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123

I do not know of LaTeX ever having any disandvantages as compared to Word over the years, other than Word had more funding, so I will only comment on the new (killer) features where Word can't keep up. Macros - been there from day one, include here hundreds of new packages. PGF/TikZ XeTeX and LuaTeX, ConTeXt Microtype The ability to exercise your ...


109

this is not about any improvements in (la)tex. it is only about stability. it is very likely that an article created (and published) in 2000 in latex can be re-used directly today in a volume of "collected works", whereas such an article created at the same time in word will most likely require considerably more work, possibly even rekeying. mathematics ...


106

I find the comparison posted http://www.rtznet.nl/zink/latex.php?lang=en to be very effective- here's a visual If the visual isn't enough, check out the analysis! Where IWS is the inter-word spacing and SD, stands for Standard Deviation, a measure of the variability of IWS (as computed by the square root of the average square deviation from the mean IWS). ...


99

The main reason I gave up Word for LaTeX is so that I could keep all of my documents under version control. You could argue that I could do the same thing with a .docx file, but Git likes .tex just fine, and I can do all the usual cool Git tricks as well.


93

The main advantage I see with LaTeX is that everything's in the open. You can ask a question, like on StackExchange, by quoting straightforward text, and you get an answer in straightforward text rather than "try clicking this menu and that, oh, in Windows 7 this may be in a different ribbon and they self-organize anyway". Word help tends to work better ...


85

Convincing people is difficult. Mainly because we tend to be too conservative. Here are some of my advice for your presentation: Do NOT show about the preamble. If your company was ever to change to a TeX based solution it should be because of its superior functionality inside and that the preamble should be the same for the entire company. Ensure that ...


84

Let's break down the list first; Nowadays Word doesn't have a binary format anymore, the files are just zipped xml files This sounds as if it is a good thing. Word is capable of automatic equation numbering, index generation, table of contents and so on I wish. The gist is there but if you really want to use it on long documents, ...


80

Yes you can do most normal things without problem (and sometimes faster or easier) with word. But what about slightly "unnormal things"? As an example: Write a small equation like e.g. Pythagoras $a^2+b^2=c^2$ in a chapter title -- and then try to get it in an automatically generated toc and in the pdf bookmarks. Or try to change the style and the ...


72

For my personal documents, I use LaTeX for all purposes, since It's easy if you are a routine user, you know the common packages. Basic page layout is quickly done with typearea or geometry. After some time you've got a lot of documents to use as a template or as a start for a similar document. My 16 years old documents still work, such as older articles, ...


71

You should be able to cut and paste mathematics from your web browser to Word (or any of the Micorsoft Office suite). Unfortunately at present you have to make a small edit but any text editor will do for that. Given x=\frac{-b\pm\sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a} Make a small html file that looks like <!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <script type="...


60

I implemented this for a large R&D lab. We produced several hundred (if not thousand) documents per year, and the LaTeX Users' community there wanted to be able to produce documents using 'tex as well as WYSIWYG software. The OP was right in that a well-defined workflow is essential. Part of this is the process, but you may also need to think about ...


54

I tried nearly all methods mentioned in other answers. Eventually, and surprisingly, I found the most satisfactory way to convert is to just open the PDF file in MS Word (2013 or newer), which retained most of the layout. Although you are gonna lose the hyperlinks of cross-references.


47

High level decisions Two major improvements of the last ten years: The large packages (KOMAscript, memoir, pstricks, TiKz, e.g.) matured. The major improvement wasn't the definition of hundreds of new commands or subpackages. The major improvement was the development of high level commands which made writing in LaTeX less »programming while writing«. Users ...


46

Any single-page text in LaTeX could look very similar to one obtained with a WYSIWYG word processors with the appropriate formatting. What make a real difference often at the first glance is the lack of consistency on this format on a whole big document made with a word processors, even when the user is an expert using predefined styles, against the ...


45

I can speak of a real experience with .doc to .tex conversion. The simple rule I have observed is: 5-10 minutes a page, if things go fluently. What exactly is fluently (and how much more do the non-fluent things take): no complicated math, i.e. no large matrices, no equations to be broken to multiple lines etc. (add 5-20 minutes per one complicated ...


