# Who uses Latex?

#### pruse

Latex makes for prettier formulas and presentations, but I, personally, find it very inefficient.

Absurdity indeed is a common theme here.

If it's so "inefficient," then how about naming a mathematical typesetting language that is efficient.

#### Lyosha

##### Psychic in Training
I meant in comparison to writing. I don't know any mathematical typesetting languages aside from Latex...

#### daleholborow

Anyone writing up a thesis would be advised to check out LyX, as someone else has already mentioned in this thread. It produces Latex output, but lets you keep from tearing out your hair in frustration which can result from working on the Latex markup directly. I'd do up all my assignments and thesis using Lyx, but I'd have gone mad trying to do the same with notepad writing latex markup.

I agree with Andy, Latex is still very much the standard in maths/physics departments in my experience.

#### Yike Lu

##### Finder of biased coins.
but I'd have gone mad trying to do the same with notepad writing latex markup.

With appropriate shortcuts/plugins (VimTeX as I mentioned for instance) and the generally faster rate of typing (80 WPM... can you write that fast?) mathematical typesetting can come close to handwriting in terms of efficiency. Another point - one big reason I typeset my assignments is so I can voice my reasoning process more completely. When it comes to putting down standard English, writing by hand is far too inefficient in comparison with typing.

Edit: additional efficiencies for copy and paste. Not to mention you can copy LaTeX formulas straight from Mathematica, Wikipedia... etc....

#### tobias elbert

Have you tried OpenOffice's Maths? It's a pretty good editor - it has it's own typesetting language that's very close to LateX and renders instantly to the document.

Latex makes for prettier formulas and presentations, but I, personally, find it very inefficient.

Someone (a mathematician) once told me "when I see someone give a presentation and it's a powerpoint, I think 'amateur'. But anyone who latexes their homework is a madman..."

Not saying I agree (I'm closer to engineer than mathematician at heart... and that means whatever works - works well), but just throwing that out there... :p

So me writing 95% of all my homework assignments in Word+MathType will be a lost case of mental disorder?

Funny story, about two months ago I'm going to get some coffee from the lounge and one of the professors he taught me is there, so he immediately recognized me and talked to me about how organized were the typed solutions I did and that they actually use them as a reference lol

Yes,he isn't the best lecturer in the world as can be expected by this behavior , but at least he is a world renown name in his field

#### Prashant.Kumar

I use and love latex, and yes:
- people use it to write peer-reviewed journals.
- I find it makes more pleasing, beautiful documents with minimal boilerplate over the equivalent Word document (especially as mathematical equations are concerned).
- I love how I can go straight to pdf via pdflatex.
- complicated symbols are easy to input via latex macros.
- I love how graphs are easy through gnuplot (with the latex terminal).
- References are impossible to screw up, and redoing the reference style/bibliography style is as easy as changing a single option.

And while yes, I do latex my homework and I could agree that it could be considered overkill, I find two benefits.
First, it practices my latex (perhaps that's a bit circular ), and second the teachers remember me very clearly should I desire to go back to them for a reference letter.

I use and love latex, and yes:
- people use it to write peer-reviewed journals.
- I find it makes more pleasing, beautiful documents with minimal boilerplate over the equivalent Word document (especially as mathematical equations are concerned).
- I love how I can go straight to pdf via pdflatex.
- complicated symbols are easy to input via latex macros.
- I love how graphs are easy through gnuplot (with the latex terminal).
- References are impossible to screw up, and redoing the reference style/bibliography style is as easy as changing a single option.

And while yes, I do latex my homework and I could agree that it could be considered overkill, I find two benefits.
First, it practices my latex (perhaps that's a bit circular ), and second the teachers remember me very clearly should I desire to go back to them for a reference letter.

There are a few more reasons why I do all my assignments / summaries / whatever on the computer.

1.It's much more organized than keeping a huge number of notebooks (here and there I also make lecture notes to the course I participate).

2.It's easier to edit in case you find a mistake later on.

3.You never lose it and can always go back to it in a few seconds, and as mentioned above it's much more organized than any handwritten document I can produce (my handwriting sucks lol).

I will try Latex, all of you recommended it so it must be good, I'll probably start next week or after it when I'll get back to work on my thesis

#### Prashant.Kumar

Woot a convert!
You ever need some example documents, I'll be happy to provide you with some of mine

(\LaTeX) is the shizzle!

My academic career has been long enough to be on both sides of handing in homework typed up in latex. It's awesome. I found it incredibly helpful in learning and getting practice with latex, especially complicated formulas. For one class I even set up commands to typeset all the steps of the solution to some kinds of problems, I would just have to fill in a couple arguments and it would produce beautiful pages of explanations about how to derive the answer. I think writing those macros helped me understand the material more than actually doing the work directly.

