Lab report writing software? (Mac)

In summary, you should use latex because it will be well worth taking the couple of days to learn how to use it now, especially if you're planning to go on to further study. Additionally, I would suggest LibreOffice because it is licensed under GPL.
  • #1
quozzy
15
0
Hi all,

so... now that I have to write lab reports at uni level, I'm starting to wonder what software would be best suited for the task. Currently, my workflow goes like this:

  • iWork Pages (or MS Word) for the actual report.
  • imported LaTeX (or Mathematica) PDFs for mathematical equations
  • imported OmniGraffle PDFs for diagrams of apparatus/circuits/whatever
  • imported Excel PDFs for data-based tables/regression graphs/etc.
  • occasionally, imported Mathematica (or Grapher.app) PDFs for purely mathematical graphs

Obviously, this is ridiculously inefficient. The way I see it, I've got the option to either learn proper Mathematica layout (which I suck at. I don't even know how to hide the input boxes I don't want...) and consolidate all my work to that (except maybe diagrams, I don't think it can do those too well), or find some other solution. Which is why I'm asking you folks.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
-q
 
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  • #2
You should use latex-- it'll be well worth taking the couple of days to learn how to use it now, especially if you're planning to go on to further study.
 
  • #3
I used to use Word for the actual report, do the analysis on the data in Excel (and copy and paste the resulting graph into Word--yay for Office COM). Plus there's an add-in for Word (which I don't believe is installed by default) Equation Editor (the cut-down version of MathType which used to be the defacto high school math teacher test-writing program)

The integrated nature of Office does come in handy sometimes.

EDIT: Installing Equation Editor for Word:
http://www.technipages.com/word-2007-enable-equation-editor.html
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #4
Go for LaTeX. It has been around for as long as computers, and is completely up-to-date.

Cheers
 
  • #5
I use LibreOffice (seems faster over OpenOffice or NeoOffice) to write up technical stuff on my Mac. It has an integrated TeX-like formula editor and is free. The drawbacks are that its spreadsheet program isn't great, and copy/paste from other spreadsheets (like Excel) don't work that well. The reason I've stuck with this so far is because of the requirement to show tables of data in the typical undergrad report. There's likely a way to import Excel into LaTeX but I couldn't figure it out.

That said, I think all roads lead to LaTeX eventually.
 
  • #6
Sorry, one more thing. If possible, get away from Excel and learn a data analysis language/package that can make some sexy graphs. R, MATLAB, Gnuplot, Root, etc. are all excellent and are very useful to know in general anyway. Finally, I once tried to do everything in Maple (it has a worksheet mode like Mathematica) and it was an incredibly frustrating experience--programs like these aren't designed to write reports.
 
  • #7
Hello,

samson smith said:
Hello sir_manning, you are right but Openoffice is also the best software for word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, graphics, and many more. This software is come in many languages and mostly works at all the computers. The most important it stores all the data in international open standard format. You can free download this software from the internet by entering the keyword on the Google search engine.

So is LibreOffice. As a matter of fact, LibreOffice developers are mainly coming from the OpenOffice project, after Oracle mingle in the license.

I would suggest LibreOffice, if you are looking for an office suite. It is licensed under GPL, which can only mean that it is the best in the west.

Cheers
 

Related to Lab report writing software? (Mac)

1. What is a lab report writing software for Mac?

A lab report writing software for Mac is a computer program designed specifically for scientists and researchers to organize and write their scientific reports. It helps users to structure their reports, add tables and graphs, and properly cite their sources.

2. How is lab report writing software different from regular word processing software?

Lab report writing software is specifically designed for scientific writing, unlike regular word processing software which is more general. Lab report writing software typically includes features such as data analysis tools, citation management, and templates specifically for lab reports.

3. Is lab report writing software for Mac user-friendly?

Yes, lab report writing software for Mac is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. It often has a simple and organized interface, making it easy for users to navigate and use the various features.

4. Can lab report writing software for Mac handle large amounts of data?

Yes, most lab report writing software for Mac can handle large amounts of data. They often have tools for data analysis and visualization, making it easier for users to organize and present their data in their reports.

5. Are there any free lab report writing software options for Mac?

Yes, there are some free lab report writing software options for Mac, such as LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice. However, they may have fewer features compared to paid software options.

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