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Utilities and tricks

This page presents a collections of useful utilities and tricks to improve the daily workflow.


CERN provides access to O'Reilly resources at this

link or, directly,


VS Studio

We suggest to use as text editor (integrated with Git/GitLab/GitHub) VS Studio.


As an alternative of Mathematica or sympy from python you can test Maxima.

Data from a plot

If you want import data from a plot that you have in png/gif/... format you can try WebPlotDigitizer

Blender for 3D graphics

Just for fun, you can do nice animation using Blender (quite a complex code). Perhaps there is a potential to visualize your problem.

Git and Overleaf

You can git clone/push/pull a Overleaf repository. You find the git address of your project on the Menu > Git. Pay attention to respect the Overleaf naming guidelines (no empty spaces in file names).

High quality plots

In order to improve the editorial quality of your plot in \LaTeX documents you can use the tikzplotlib package.

Trello for your work planning

An interesting utility for planning your work is Trello. This is not integrated with the CERN IT services but we are not aware of an alternatice CERN IT service.

Mattermost at CERN

Mattermost is an open-source, self-hostable online chat service. It is designed as an internal chat for organisations and companies, and mostly markets itself as an alternative to Slack.

Markdown Cheatsheet

To improve your editing skills in Markdown (and therefore, for this site), you can find useful tips in the cheatsheet available by clicking

CERN or commercial provider?

CERN IT offers many services which are comparable to ones offered by commercial providers. Here is the complete comparison list.


SWAN (Service for Web based ANalysis) is a platform to perform interactive data analysis in the cloud.

In particular have a look to the Example Galleries.


For sharing and sketching your idea in a fast a practical way.


Mendeley is a desktop and web program produced by Elsevier for managing and sharing research papers,discovering research data and collaborating online.

See also a CERN Bulletin article on mendeley.


Use Overleaf for latex concurrent editing. It features also review capabilities.


Take a screenshot of math and paste the \LaTeX into your editor, all with a single keyboard shortcut.


UDEMY is an elearning platform offering on-line courses (they are not for free, see wiki). There is a UDEMY/CERN agreement described here.

git and terminal commands

A synthetic list of the most frequently used git command can be found here.

10 ways to filter a pandas dataframe

Filtering (sub-setting) a collection of information is a typical task in data crunching. This article presents 10 ways to do it usign pandas dataframes.

It is possible to import directly the bibliography of Mendeley on Overleaf (see here). Therefore is very convenient to share your bibliography's presentation using a Mendeley group (see an example here).