# Editor for writing papers

by Curl
Tags: editor, papers, writing
 Sci Advisor P: 1,594 $$\begin{bmatrix} 1 & 3 & 5 \\ 8 & 13 & 21 \end{bmatrix}$$ That took like 15 seconds typing. I don't even know where the clicky buttons are to do it the other way.
 P: 757 Ok can I use TeX in MS word? I realize entering equations in TeX is quick but now I'm getting turned off by the formatting conventions in LaTeX. One of the papers has to look pretty, and it seems like a pain to put in images etc.
P: 1,594
 Quote by Curl Ok can I use TeX in MS word? I realize entering equations in TeX is quick but now I'm getting turned off by the formatting conventions in LaTeX.
What formatting conventions are you referring to?

 One of the papers has to look pretty, and it seems like a pain to put in images etc.
To include pictures, the simplest way is

\usepackage{graphicx}

And then you can include .gif, .png, .jpg, etc., using

\begin{figure}
\centering
\includegraphics[width=4in]{flux_cap.png}
\caption{\it Here we see the design of the flux capacitor.}
\label{flux capacitor}
\end{figure}
There are other options you can use besides "width" to set the scale of the picture. However, since LaTeX was designed for printing, you will not have pixel-for-pixel settings, so it may look ugly on your screen. For professional printing, publishers will use vector graphics such as .eps that can be scaled to any size with no loss of detail.

Also, LaTeX will not place an image exactly where you put this code in the source. It will try to find the nearest most logical place, which is usually at the top of a page. It will then re-flow text around the picture. This will be annoying if you are used to manually controlling where your pictures appear. But once you get used to it, you will find it makes more sense. You can simply focus on what content to write, and the image will remain pinned to the top of the page, even if you have to go back and edit your text.

The idea is to separate layout and formatting decisions from the content itself, so rather than agonizing over where things appear on the page, you can just write.
 P: 757 Seems much less flexible. I want to be in control of how the paper looks like. Are there tricks for doing this?
P: 3,016
 Quote by Curl Seems much less flexible. I want to be in control of how the paper looks like. Are there tricks for doing this?
LaTeX gives you FULL control, i.e. maximum flexibility. Yeah there are tricks. You have been using the software for a day now, maybe some practice is in order. Google LaTeX tutorials. There are nearly infinite resources.
PF Gold
P: 765
 Quote by Pengwuino Both of you shut up. I'm trying to prove a point here.
 Quote by Pythagorean points are sharpened with lots of hard work, not proven with an internet post!
And, in this corner, the undisputed...

Sorry guys, I couldn't resist.

Rhody...
 P: 757 I'm hearing everyone says to use MikTex. What's the difference. Also I'm getting confused with the 1000 plugins needed, seems like every feature is a separate install. What's the deal here? What's with TexWorks and TexMaker?
 PF Gold P: 1,160 MikTeX is a LaTeX distribution for Windows. TeXLive is primarily for Linux/OS X, but also supports Windows.
P: 98
 Quote by Curl I want to be in control of how the paper looks like.
Problem is that for most scientific publications, you don't really want to be in control of the typesetting. Only for maybe fixing the last details.

If you don't do science, then don't do latex, but opt for a publishing tool with equation support.
PF Gold
P: 1,160
 Quote by Curl Also I'm getting confused with the 1000 plugins needed, seems like every feature is a separate install. What's the deal here? What's with TexWorks and TexMaker?
LaTeX has additional features through third-party modules called packages. You need to include these packages to access those features with the
\usepackage{}
command.

LaTeX is released as "distributions" which contain the basic typesetting program and a wide selection of the most useful packages. Most distributions include tools for managing additional packages, but sometimes you need to install them manually. MikTeX has an option to download and install needed packages on the fly.

You can find almost all LaTeX packages on CTAN, the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network.
 PF Gold P: 1,159 The equation editor in MS Word 2007 supports lots of stuff very similar to LaTeX, and I use it for quick notes and short papers (but I use MikTeX for bigger stuff). I did however have to set up keyboard macros to go into and out of equation mode as that was driving me mad. I personally use Ctrl-# to start equation mode and Ctrl-Shift-# to end (although I didn't find an "end equation mode" functions so I use a trick instead), where these keys are assigned to the following macros: Sub InsertEquation() WordBasic.EquationEdit End Sub Sub EndEquation() Selection.TypeParagraph Selection.TypeBackspace End Sub
 HW Helper P: 1,987 Have you checked what the 'Instructions for Authors' of the journal you intend to publish says? They may have recommendations or requirements.
PF Gold
P: 1,159
 Quote by Jonathan Scott The equation editor in MS Word 2007 supports lots of stuff very similar to LaTeX, and I use it for quick notes and short papers (but I use MikTeX for bigger stuff). I did however have to set up keyboard macros to go into and out of equation mode as that was driving me mad. I personally use Ctrl-# to start equation mode and Ctrl-Shift-# to end (although I didn't find an "end equation mode" functions so I use a trick instead), where these keys are assigned to the following macros: Sub InsertEquation() WordBasic.EquationEdit End Sub Sub EndEquation() Selection.TypeParagraph Selection.TypeBackspace End Sub
I should point out that the standard keyboard function for switching the equation editor on and off in Word 2007 (and switching to the appropriate ribbon at the same time) is Alt-= and I'm sure that would normally be fine. I don't know why I created macros; comments in my macros source say "turn on equation mode without switching ribbon" but I don't know why I wanted to do that. I'll try using Alt-= for a while and see if it comes to me!

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