[OS X TeX] rotating vs landscape in two-sided documents

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Sun Feb 11 13:45:50 EST 2007

Le 11 févr. 07 à 18:38, Chabot Denis a écrit :

> Well, thanks to the help of many people here, my report is almost  
> complete and I am very happy with the result, although I hope  
> future reports will allow me to concentrate on content and not on  
> formatting, one advantage of using LaTeX that was not achieved for  
> this particular document...

That is an advantage I have never seen achieved in practice. LaTeX is  
so insistent on imposing a specific formatting, and it may be so  
inconvenient to use at times (think for example of having to combine  
longtable, multline, array and \multicolumn in order to write a midly  
complicated table), that in my experience using LaTeX means spending  
more time formatting and less time writing.

More specifically, LaTeX is nice when you are using a dedicated  
package yielding exactly the desired formatting (for example a  
journal-specific class), and/or when you document contains a lot of  

But when you want to write a memo or report, say, and the standard  
article, report or book classes do not meet your needs exactly, then  
you'll spend an awful lot of time interrupting your workflow to deal  
with some formatting issues, look for some style to accomplish a  
specific task, search a FAQ, post to a mailing list, and so forth. In  
those cases I find it more efficient and stress-free to use a WYSIWYG  
word processor (Pages in my case). The output will possibly be less  
typographically correct, but it will be achieved more easily, and it  
will be possible to devote more attention to the matter at hand  
without having constantly to interrupt the thinking for dealing with  
some formatting issue; it will also be easier to start writing the  
document without having a clear idea of its content or presentation,  
and then reorganize matter, move things around, add columns in table,  
switch columns, and so forth.

I know this is probably a controversial issue on an OS X TeX list,  
but in my opinion (from 15 years or so of intensive TeX use), however  
convenient it may be for maths writing or for using a predefined  
style, LaTeX has failed spectacularly in its aim to allow users to  
concentrate on writing and free them from formatting. In this respect  
plain TeX was more flexible.

Bruno Voisin

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