There, that feels better :P
Ha, ha, ha!
I know this is the standard today but it isn't made for being user friendly, I would rather spend my time on math :P
For lots of expressions I don't bother with LaTeX at all. For example, I use the BB tags for exponents and subscripts and Greek letters, as well as some square roots and other stuff.
These tags are available after you click Go Advanced, which opens an extended menu across the top and a table of symbols on the right.
If I want to write summations, limits, definite integrals, or nicely formatted matrices, then I use LaTeX. This thread has a nice summary of how to write LaTeX scripts.
there'a an app for iPad that will take your scribbled equation and generate an image or latex code for it:
Using mathematical symbols on the forums I find fairly straightforward, it's the program itself that I find frustrating.
Edit by Borek: link to file on a local HDD deleted.
That program looks great! Too bad I don't have an ipad (or cell for that matter) :)
The trick is to learn to type - and then type on a proper keyboard, not a touch screen or whatever.
Typing with two fingers (or two thumbs) while looking at the keyboard wastes SOOO much time...
My trick is learn how to 'drive' this damn software. I feel like I am trying to write a paper in COBOL with a French instruction manual... :P
Thats not fair to COBOL but it reminded me of a course my friend took on Business Dynamics and Simulation using the language Dynamo. The college didnt purchase Dynamo for their network so instead the business students had to read the book and convert the dynamo code into Basic without a manual for either.
I like your comparison better
Step 1: read http://tobi.oetiker.ch/lshort/lshort.pdf
Step 2: if you want to typeset some math that wasn't in step 1, read http://www.tex.ac.uk/ctan/info/math/voss/mathmode/Mathmode.pdf [Broken]
But if you only want to use LaTeX on this forum, remember it doesn't use "genuine" LaTeX, but some mostly-but-not-always-compatible software called MathJax.
The forum is not at issue, the LaTex software is...
although I would hope they are smart enough to take notice of how user-friendly MathJax and physicsforums has made their software.
What front-end are you using? Out of the ones I've tried texniccenter is the easiest on windows, while Kile the easiest on linux, lots of point and click shortcuts if you don't know the syntax. I typically hit the compile keyboard shortcut (alt+1 in kile, alt+f5 in texnic) every 2 or 3 lines I advance to check for syntax errors, really helps since the debugger sometimes points you in the wrong direction. I don't make nearly as many mistakes now, I've been using it for a year.
Also it helps to tex with a browser window open to google how more obscure things things are done, faster than any of the manuals I've seen. There's always a good dozen or so help forum posts about every latex trick/workaround you can imagine.
Ah hah, I picked up MiKTex and was unaware of other Windows versions.
You wouldn't believe how difficult it is to find those commands in the 'help' manual.
I'll check that out, what about hiring an Editor? We have them for checking grammer, spelling, etc., do you know any good LaTex editors?
I recommend you get TexLive2012 instead of MikTex as your core package, then get the texnic editor on top of it. It has more libraries and IME is compatible with everything I've thrown at it (ie: all the templates I've ever found), minimizing/eliminating the need for installing anything else. Miktex was driving me nuts because it would not compile almost any templates I was using, since it didn't have the necessary (and not too obscure) packages.
I think Kile has a spell checker, texnic might as well but I haven't fiddled with them.
Very good, I will give that a try.
I was thinking more along the lines hiring someone to 'rewrite' an MS Word document to a functional LaTex version but I will try your other suggestion first.
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