Dear LyX devs,
I discovered LyX sometime in 2007 (LyX 1.4.3?) and it served wonderfully
for the kind of tasks that my dear old Word 95 simply couldn't handle --
big mathematics documents full of equations and diagrams and
cross-references. It was the cross-references that seemed to grind Word
to a halt. LyX has continued to improve and I use it now for all my
'considered' writing, but until recently I still resorted to Word 95 to
write letters to friends and family -- for 'casual' writing.
Using LyX 'out of the box' for such writing produces two problems.
Justified text in an informal letter, to a close family member or
friend, just seems wrong, almost pompous. And the default margins are
far too generous, bringing forth barbed comments about the unnecessary
cutting down of trees. Okay, LyX lets me choose flush left paragraphs to
give a ragged-right effect and I can adjust the margins to the sort of
values I used in Word, 2.5 cm top, bottom, left and right for A4 paper.
But with about 90 characters to a line (12 pt type), to my eye you need
more than just extra space to distinguish paragraphs, and for that
matter first line indentation alone also doesn't seem to be enough. What
is needed is what Word so easily provides: both first line indentation
AND extra space.
Which is what the following module achieves (I make no pretence at
coding competence; I arrived at this by bumbling and fumbling):
ragged-right, first line indented and extra-spaced paragraphs. Instead
of having to fire up an 'opposition' word processor to create an
informal letter to family or friend, I can now do this easily from
within LyX. (The 2.5 cm margins still need to be set explicitly from
Whether this module meets your approval or not, I think use-cases of
this kind should be easily accommodated by LyX. Although the result is
not an elegant document, it is also not a random assemblage of
formatting elements. Ragged-right, indenting and extra spacing have a
rationale. In any case, LyX becomes habit-forming, and I resent having
to go elsewhere to do ANY kind of writing.
# Adds a ragged-right, first-line-indented paragraph
# environment with paragraphs separated by extra space.