[OS X TeX] wyswyg-TeX for Linux?

Christopher Menzel cmenzel at tamu.edu
Mon Jan 21 15:58:34 EST 2008

On Jan 20, 2008, at 9:16 PM, Jens Noeckel wrote:
> On Jan 20, 2008, at 2:54 PM, Chris Menzel wrote:
>> [...LyX good...]
> I can only concur with the recommendation to use LyX. Only some  
> caveats:
> - LyX isn't WYSIWYG. They use the somewhat euphemistic acronym  
> WYSIWYM (what you see is what you mean), but if you tell someone LyX  
> is WYSIWYG you're bound to raise false expectations. In some ways  
> TeXShop is more WYSWYG because you can actually see a faithful  
> preview of your typeset document, whereas LyX should be used with a  
> different mindset - viz., you try not to think about the appearance  
> of the final document and focus on the content instead.  What LyX  
> does very well, though, is to simplify the input process to the  
> utmost degree, thus eliminating almost any chance for producing TeX  
> errors. Of course, the full power of LaTeX is still accessible too,  
> but it's pushed out of the way in the GUI.

I don't want to quibble about the WYSIWI[GM]iness of LyX, but will  
rather simply make two observations.  (1) You can with a single mouse  
click see a faithful preview of your typeset document in LyX, exactly  
as in TeXShop, so LyX is at least as WYSIWIG as TeXShop in that  
regard.  (2) While it is true that you do not exactly get WYSIWYG in  
the LyX UI, it's pretty darn close, especially if you work in "instant  
preview" mode, which actually inserts rendered TeX fonts into the body  
of your document at various points, notably headings and math formulas  
(instead of using LyX's own heading and math fonts).

> - As a LyX user you'll feel much more comfortable if you also  
> understand LaTeX.

+1, though I do know several LyX users who don't know any LaTeX at all  
and have had no serious problems.  Knowledge of LaTeX is useful for a  
LyX user mostly for adding flourishes that LyX doesn't do natively  
(e.g., a list environment of one's own design).

> I think it's a law of nature that one can't expect an application  
> built on top of LaTeX to always work transparently and without  
> causing trouble once in a while. If that happens to a non-LaTeX  
> user, LyX turns into the equivalent of an iPhone without a mobile  
> service provider.

I cannot agree with the analogy.  Unlike the situation with your  
hapless iPhone user, there's a very helpful, responsive LyX-users  
mailing list where non-techie questions are quickly and happily  

Chris Menzel

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