Entering math is slick, and within a half an hour I could work as fast as I used to in Frame Maker, much faster than I can using asciimath (with the ton of extra ()'s)

I'm cursed with awful handwriting. I'm trying to find an evironment that does for math what word processing does for writing. Something that I can do algebra as fast with a keyboard as I can with pencil and paper.

What I haven't figured out how to do, is edit.

If I cut and paste one of the following happens:

  1. The entire equation disappears.

  2. I get only one of the nested boxes.

  3. The entire paste replaces only one box in the destination.

  4. I get nothing at all.

This sort of thing comes up frequently. E.g. I discover a mistake in a derivation, and that mistake propagates for several lines unchanged, it is convenient to cut and paste the corrected term into successive equations.

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! Please help us to help you and add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}. For LyX MWE's you might want to see LyX user questions on TeX stackexchange.
    – Adam Liter
    Sep 5 '14 at 3:13
  • Uhm... in my experience, LyX is an awful tool for compose maths. I remember than has a palette very similar to Word. You need to type code, is the fastest way (for me, at least) for type maths in LaTeX or LyX. If you prefer to write by hand and translate it into equations, I think it's possible but I don't know which tool you should use for that.
    – Aradnix
    Sep 5 '14 at 3:16
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    Please always reference your other posts when cross-posting. Here is one of your other posts: latex-community.org/forum/…
    – scottkosty
    Sep 5 '14 at 4:55
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    @Aradnix You seem to be conflating "composing maths in LyX" with "using the maths toolbar in LyX". You can use the toolbar to insert the odd thing that you've forgotten the command for (and the command name then comes up in the tooltip and status bar for you to use next time). But you can type LaTeX commands, using tab completion, and the symbols and nesting boxes will appear visually just as if you'd used the toolbar. Sep 5 '14 at 7:47
  • Sherwood, I'm not really clear on what you're asking. Is it just about cut and paste? Is this moving an equation (or part of an equation) from within LyX to elsewhere in a LyX document, or to/from a LaTeX editor? Sep 5 '14 at 7:53

Ok, if I understand you correctly, you've noticed that when you cut/copy and paste something like a fraction then one of the entries gets lost. I can verify this, and it's a bug in LyX; maybe it would be sensible to add it to their bug tracker. However, it only happens in a very specific situation, which you can usually work around. I suspect that this workaround is all you need to know.

If you copy the two entries in something like a \frac by selecting the two individual entries, and then paste those into another \frac, you'll get the behaviour you describe. However, if you select the whole fraction and paste over the top of the whole fraction you're trying to replace, everything works as expected. You can select an entire fraction with either the mouse or the keyboard by starting or ending your selection just outside the fraction rather than going from top to bottom within it; the difference is very visually obvious.

Usually, selecting the whole fraction is easier than selecting the two entries anyway, and has the same result. The one exception is if you want to change the type of the command (e.g. go from \frac to \binom or something). In that case you'll need to cut/copy and paste the two entries individually. A relatively quick way to do this is to copy (or cut) the first entry, and then immediately copy the second entry; then when you move the target location you can paste the second entry as usual and paste the first entry with the "paste recent" function. To do that from the keyboard, press Alt+E (edit menu) then E (paste recent) then down followed by enter.

This would be more annoying for things that accept more than two entries like \matrix and \multline, but doing the same things with those works fine. The caveat here is that there must be already be enough room to paste everything in the clipboard because LyX won't add rows/columns automatically. (If there isn't space then everything is still pasted, but in an odd overlapping way.)

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