[OS X TeX] Re: Getting students to use LaTeX (and apa.cls)

Bill Rowe bitreader at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 18 21:50:03 EDT 2006

On 8/18/06 at 12:10 PM, macosx at rocteur.cc (@ Rocteur CC) wrote:

>On 17 Aug 2006, at 18:30, Niels Kobschaetzki wrote:

>I believe the big POINT for anyone, not just non tech-savvy people
>is the NON WYSIWYG phobia.

I think there is another issue related to this as well. At the company I work for, Microsoft apps are already installed. And since neither TeX nor LaTeX come pre-installed in a standard Windows environment, there is no simple way to use TeX or LaTeX. Nor is there an easy way for me to get these installed. So, there is a strong bias against non-Microsoft apps here.

>At the office we have 3 types of users, those that use Microsoft
>products and the other use *nix systems, of these *nix people some
>are emacs/vi people who use emacs/Mutt for sending emalis and LaTeX
>for WP. The others uses Kmail and Kate/OpenOffice ...

>I don't think you can easily convince someone who has used MSW/
>OpenOffice to use LateX.

>If someone comes up with a way to show that this:

>{Mr. Joe Smith\\ 2345 Princess St.  \\ Edinburgh, EH1 1AA}

>is an acceptable way of writing, then I think the battle will be

I think you will need a better example. For very simple tasks there will likely be no significant difference in the amount of effort needed to complete them in either Word or LaTeX. And in that case, WSISWIG and the ubiquity of Word wins. But once you go beyond very simple examples and just add a few graphs and equations such as might be found in a typical technical paper, the superiority of LaTeX over Word becomes very apparent.
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