44

Word has two big ‘advantages’ over LaTeX: The ability to (a) let you smash together terrible looking documents in minutes, and (b) totally distract you from the content of the document (the text) when you try to correct the mess. Well, this was not about the improvements of LaTeX. The biggest improvement in LaTeX the last years, is the much better ...


43

Elaborating my answer in a comment to the question, this is what I got so far. You need to install Python (I installed python2.7), and lxml and PIL. The easiest way I've found to install the later in Windows is going to http://www.lfd.uci.edu/~gohlke/pythonlibs/, and download lxml-2.3.4.win32-py2.7.‌exe and PIL-1.1.7.win32-py2.7.‌exe (note that you have to ...


43

Most of the greatest recent advantages of LaTeX have been mentioned, but I want to highlight the fact that XeTeX and LuaTeX are among the best systems for multi-lingual documents. In my line of work, I have found that the only truly reliable way of composing documents in different languages, scripts and even dialects is with recent TeX engines and the ...


42

Yes, I use TeX for generally anything that it can be used for. The reasons include: Typing a letter is just like 20 TeX commands added to the text. You get the best hyphenation ever possible. (I'm Czech and Czech language is really complicated considering word-breaking etc., TeX deals it correctly and if not, it can be manually reset) My letters look ...


40

Your colleagues are probably already bored of you droning on about LaTeX's virtues, so you giving a presentation will make it worse. Invite Stefan's Grandma to give a presentation.


38

Your employer is right IMO your employer is not totally wrong. The customer pays him to deliver a product. The most straightforward way that leads to a result is to use the tools one is familiar with. And using familiar tools the results are usually quick and good, since the features and peculiarities of the tools are known. I understand your employers ...


36

This article is an astonishing piece of reckless stupidity. The test was: The participants were instructed to reproduce the source text within thirty minutes. So the hard truth is: With MS Word you can better and faster copy off your neighbor than with LaTeX. And the spell checker of Word is better than the spell checkers of the group of LaTeX users was....


35

The best way to convince is efficiency. Find examples in which the use of LaTeX is far more efficient than MS Office. Of course, these examples should be relevant to your field of work. Possible aspects on which to focus are: Modularity: Don't invent the wheel again, take what's been invented by other people Programmability: A single, cleverly used \...


33

We are comparing the incomparable. Word is a user interface for creating documents and TeX is a language for typesetting. We can say that Word is something like Lyx, but it means that the most important aspect is the user interface. Word generates a special XML language. But the TeX language is much more flexible than this XML. And very important is that the ...


32

Depends on who's defining "nicely". If you live within its constraints, you can get a lot done. But one major difference is how inline math is formatted, especially with single-spaced body text. TeX derivatives tend to handle that sort of thing much better. Example: Word can't squeeze a Fourier series (a sum and a set of fractions) into a single baseline of ...


31

I gave up on pandoc for almost exactly the same reasons you listed. If you are set on using pandoc, the simplest solution may be to just identify environments and packages that cause trouble - and then not use them, or just type the offending stuff directly in to MS Word. I've had a fair amount of luck with going to word documents using latex2rtf to create ...


31

I don't think this qualifies as an improvement, since it's always been that way, but for me the big advantage of LaTeX over just about anything is that I can write documents using the same editor I use for code, and so don't have to retrain my fingers to an entirely different set of commands. For actual improvements, I'd say the ability to go straight to ...


31

As a working scientist, I can answer: no, please do not focus on tricky solutions. First of all, you are going to write a paper, and I guess you will send it to a journal for possible publication. So you should not start a religion war to use a piece of software that will be totally irrelevant for the final purpose. Unless, of course, the journal needs a ...


30

I'm very leery of (collaborative) open-source software which is supposedly better than much more polished commercial software full of "bloat and eyecandy". For a long time I avoided LaTeX, since I assumed the users were just being elitist about an overcomplicated system (needless to say, I no longer hold this opinion). Even so, I have recently (after the ...


29

I would not be satisfied with Word-like layout, and my opinion is if I use typearea or geometry I can get optimal results. Either I decide layout division (typearea) or specify the exact margin values (geometry), so the layout is in my decision. I agree that LaTeX's default values might not be good for everyone, however it's easy to customize. However, ...


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