[texhax] Running LaTex in xp pro w/ open office

Philip Taylor (Webmaster, Ret'd) P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Tue Feb 1 18:21:17 CET 2011

Robert Hauser wrote:

 > *Downloaded LaTex to this platform ----xp pro sp3....

Fine, the same platform as that on which I use it.  Did you
download TeX Live 2010 or some other implementation ?

 > Tutorials only explained symbols used in LaTex but were useless as to
 > how to implement software when Open Office is the no recourse desktop
 > word processor.

No idea what a "no recourse desktop word processor" is.  Open Office
is, as far as I understand it, some sort of free-in-both-senses
alternative to Microsoft Office.  It has no connection with LaTeX

 > In Greenberg's "Short Intro to LaTex" it makes reference
 > to using DOS commands to create a document and the DOS in this system
 > refuses to recognize any of it.

It must have been written a very long time ago.

 > So I understand that LaTex is not a word processor program but a text
 > editor....

No, it is nothing of the sort.  It is a typesetting program, that
accepts human-readable input and produces well-typeset output
(these days, that output is normally PDF).

 > fine...but all I've got to work with is Open Office and none
 > of the instructions tell me jack squat about how to type up a document
 > on Open Office and then "send it" or transmute it or scan it or whatever
 > you are supposed to do to LaTex .....and really that is useless anyway
 > because I am trying to type documents using mathematical expressions and
 > that is next to impossible using Open Office.

I'm sure you have more than Open Office to work on; as you have
XP Pro SP3, you also have Notepad, which is perfect for creating
TeX source code.  And if you have downloaded and installed TeX
Live 2010, you also have TeXworks, which is a dedicated front
end to TeX.  Or you could download and install WinEDT, which
is another dedicated front end.

 > TYhe reason I downloaded
 > LaTex in the first place was for their supposed ease in writing
 > mathematical relationships...

The "ease" of which you speak comes from the fact that you write
what you want to appear, in mnemonic form.  So, for example, for
a square root, you write \sqrt; you don't need to search some
arcane menu trying find out where the square root symbol lives.

 > what good is that if they have to first be
 > typed up in something like Open Office or DOS?

I'm afraid that not even LaTeX will type your documents
for you (any more than will Open Office) : "nothing in,
nothing out" is more-or-less universal in today's world.

Philip Taylor
Not sent from my i-Pad, i-Phone, Blackberry, Blueberry, or any
such similar poseurs' toy, none of which would I be seen dead
with even if they came free with every packet of cornflakes.

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