LaTeX notes with ACM style

29 May 2024

Having recently (albeit unsuccessfully) submitted a paper to an ACM conference, I came to really like the ACM Primary Article Template. It feels modern, it’s the right kind of opinionated-with-good-defaults for my brain, and it’s reasonably well documented. Developing this kind of stuff is the kind of thing professional societies ought to be doing. Thanks, the ACM!

However, it’s not particularly compatible with the bog-standard article style that is the standard way to start stuff from scratch in LaTeX. And if you want to start a clean document to think in or to share a quick note, the ACM template is adding a lot of visual and cognitive nonsense. (No, ACM, I don’t want to look at an ISBN and DOI right now, and this has neither a conference nor journal name, it’s going in an email.)

So here, for my personal reference as much as anything else, is a LaTeX document that works in Overleaf in 2024 that manipulates the acmart template in what feels, to me, like a reasonable and minimal way.

%% Extra classes and definitions here

\acmYear{Not for distribution}
\acmConference{Draft}{Author Name}{\today}
\citestyle{acmauthoryear} % Remove for [n]-style cites

\title{The Title Is Required}

%% Your stuff here

% Uncomment for bibliography
% \bibliographystyle{ACM-Reference-Format}
% \bibliography{main}

By misusing acmConference options and not declaring authors, every page ends up with a header saying “Draft, Author Name, Today’s Date.” By misusing the \acmYear option, a seemingly-mandatory line at the bottom of the front page says something reasonable about the draft status. (Deleting this leaves an awkward period.) Everything else seems like a reasonable and documented use of the ACM package, so it should work for drafting stuff that you eventually want to include in an acmart document, or pulling stuff out of an acmart document for review or editing.

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