Using the lsstdoc document class

The lsstdoc document class should be used for all LaTeX LSST documents. The class file defines the document fonts and page dimensions, imports commonly used packages, defines journal macros and other common commands and defines the main title page and the page headers and footers. In this section we will explain how to use lsstdoc.

Document Preamble

A LaTeX document begins with a preamble that sets up the document. The first step is to define the class:


The options for the document class control some of the layout:

  • DM defines the document type to be a “Data Management” document. Other useful options include PST (Project science), TS (Telescope and site), SE (Systems engineering), PMO (Project office), and OPS (Operations). The default is to use DM. The option currently solely controls the text displayed at the top of the title page of a document indicating the LSST group associated with the document. There is currently no internal check to ensure that this document issuer and the document handle agree. Other options include MN for minutes and CP for conference proceedings but these are holdovers from the original Gaia class file.

  • lsstdraft declares that the document is a draft and results in a back ground image. For controlled documents this mode also disables the title page text indicating the document has been approved. Remove this option when the document is finalized and is ready to be released by merging to the main branch.

  • Use here obsolete when a document needs to be marked as obsolete. Note that in this case lsstdraft cannot be used anymore. Change controlled documents need to be submitted to the CCB via RFC before the final obsolete version is uploaded to Docushare.

  • toc enables a full table of contents to be included. This also results in the page style being reset to arabic. For backwards compatibility reasons this is not the default, and furthermore, without this option the page style must be explicitly set to arabic by the document author. Leaving out this option enables the author to have more control over page counts and when the document properly begins. It is expected that most new documents written will enable this option.

  • authoryear enables author/year citations for the natbib package. The default is to use numbered citations. DocuShare references (via citeds) will still report the handle.

This can be followed by any document-specific package imports and macros. The document metadata must then be defined. Title, author, and date match the standard commands required for \maketitle, although a short title can be specified if a different title is to be used in the page headers. The date for a draft document can float during development, but should be fixed once the document has been finalized and is to be merged to main.

\title[Short title]{Title of document}



Some documents, have a secondary title that can be included as follows. This is optional.

\setDocSubtitle{A subtitle}

The document reference (“document handle” in DocuShare) is set next. The \setDocRef command controls whether the document will be include change control messaging. LDM and LSE documents are in this category, but a DMTN will not display change control statements.


Optionally, the document curator can be defined here. LSST change-controlled documents do not require this information, but sometimes it is beneficial to indicate a point of contact who is not necessarily the person listed as author or the person most recently mentioned in the change record.

\setDocCurator{A Person}

Optionally, the document citation information can be defined here. Rubin change-controlled documents do not require this information, but sometimes it is beneficial to include the citation information explicitly.

\setDocCitationInformation{A Citation}

The abstract can be defined with this command and will be inserted in the correct place in the document preamble.

  This is an example abstract.

The change record should be updated whenever a document is to be released (by a merge to main). For change-controlled documents, the change record should include the relevant RFC or LCR number. The revision number should follow the policy defined in [3].

% Change history defined here. Will be inserted into
% correct place with \maketitle
  \addtohist{1}{2017-09-10}{Initial release.}{A. Author}
  \addtohist{2}{yyyy-mm-dd}{Future changes}{Future person}

Document Body

Once the preamble has been completed the document itself can begin and the title page created:


This assumes that the toc option was given above.

If this is a technote and a full front page, TOC and Change Log are not needed you may choose instead:


After this the document can be written

Class-specific Macros

This class defines a number of macros that can be used in LSST documents.

Class-specific Environments

The note, warning and draftnote environments are used to call out text into colored boxes for extra emphasis. They each take an optional argument that can be used to title the box. For note environments this title overrides the default text, for the other environments this optional argument augments the text.

\begin{note}[Note title]
  Text for display in box goes here.

The draftnote environment is special in that the contents of these notes only appear when a document is in draft mode.


In lsstdoc.cls the bibliography style is forced to use lsst_aa.bst to ensure that all documents look the same. A number of standard bibliography database files are available from this package and can be added to the search path in addition to local bibliography files:


Detailed descriptions of these different files can be found below in Updating bibliographies, but can be summarized as:


LSST DocuShare entries and tech notes. Technotes are added to this by a daily automatic pull-request.


Publications relating to LSST by members of the Data Management team. This includes unpublished presentations.


