Monday, April 6, 2009

LaTeX For Lazy People

When it comes to putting figures, equations, tables into Microsoft Word documents or OpenOffice Writer I find it to be a major pain in my head and ass. My head because I have to deal with equation editors, cutting and pasting, alignments and other formatting issues. Two weeks ago I was creating an exam for one of my data comm classes and getting very frustrated with the way that OpenOffice does numbering so I decided to try LaTeX since it seemed to not require any the use of menus, GUIs or other things that I am slowly having less and less patience for.

At first I used Lyx but that was limited in a number of ways, but by studying the source code it generated I started to get the hang of LaTeX
scripting. So in about a week I was just creating my tex documents in vim then converting them to postscript files. Now that I getting comfortable with LaTeX I wonder why I put off learning it for so many years.

It really does make writing easier for me, once I finish my typing lessons the only thing that will keep me from being more productive in my writing will be the time and effort it takes to express an idea well. And as usual that is the hardest part that only practiced discipline can bring.

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