I often hear how better the LaTeX is but the comparisons I have found, did not persuade me. Is there something like "showcase document" containing different kind of formatting, formulas etc. available in PDF in versions made from LaTeX and Word/Writer?

It would be very useful to have such PDFs, which I could print and visually compare and possibly also show to my boss to see if the difference is so noticeable. I am thinking about creating some of our reports in LYX instead of LO Writer.

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    It's not an answer, I better leave it as a comment. I have seen the link you attached before and indeed it's not that convincing (at least to normal people). The best way in my opinion is to try it out! Take a fairly complex document, perhaps with mathematics and images and lots of headers. Type it out in Word then in LaTeX and see the difference yourself (people were amazed just with automatic table of contents \tableofcontents, not knowing it can be done in Word as well, it's not obvious that's why.
    – abdulhaq-e
    Feb 28, 2013 at 11:18
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    – abdulhaq-e
    Feb 28, 2013 at 11:24
  • IMHO you are comparing apples and oranges: Word is not about typography, while TeX is (and InDesign also). Ask any graphic designer and he will explain to you the differences. Most notably: The paragraph breaking done by TeX looks at the whole paragraph, while Word/Libre Office considers only one line at a time. Feb 28, 2013 at 11:59
  • To confirm @Martin 's observation: in Readability and appeal of justified text on GraphicDesign, obviously people vote for lef-aligned text because of "uneven spaces" in justified text. You get uneven spaces only your your line-breaking algorithm does bad job, as I show in the example.
    – yo'
    Feb 28, 2013 at 12:22
  • Martin: I know, however (as you probably know) many institutions create their documents in some office suite and in fact are not able to appreciate the difference. And migrating to LYX is time consuming so for some people would it not be enough justified. I am currently using LO with some typography addon which is able to clean the text a little.
    – Juhele
    Mar 1, 2013 at 10:18

1 Answer 1


Probably not exactly what your are looking for, but illustrating some typographical points is "The Beauty of LaTeX".

Not a comparison of Word vs. LaTeX formatting, but a showcase of impressive LaTeX typography: Showcase of beautiful typography done in TeX & friends

Whether you should use Word or LaTeX depends on your project, IMHO. In general, the more complex, the more LaTeX. But you will need to invest some time and effort to get those impressive results in LaTeX, especially if you want or have to fine-tune the output.

The Word vs. LaTeX is a recurring discussion also on other Stack Exchange sites, see e.g. Is LaTeX worth learning today?; LaTeX vs MS word; Do you use TeX for writing your thesis or only for its composition?

  • thanks for the links. In fact the first one is exact example of what I say - I do not see any significant difference - just small details I would normally never notice. I understand that for complicated documents with unusual formatting it would help much, but we also have things like Scribus... And I am surely not going to learn to write the code - maybe LYX, but surely not "plain latex" editor.
    – Juhele
    Mar 1, 2013 at 10:25
  • Sounds to me that you should not go down this road then, though it would be interesting to hear more about what kind of documents you are talking about (reports alright, but how long, tables, formulas, math, what audience, how many authors/contributors with how much computer knowledge ...?). Martin's comment to your questions applies, but it might not be worth the hassle learing LaTeX just for typography (at least if you only have a small audience).
    – dpprdan
    Mar 3, 2013 at 20:08
  • dapperdan: Ok, mostly year research reports - about 200p, many tables, formulas and figures, index. More than 10 contributors of particular chapters. Their computer knowledge very limited - mostly only MS Word, no chance to switch them to LaTex. Audience limited - government institutions mostly... Currently using LO Master Document + chapters as single ODT files + Mendeley for citations and bibliography. Have to take DOC/X files from contributors and build a final version, revisions done via PDF comments.
    – Juhele
    Mar 4, 2013 at 13:11
  • Stick with Word/LO then. Having to convert all the input to LaTeX too much of a hassle, even when using something like LyX. (It also does not sound as though you could convince all contributors to switch to LyX.) Audience probably also would not appreciate better typography etc. enough to make it worth it. Plus at least Word has improved on this in the last versions (don't know about LO though). Bottom line: Don't do this in LaTeX, better improve LO skills (though you already seem well versed if you put together such reports already). Please accept my answer in case it helped.
    – dpprdan
    Mar 5, 2013 at 14:56

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