Entries obtained from ADS, including arXiv.


Miscellaneous non-LSST documents which have no entry on ADS.


Books which have no entry on ADS.

References should be placed at the end of the document but can come before any appendices.

During development, a local .bib file can be used in addition to the standard files.


When a document has been finalized and ready for release, those entries should be moved out of the local file and added to the relevant files in the global database. This enables a single known set of references to exist.

References can be cited using the following commands:

  • \citeds should be used for LSST DocuShare documents and tech notes. The output will show the document handle rather than the reference number.

  • \citedsp is the same as \citeds but adds parentheses around the document handle.

  • \citep should be used for non-LSST references.

The following LaTeX,


results in this output:

LDM-151, SRD, [LDM-151], [DMSR], [1], [e.g., 3]

where the final two examples would be the reference number. If the authoryear class option is enabled the resulting output is:

LDM-151, SRD, [LDM-151], [DMSR], (Jurić et al., LDM-151), (e.g., Juric et al., LSE-163)

Where the author is used rather than a number but for @DocuShare Bibtex entries the year is replaced by the document handle. This is indicative of DocuShare documents evolving over time, such that the handle is more relevant than the particular year.

Acronyms or Glossaries

A global glossary and acronym files exists in lsst-texmf/etc/glossarydefs.csv. This file has the following format:

Term,Description,Subsystem Tags,Documentation Tags,Associated Acronyms and Alternative Terms,Type

One should note particularly the Subsystem Tags which may be used to differentiate acronyms which are overloaded.

This file is read and processed in conjunction with your tex or rst files by bin/ This script expects to find two text files in the directory with the tex:


Specifies abbreviations which should be omitted from the glossary. One line per abbreviation.


Defines abbreviations which are specific to this document. One line per abbreviation, formatted as Abbreviation:Definition (e.g. CI:Continuous Integration).



Defines abbreviations and glossary entries which are specific to this document. One line per definition os the same format as glossarydefs.csv given above. Only read if myacronyms.txt does not exist.


Only one of myacronyms.txt or myglossarydefs.csv is used you should not have both files. If you have both only myacronyms.txt is used.

To select a tag or tags for the definitions add -t "tag1 tag2" to the call to the script. can generate either an acronyms table or a glossary. These modes are described in the following sections.

The Type column indicates if a specific entry is an acronym or a glossary. An acronym entry provides the expansion of the alphanumeric Term in the first column, which is composed mainly of capital letters and numbers A glossary entry provides instead a more exhaustive description of the Term in the first column, which is in this case composed of one or more comprehensive words.


By default, generates a file called acronyms.tex with a table of acronyms and definitions based on acronyms detected in the document’s tex files. You can include this file in your document using \input{acronyms.tex}.

Example usage: -t "DM"

The -t "DM" flag selects DM definitions over other conflicting definitions.

This can be added to the document’s Makefile for auto-generation.


You can generate a glossary (instead of an acronym table) by passing a -g flag: -g -t "DM"

In this mode, the script parses the document’s tex files looking for acronyms that exist in lsst-texmf/etc/glossarydefs.csv to generate an aglossary.tex. That glossary file contains a set of tex glossary and acronym definitions that use the \gls{} macro in your tex file.


Some definitions refer to other definitions. You may need to run the -g -t "DM" command, including aglossary.tex several times to get them all.

To use the glossary, include the aglossary.tex file before the document begins:



At the point where you wish to have the glossary produced in your tex file, you must add:


You must also wrap terms that appear in the document’s text with a \gls{} command. If you run -t "DM" -gu on one or more tex files the script will update your file and, for definitions in aglossary.tex, add a \gls{} around terms.


We do not suggest adding with the -gu flags to Makefile as it occasionally does something unexpected so you should run it and check the result by building the document.

Output mode

You may output acronyms as text, rst or tex using the -m or -mode flag: -m rst -t "DM"

for example would output an rst file.

The current modes are tex, rst, txt and the default is tex. txt outputs a tab separated list. rst adorns the tex output with RST markup to make an RST table.


Practically all acronym and glossary terms have been translated in lsst-texmf/etc/glossarydefs_es.csv. This file has the following format:

Term,Description in Spanish

The Term must match exactly the term in the glossarydefs.csv.

If you add a new term please also try to add a translation - you may use google translate or a tool like