I am very new to LaTex and I have reached a point where Microsoft word is causing too much trouble writing scientific articles and text with data and images.

I have now been reading about the LaTex program. I do not have much of a programming experience from before, but I think it should still be possible to learn pretty quickly.

Have any of you had experience in writing large documents in LaTex from before? If so, what is it like, and what are typical problems? (pros/cons)

closed as too broad by Henri Menke, Mico, darthbith, Charles Stewart, OSjerick Nov 11 '15 at 13:23

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  • 3
    Welcome to TeX.SE. Unless your document is hundreds of thousands of pages in length (let's hope it's not!), LaTeX -- pdflatex, to be more specific -- from any modern TeX distribution will not impose any binding length constraints on your work. Do check out the posting What are good learning resources for a LaTeX beginner? for more information on how to get a good start in LaTeX. – Mico Nov 11 '15 at 9:57

My experience says: Get started with "The Not So Short Introduction to LATEX 2ε". I did my thesis too using LaTeX and the outcome was perfect. Yet back then I was a beginner as well and the mentioned introduction was the perfect guide.

For any other sources: have a look at Mico's comment.

  • Thank you for this! How much time would you say it took you to get somewhat comfortable with using this program? – sLenBoat Nov 11 '15 at 10:35
  • @sLenBoat Quite quickly. As long as you stick to its basics, it's pretty intuitive. You can use a free editor - let's say TeXnicCenter along with a MiKTeX 2.9 distribution. TeXnicCenter will do most of the work for you (eg. inserting images and so on). – Dominik Nov 11 '15 at 11:53

At my institution, we use a style file which is an edited version of mitthesis.sty. When included, it basically ensures that the document conforms to the University regulations, for example margins, line spacing and information contained on the front page.

I would recommend you check if there is one available through your department.

For me starting out with LaTeX, the most awkward part was including images, but it didn't take too long to figure out (I would save my images in a few different formats and work out which one was easiest to put in).

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