# Nice LaTeX package: fixme

In writing my dissertation proposal, I came across this nice little LaTeX package called fixme. It provides new commands to insert notes on things that should be fixed in a document. A common way of putting these type of notes in a LaTeX document is to use comments in the .tex file, but the downside there is that there is no trace of it in the output document, so they are easy to forget about and people reviewing your PDF will never see them.

fixme is part of TeX Live 2009, so for most LaTeX users can just say \usepackage{fixme} in their preamble and start using it. You can add different levels of corrections (from note to fatal), and they are displayed in the document in a variety of formats like margin notes, footnotes, etc. The package also prepares a list of corrections which you can use to keep track of things you need to fix.

The nice thing is that when you switch your document from draft to final mode, fixme removes all the comments and the list of corrections, except for fatal ones, which cause compilation to fail. So all the notes about minor stuff that can wait until the next revision disappears from the final copy, but anything you marked as fatal will have to be fixed before you can generate a PDF.