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LaTeX vs MS Word

  1. Sep 26, 2011 #1
    Hi everybody,

    I've got an issue, and I would like your opinion. I'm a PhD student writing a paper, I'm the first author, I've got the idea, I've done (lets say) the 90% of the labour. The method section has a lot of formula, and I'm happy to write it in LaTeX using the templates from the editor of the journal. My boss (which is senior author) doesn't know how to use LaTeX and loves Word, she has to review it, so she asked to forget LaTeX, convert everything in Word, and keep using Word: she said she is the senior author and so she pick which format to use (even if she is not writing it, just reviewing). To me it's a nightmare writing it in Word, especially the formula.
    Do you have any clue about how I should deal with this situation?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2011 #2
    Ah, latex vs word - that argument (and jokes and ribbing) go on in every meeting I attend about papers...

    Anyway, I have a possible solution for you: just have your advisor review the PDF.

    And if that fails, the new Acrobat X version has an improved conversion to word feature that might be very useful. So, you latex up your document, concert it to PDF, then use Acrobat to convert it to Word. Warning - the conversions are not always perfect. But it should save you some time I think.
  4. Sep 26, 2011 #3
    Thanks :-) She is not happy with that either! What kept me going for few months was converting the LaTeX to rtf, then to docx, then send for review, then apply all the corrections back to the LaTeX and keep working with it. Now she decided that this is too troublesome, so I have to use Word and that's it :-( Any other hint?
  5. Sep 26, 2011 #4
    Well it looks like you are writing in Word from now on...

    So I guess that best thing to do is try to figure out a way to make Word very Latex-like. Some people I work with use something called MathType - which is an extension to the word equation editor. I have also heard that google-docs has a very latex-like interface - maybe you can write google-docs to Word files - I don't know.
  6. Sep 26, 2011 #5
    Your advisor wants you to do it in word. So I guess you have no other choice.

    The only thing you could do is convince your advisor that writing in word is very difficult for you.
  7. Sep 26, 2011 #6
    The latest version of Word is already LaTeX like to some extend. For example you can type a/b and it would convert to display form, and you could type something like \alpha and get the symbol, etc. Not everything works, but it is much time-saving than the old click-for-every-thing-you-need format.
  8. Sep 26, 2011 #7


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    It sounds to me like you're stuck with writing this paper in Word, so it's probably best to just suck it up and go with it. Maybe you can get her to spring for a copy of EndNote if she insists on using Word.
  9. Sep 26, 2011 #8
    Zotero is also a nice bibliographic tool for Word. It is also free (to a point). I used it a few months ago while writing a grant proposal collaboratively with a colleague who was not comfortable with Latex. It is really a Firefox extension that hooks into word. Made my life a little easier when writing the paper in Word - worth looking into also.
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