[OS X TeX] Imposing Latex on authors of articles

Luci Ellis luci at verbeia.com
Tue Feb 26 20:38:07 CET 2008

On 26/2/08 3:58 PM, "ludwik kowalski" <kowalskil at mail.montclair.edu> wrote:

> 3) Creating Latex input files with formulas is very demanding and
> error-prone. Promoters of Latex often write that it allows
> mathematicians to concentrate on mathematics while formatting is
> performed by computers. Yes, formatting is performed by computers but
> computers must be instructed by humans. Instructing computers is
> demanding and error-prone. Composing Latex files does not help me to
> think about mathematics, or about anything else described in a
> document I am creating. On the contrary, it prevents me from thinking
> about the content.

Many LaTeX-aware text editors have buttons and menus to help users put in
the mathematical content correctly. I concur with some of the earlier
posters that, despite the learning curve, maths is much easier to input in
LaTeX than in Word.

Where I find it indispensable is in automating the fiddly formatting
standards that bureaucracies impose on us. Over the years I have
successfully implemented document classes or packages to match the
overwrought standards of not one but two central banks. I was able to
automate so much more of the process and the styles are so much more robust.
No more authors "fiddling" with the styles, only to have our bureaucratic
publications people change it all back again. Cross-referencing of figures,
tables and sections is far more robust in LaTeX than Word. Nobody seems to
use the automatic numbering for figures and tables in Word because it always
breaks - never in LaTeX.

I will agree that tables are too fiddly, though.

Best regards,

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