Browsing through page 2 of our "Tags" site, you'll find the tag with 72 questions and the tag with 70 questions. I can't name the difference between the two tags (classes are templates, aren't they?), and looking at the top-scoring questions of each tag, I can't see a distinction, either.

Can someone enlighten me what is the difference between classes and templates? If there is one, is it big enough (and clear enough) to warrant two separate tags? Or would it be preferable to merge these tags into a single tag, say, ?

  • 2
    documentclass only makes sense for LaTeX. There is a TeX world outside LaTeX :)
    – Aditya
    Sep 1, 2011 at 18:18

1 Answer 1

  • Templates are built on classes, however sometimes you could switch to a similar base class. Questions about templates don't have to be class specific.

  • Very different templates for different purposes can use the same class.

  • Templates can provide additional features in different ways. I expect that questions about templates are about such additional features, not about class features.

  • In contrast to classes, some templates come with a prebuilt text structure, such as certain sections or chapters in a prepared order for users to fill in text. Thesis and some letter templates may be such examples.

  • Templates may consist of several files or even a prepared directory structure, such as a main document, a preamble file for \input, chapter files for \include, image directory etc.

Regarding these reasons, I vote for keeping both tags which keeps the possibility to separate questions about classes from questions about templates.

  • 1
    I see .. there is a distinction. But I'm not quite sure at the moment if our tagging practice adheres to your definition.
    – lockstep
    Sep 1, 2011 at 14:50
  • I did not have time yet to check the current use. If necessary, we can clarify the desired practice in the tag wiki.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Sep 1, 2011 at 15:10
  • This is what I had in mind, too. (Note: templates doesn't have a tag wiki entry at the moment.)
    – lockstep
    Sep 1, 2011 at 15:12
  • 1
    @lockstep Changed.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Nov 27, 2011 at 14:07
  • @StefanKottwitz -- since this answer forms the basis of the tag wiki for the tag [templates], i will impose on you to make the tag [template] a synonym rather than a "standalone". there is a great difference of opinion on exactly what a template is. (today's example: How to create this template; i'd call this a "style", although the op does want a template.) is there any glossary of terms other than the tag wiki that might be useful here? Apr 28, 2015 at 12:56

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