# Should I make the leap of learning tex or remain a downstream user and support requester? [closed]

I have been using latex and beamer for about 8 years, doing mostly basic tasks and occasionally using more advanced features. Recently I have been motivated to create my own beamer theme and discovered that using other people's code is a barrier to my ability to customize my documents/slides.

My question is, should I go through the long process of learning tex? Or remain looking for examples which fit my immediate task and continue requesting support on sites like this and forums?

It does not seem to be an easy to read/understand language framework, so what are the benefits in the future? A possibility would be to finally understand what some commands perform such as \hbox, leavemode etc.

## closed as primarily opinion-based by user36296, Zarko, Kurt, diabonas, BordaigorlSep 15 '17 at 20:25

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

• This question is not easy to answer, therefore I will just comment. I think learning (La)TeX is worth its effort. If you're able to not only use but also understand other people's code you will see that your possibilities are "endless". Sometimes it is even better to know something more, because it enables you to avoid incompatibilities and other common problems with foreign code. – TeXnician Feb 6 '17 at 18:02
• Think of it as a long-term investment. It pays dividends. If that doesn't convince you, contemplate using Microsoft Word for the rest of your life. – Steven B. Segletes Feb 6 '17 at 18:05
• @StevenB.Segletes, wow, what a motivational comment, I am now thinking of ordering a TeX book for my kindle tonight. – Vass Feb 6 '17 at 18:07
• I don't understand the or between your alternatives. By looking at examples you will automatically learn something about TeX. Do a bit of background reading now and then (LaTeX manual, LaTeX companion, the TeXbook) or research the meaning of some commands that occur frequently (by asking in a forum or looking them up in books or somewhere on the internet). This way you will gradually get a better understanding. Systematically reading e.g. the TeXbook as a whole (to "learn" TeX) might take quite some time and is less effective. – gernot Feb 6 '17 at 18:08
• take advantage of the resources listed here: What are good learning resources for a LaTeX beginner?, end especially this answer: tex.stackexchange.com/a/160999/579 (even if you're not a novice there's a lot to be learned there.) – barbara beeton Feb 6 '17 at 18:43