I'm looking for a document format that will be suitable for a large number of notes that I take.

I'm mostly concerned with:

  • Future proof (so that I can always access my notes even if I switch operating systems or word processors)
  • Embedding (ability to embed images, tables, code blocks, math equations etc.)
  • Relatively easy to access and edit (counter example would be PDF)

Would LaTeX be a good candidate?
From what I understand .tex files aren't the best when it comes to reading straight from them, but can you compile the .tex file to something other than PDF?
How hard would it be to maintain a database full of LaTeX files?

  • 1
    You might try asking the people behind Authorea - it's a website for collaborative writing of scientific papers, and commenting on them, and it's based on LaTeX, so they should have useful feedback on this topic. – Sean Lake Sep 20 '16 at 15:13
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    Because tex documents are in plain text, the edit trail (revision control) is very easy to produce and maintain using standard tools (variants of diff, for example). Portability across platforms is unparalleled, I would think. – Steven B. Segletes Sep 20 '16 at 15:13
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    Welcome! Why do you want to compile to something other than PDF? I mean, yes, you can, but I don't see why you'd want to. As mentioned above, plain text is about as future-proof, portable and easily accessible/editable as it gets, is very, very, very easy to combine with version control (I use subversion, but git is another popular choice) and is easy to maintain. .tex files are plain text. LaTeX or ConTeXt make it easy to embed images, create tables, format code listings etc. Support for typesetting maths is, of course, unparalleled even now. – cfr Sep 20 '16 at 15:36
  • Word processors are irrelevant, though. You don't want to use a word processor for editing .tex files. You can easily switch IDE/editor. At a pinch, you can also use any genuinely plain text editor even if it has no special support for LaTeX. What you compile the .tex to is irrelevant for your purposes because you don't need to alter to output. To edit, you edit the .tex file and recompile. – cfr Sep 20 '16 at 15:38
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    If what you really want to ask is whether LaTeX is suitable for you, given that you don't want to learn LaTeX, then, no, LaTeX is not suitable in that case. Even if you plan to use LyX or an online service, you will need LaTeX for the difficult bits and will have far fewer problems if you understand the code also for the easy bits. – cfr Sep 20 '16 at 23:28

protected by Martin Scharrer Sep 21 '16 at 17:09

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