Create book of abstracts from spreadsheet / google forms#

Lately a friend of mine complained about interoperability of abstract submissions from numerous applicants.

A twitter post from @sj_capella: It might sound silly but it is worrying. We made available an abstracts template for a conference ... I have seen like 20~30 different formats (out of 75 submissions) which made me wonder about #Interoperability

Having the Book of Abstracts is crucial and we faced similar problem organising #NGSchool events.

Note, you’ll need to be somewhat familiar with LaTeX in order to edit the main.tex file to your liking. If you are not afraid of that, the way to proceed is as follows:

  1. Create google form to collect necessary info

  2. Create a new spreadsheet to accumulate responses: Responses > Create new spreadsheet

  3. Download responses spreadsheet as Abstracts.xlsx

  4. Clone abstracts repository

git clone
cd abstracts
# install dependencies
sudo apt install texlive-base texlive-latex-recommended texlive-fonts-recommended texlive-latex-extra make
  1. Edit main.tex to your liking

  2. Copy Abstracts.xlsx to the repository

  3. Create pdf

# prepare abstracts.tex

# create main.pdf
make all

# in the case of problems, just run again this point, but first remove the clutter
rm main.{aux,blg,log,out,toc,pdf}

You’ll find the abstract book in main.pdf.