[texhax] TeX v. Word, etc.

Michael Barr mbarr at Math.McGill.CA
Mon Aug 21 13:52:09 CEST 2006

Naturally this list will not find many to argue the Word side, but let me 
add what I consider one of the more important reasons to prefer TeX.  Take 
a Word file from 20 years ago and try to read it with any software around 
today.  I recently took a paper of mine from 1986, written for an early 
version of Latex2.  I was able to bring it up to 2e in about a half hour 
and it took that long only because I used a couple of exotic fonts and had 
to figure out the NFSS.  Even more impressive was a book done in a beta 
version of Latex and published in 1984.  It took more work, but only 
because I redid all the diagrams into diagxy.  The editor had originally 
made up macros for them, but we never got them.  Had we, it would have 
been much faster.

Actually, the above is mainly true for any markup language.  The source is 
in ASCII and can be manipulated by any editing program.

Michael Barr

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