# Why do people chose Latex for mathematical writing? [closed]

I'm trying to make the transition from Word to Latex for mathematical writing. But the more I learn about it, the less sure I am that I should make this transition.

### Typographical Quality

For example people say you should chose Latex for it's high typographical quality of the documents. But take a look at this document I created with Microsoft Word 2010: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=8fea31c0accf70f0&id=8FEA31C0ACCF70F0%21183# You should view it in pdf reader, otherwise the fonts are not loaded.

I can hardly imagine that quality of typography would be much better in Latex. Can someone give me some objective arguments why Latex would be of typographical better quality ?

### LaTeX is extremely customizable.

Isn't word extremely customizable as well ?

### With LaTeX, you have the option to control "content" and "presentation" separate.

I agree that in programs like word or openoffice it's easier (and pretty much the norm) to get sloppy and just do quick manual formatting with a shortcut instead of using proper style definitions and formatting for all your document elements. But, that's not really a good point to switch to Latex. I learned myself not to get sloppy while using Microsoft Word, and I think Office Word has as much as options as Latex has to render styles in your document the way you want it - with these font shapes and sizes, with such and such margins, footnotes, etc.

### LaTeX allows typesetting math easily.

"Really - writing \alpha is quicker then searching alpha symbol in GUI. Similary writing x^y is quicker then searching power in list of symbols. I guess with AMS packages included LaTeX have much more symbols then anything else."

Well, Latex allows typesetting math easily. But in Office Word you can use shortcuts for math symbols. For example look at those math shortcuts: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/murrays/archive/2011/11/21/klinke-s-streamlined-math-input-notation.aspx

Σ in Word: S? vs Latex: \sum

ℝ in Word: R" vs Latex: \mathbb{R}

in word: limn vs Latex: \lim_{n \to \infty}

You can make math typing as short as you want in Office Word, the same is not true in Latex.

### PDF guarantees same-look on everything. You won't run into problem because the computer you're useing don't have some fonts installed.

Word to PDF is as easy as anything. While you don't need to check how it looks in PDF all the time (as in Latex).

### Word can't squeeze a Fourier series (a sum and a set of fractions) into a single baseline of text

Just not true..

etc. etc.

And so I find more arguments like this on the internet, but I'm not really convinced. Except for this argument:

"Superior cross referencing and bibliography management. This is a must for any lengthy work such as an academic paper or research report. Just three commands, \label, \citep and \autoref cover 99% of the use cases. The night before term projects are due, the groups who used LaTeX are sleeping soundly at home while the groups using Word are burning the midnight oil in the computer lab trying to get their cross references straightened out."

Can someone give me more of those good arguments in favour of Latex?

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## closed as not constructive by Alan Munn, percusse, Scott H., Paul Gaborit, Ryan ReichDec 9 '12 at 1:08

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What exactly is the point of this question? If you like Word, use Word. If you like TeX, use TeX. I've voted to close this question as non-constructive. There's some discussion of this here: Why should I use LaTeX. One compelling reason is that Word is a proprietary document format, and TeX files are plain text. –  Alan Munn Dec 9 '12 at 0:43