?  Isn't LaTex a non-WYSIWYG application, though? I can't imagine working that 
way in this century. I don't think I've done that since Wordstar. :)


?  Mike Wickham

Absolutely correct that it is non-WYSIWYG for the text input. So, it does 
require a change in thinking when writing.

However,


(a)    There are plenty of editors that allow the input text files to be simply 
previewed ... almost as you type, with full support for automated instruction 
entry, so that you can see the expected final output (which is PDF in my case) 
in a hurry. With today's fast computers, the regeneration of the PDF output on 
my system - even for multiple hundred page documents - takes less than 5 to 10 
seconds, and usually far less.

a.      I am sure that there are more options, but what I have found to work 
very well is: TeXstudio available at http://texstudio.sourceforge.net/. This 
editor handles all the language issues of LaTeX cleanly and allows me to focus 
on the writing. With pdftolatex support built into TeXstudio, I can preview the 
PDF side-by-side to the input text, almost as fast as WYSIWYG editors!

(b)    Far too often, people - particularly novice writers and the engineers we 
like to pejorate (is there such a word? :)) - spend more time on paragraph and 
document formatting and less on the content. Using a text editor to create the 
content is actually a better approach.

a.      When I first started using FrameMaker, I would start by editing the 
text and then later add the formatting where I wanted. Later, when I had a set 
of documents already written, I could simply re-use one to get the correct 
look-and-feel.

b.      If anyone now provides me input for one of my documents - usually in 
Word - I simply save it as a text file, bring it into my LaTeX document as an 
include file, and then can quickly add the LaTeX instructions to make it have 
the correct headers, formatting and the like. Quick and easy!

So, for me, the advantages of LaTeX, particularly when used with an editor that 
handles adding the instructions (like TeXstudio), are very workable. I used to 
use LaTeX decades ago with more pain, but today's amazing community support 
(from the millions of users it has) and fast computers (to preview the output 
in almost real-time) has made it a simple re-adoption. As Mikey says, "Try it, 
you'll like it!". :)

Z

 It's nice to know there is a free alternative to FrameMaker, which has become 
very overpriced lately. They went from $400 for an upgrade every 2 or 3 
versions to $400 to upgrade only one version.

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