Where can I find TEX or LaTEX converters (from TEX language to a Word file)?
You might begin by looking here:
I remember seeing a question on StackOverflow about this, although I don't think it was this one:
At any rate, every time I see this topic discussed, there's always a sizable contingent wondering "why?" LaTeX and MS Word have different attitudes toward design and fill different roles in the document preparation process, so I expect that it will always (for the foreseeable future) be a major hassle to convert from one to another.
Plus the output never looks as good in Word. To this day, when I see something written in a word processor that's anything more than plain text (i.e. a story), it almost hurts to read. (Seriously... it's the same feeling you get when you're looking at something flashing in a bright obnoxious color)
I want something that will convert TEX notation to (like "sqrt(2)") to mathematical symbolism (the actual square root symbol over two). I don't care if it converts to Word, or Adobe, or whatever.
Are there any converters that DON'T require a degree in computer engineering to use? These programs are incredibly obtuse and difficult to install and operate.
not really. the latest versions of texlive (versions for windows and max os X) are quite easy to install and maintain. It may take more time to get output from them than it does from a word processor, but that's because with latex you need to think about how you want material organized, and what you want to say, while in word (as an example: you could also say open office or others) you can get output almost immediately. of course, getting output that looks reasonable (let alone nice) is more difficult. the amount of time I've spent setting up "styles" for consistency in word does not differ significantly from the time spent learning the syntax and methods of latex.
of course, I began using tex/latex in 1988, when I began typing my dissertation, but the learning curve has eroded significantly since then.
so why use latex? the control of the output, journal requirements, and the ability to use the same file on multiple operating systems. I can use the same latex file in windows (required at school), mac, and linux - all free. That's not so easy with word (especially the free part).
And, while other people may be more patient than I am, I find the equation editor that is bundled with word to be worthless (same for the commercial version), and have never been able to do the things with it that are easy to do in latex.
Finally, I've been asked "what about the quick letter to someone - do you use latex for that?" No, I have fountain pens and paper for those letters. Since, even for me, a written letter is for special occasions, I don't mind taking the time to hand write.
So, look around the web, at tug.org, and other places, get one of their latex distributions, and give it a try. you put a good amount of work into your math/physics/engineering/whatever work (I assume, since you're looking at this site) - why shortchange your work by using word for a poor-to-middling presentation?
p.s. I've just looked in the dictionary, at the entry for ``curmudgeon'' - I really must update my picture - I've changed a great deal since that one was taken. :)
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