I'm trying to make the transition from Word to Latex for mathematical writing. But the more I learn about it, the less sure I am that I should make this transition.

Typographical Quality

For example people say you should chose Latex for it's high typographical quality of the documents. But take a look at this document I created with Microsoft Word 2010: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=8fea31c0accf70f0&id=8FEA31C0ACCF70F0%21183# You should view it in pdf reader, otherwise the fonts are not loaded.

I can hardly imagine that quality of typography would be much better in Latex. Can someone give me some objective arguments why Latex would be of typographical better quality ?

LaTeX is extremely customizable.

Isn't word extremely customizable as well ?

With LaTeX, you have the option to control "content" and "presentation" separate.

I agree that in programs like word or openoffice it's easier (and pretty much the norm) to get sloppy and just do quick manual formatting with a shortcut instead of using proper style definitions and formatting for all your document elements. But, that's not really a good point to switch to Latex. I learned myself not to get sloppy while using Microsoft Word, and I think Office Word has as much as options as Latex has to render styles in your document the way you want it - with these font shapes and sizes, with such and such margins, footnotes, etc.

LaTeX allows typesetting math easily.

"Really - writing \alpha is quicker then searching alpha symbol in GUI. Similary writing x^y is quicker then searching power in list of symbols. I guess with AMS packages included LaTeX have much more symbols then anything else."

Well, Latex allows typesetting math easily. But in Office Word you can use shortcuts for math symbols. For example look at those math shortcuts: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/murrays/archive/2011/11/21/klinke-s-streamlined-math-input-notation.aspx

Σ in Word: S? vs Latex: \sum

ℝ in Word: R" vs Latex: \mathbb{R}

in word: limn vs Latex: \lim_{n \to \infty}

You can make math typing as short as you want in Office Word, the same is not true in Latex.

PDF guarantees same-look on everything. You won't run into problem because the computer you're useing don't have some fonts installed.

Word to PDF is as easy as anything. While you don't need to check how it looks in PDF all the time (as in Latex).

Word can't squeeze a Fourier series (a sum and a set of fractions) into a single baseline of text

Just not true..

etc. etc.

And so I find more arguments like this on the internet, but I'm not really convinced. Except for this argument:

"Superior cross referencing and bibliography management. This is a must for any lengthy work such as an academic paper or research report. Just three commands, \label, \citep and \autoref cover 99% of the use cases. The night before term projects are due, the groups who used LaTeX are sleeping soundly at home while the groups using Word are burning the midnight oil in the computer lab trying to get their cross references straightened out."

Can someone give me more of those good arguments in favour of Latex?

closed as not constructive by Alan Munn, percusse, Scott H., Paul Gaborit, Ryan Reich Dec 9 '12 at 1:08

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    What exactly is the point of this question? If you like Word, use Word. If you like TeX, use TeX. I've voted to close this question as non-constructive. There's some discussion of this here: Why should I use LaTeX. One compelling reason is that Word is a proprietary document format, and TeX files are plain text. – Alan Munn Dec 9 '12 at 0:43
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    Short version of a long answer: Word has adopted TeX typesetting rules quite recently so that might give you an idea why math in LaTeX is better. Also try to introduce some math alphabet and watch your nice document be destroyed on your supervisor's computer. You are shooting your own feet with your argument You should view it in pdf reader, otherwise the fonts are not loaded. Next; try to switch to some other structure after you are about to finish your document and add at least 3 hours and two more complete rereading your document to make sure that you have fixed all the screw-ups. – percusse Dec 9 '12 at 0:45
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    In "LaTeX allows typesetting math easily" you are confusing LaTeX capabilities with the capability of your editor (and any good editor will allow you to create shortcuts) – Guido Dec 9 '12 at 1:07
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    @KasperPeulen I've created a chat room for this if you want to chat a bit about the reasons. chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/6664/why-use-latex-chat – Alan Munn Dec 9 '12 at 2:40
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    @KasperPeulen: concerning typographical quality, one can immediately see your example was typeset with Word as the text is badly justified (the spacing is too loose and irregular: if you care about typography, this is not something you want). See also tex.stackexchange.com/questions/53071/… for more problems of Word. – Philippe Goutet Dec 9 '12 at 8:33