Another thing... when evaluating resumes, it is incredibly obvious which ones were typeset in latex. Among the people I know, knowing and using latex is a big shibboleth. It's one of those things that shouldn't really matter for someone's resume, but of course it does. Badly formatted DOC files full of jargon are much more likely to end up in the "bozo" pile; perfectly formatted latex resumes tend to end up in the "consider" pile.

#### Andy Nguyen

Another thing... when evaluating resumes, it is incredibly obvious which ones were typeset in latex. Among the people I know, knowing and using latex is a big shibboleth. It's one of those things that shouldn't really matter for someone's resume, but of course it does. Badly formatted DOC files full of jargon are much more likely to end up in the "bozo" pile; perfectly formatted latex resumes tend to end up in the "consider" pile.
^ this.
I've seen many horribly formatted resumes (in .doc) that included with MFE applications that will get thrown out in the trash bin at the first glance. When you send in your paper in .doc format, you are at the mercy of the receiver's printer. At the minimum, use PDF format.

#### Prashant.Kumar

Totally agree with what you say Andy, though some places refuse the PDF and ask for the doc. The LaTeXer in me weeps for a moment.

#### atreides

(\LaTeX) is the shizzle!

My academic career has been long enough to be on both sides of handing in homework typed up in latex. It's awesome. I found it incredibly helpful in learning and getting practice with latex, especially complicated formulas. For one class I even set up commands to typeset all the steps of the solution to some kinds of problems, I would just have to fill in a couple arguments and it would produce beautiful pages of explanations about how to derive the answer. I think writing those macros helped me understand the material more than actually doing the work directly.

Another thing... when evaluating resumes, it is incredibly obvious which ones were typeset in latex. Among the people I know, knowing and using latex is a big shibboleth. It's one of those things that shouldn't really matter for someone's resume, but of course it does. Badly formatted DOC files full of jargon are much more likely to end up in the "bozo" pile; perfectly formatted latex resumes tend to end up in the "consider" pile.

Seems like we have some hard core folks here .. I've always though about doing homework write ups in Latex, but never summed up the courage to attempt it... so far just resume and research papers.

^ this.
I've seen many horribly formatted resumes (in .doc) that included with MFE applications that will get thrown out in the trash bin at the first glance. When you send in your paper in .doc format, you are at the mercy of the receiver's printer. At the minimum, use PDF format.

This is why I started doing my resume / important docs in latex. PDF files will print the same every where

#### Lyosha

##### Psychic in Training
Up until very recently my resume was in .txt format... and it looked fine (and was VERY flexible ). Keeping resumes in .txt format is a trick - that way it can be easily copied and pasted anywhere. If need be, yes, even in MS Word and a bit of eye candy added in about 5 minutes should you so desire. After I graduate I have plans to go back to my roots with that regard...

#### KaiRu

As for LaTex there is a great side called - CV Inn with a very neat introduction how to write your CV in LaTex - http://www.cv-templates.info/

As for .doc it is indeed a very bad choice. If you still want to use MS Word format then you can save it in .rtf.
- rtf can be read on a many plarforms with many programs
- rtf doesn't allows macros so it's more secure for recepient to open it
- rft doesn't contain hidden data

I've also seen few people with CVs in html - it's still a text so recruiters can grep, everyone has browsers now and with html and css tricks CV can look like a candy.

^ this.
I've seen many horribly formatted resumes (in .doc) that included with MFE applications that will get thrown out in the trash bin at the first glance. When you send in your paper in .doc format, you are at the mercy of the receiver's printer. At the minimum, use PDF format.

What's the problem in converting Word to PDF? It takes 5 sec

#### vuze

Ohad If you don't want to try Latex just don't. I doubt that you would manage to convince me and most of the other people here who have used Latex for a while that Word Add Ons (MathType) is better. It just isn't.

Ohad If you don't want to try Latex just don't. I doubt that you would manage to convince me and most of the other people here who have used Latex for a while that Word Add Ons (MathType) is better. It just isn't.

Let me guess, you haven't actually read this thread , right?

I will try Latex, all of you recommended it so it must be good, I'll probably start next week or after it when I'll get back to work on my thesis

I was simply stating that converting to PDF isn't a capability that only Latex have,hence in that regards Andy's argument fails.

#### vuze

Let me guess, you haven't actually read this thread , right?

I actually have read it.

#### Andy Nguyen

What's the problem in converting Word to PDF? It takes 5 sec
Yes, you can but they don't.

Replies
4
Views
450
Replies
2
Views
593
Replies
2
Views
674
Replies
18
Views
4K
Replies
2
Views
1K