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Sometimes StackExchange sites permit on-topic, soft question, community wiki answers, if they're constructive and interesting enough to the community. I hope this fits.

I'm wondering moments in your TeXing career you learned something

  • that saved you a lot of time
  • improved your workflow
  • led to production of nicer documents

I will post my example that inspired this question and hope to learn useful facts.

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    Always ask yourself, is this package a tool or a prison? – John Kormylo Sep 25 '16 at 22:44
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For the categories

  • that saved you a lot of time
  • improved your workflow

my answer is automation tools! These save me a lot of time and thinking as they automatically compile the needed number of tex runs and the bibliography.

  • for quick documents, like for answering questions on this site, my tool of choice is latexmk
  • for more complex projects I found ltx2any very comfortable to use
  • and ultimately for a maximum of possibilities and control I love to use arara

For a more exhaustive list of available tools, see Tools for automating document compilation

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On math.SE many people are missing good uses of \left and \right.

(\frac45)

v.

\left(\frac45\right)

More detail here: "(" or "\left(" parentheses? (IMO just using \left and \right in simple situations is often an improvement).

Following through to link in comment: The package nath seeks to obsolete this. Even better (but I've never used it so cannot offer an example at this time).

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