begins by using the fancyhdr package. Add the line:


somewhere in the preamble under your document class declaration. The following line in your preamble will add a header graphic to the top left corner of your letter:


The file image_name_without_extension should be in the same directory as your .tex files (otherwise add the correct path). Muck around with the scaling to make the thing look nice; 0.75 indicates that it is 0.75 times as large as the original. This will add a line beneath the header by default. If you’d like to remove it, then add the line


to your preamble. Now the footer by default should contain a page number. If you want to get rid of that, then add the line


to your preamble. If your footer also has an underline above it, you can get rid of that by adding


to your preamble.

At this point hopefully you’ve got beautiful headers and footers. One final thing that I disliked about the letter package was that in the signature, a default space was added between the closing and your name, so that you could add signature. At first I found out how to eliminate the extra space, since I was sending the letters by email and hence wouldn’t be signing them. Then I had the idea of adding a signature graphic into the empty space instead, and give the impression that I had signed (one could scan a signature, but I actually made a “fake” one in MSPaint). Here is the code that I used for my signature: the following signature definition was added to my preamble:

\signature{\includegraphics[scale=0.4]{signature} \\Cameron Franc \\ \texttt{my email address} \\ \texttt{}}

Then when I called the signature, I had to erase the extra space so that the spacing would fit my graphic signature.png exactly. Here is the signature call that I used in my body:



And that’s it. Happy texing!



  1. Hi Cam,

    How are you these days? Just want to drop a thank-you to you for the translation of a paper by Boutot-Carayol. Are you applying for jobs this year?



    Comment by dong quan — November 1, 2010 @ 2:41 am

    • Dong-quan!

      I’m good, thanks for asking. I just posted a “complete” version of boutot-carayol on my website. If you want the .tex to fix typos/errors, just send me an email.

      As for jobs I’m indeed applying. Also I’ll be in your neck of the woods for the Arizona winter school next year (pending acceptance, of course…).

      So hopefully I’ll see you soon and we can figure out the moduli space for beer!

      Comment by cfranc — November 1, 2010 @ 8:03 am

  2. Cam,

    Moduli space for beers? You are so “behind” the current state of number theory already; we are now moving to “Stacks of beers” since moduli properties are not enough to study the geometry of beers :-)).

    Also, thanks for the tex. version offer! I will let you know if I find out any typos. By the way, do you have a french version of boutou-carayol paper?

    Comment by dong quan — November 5, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

    • French version should be in your inbox now!

      Comment by cfranc — November 6, 2010 @ 10:43 am

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