[OS X TeX] wyswyg-TeX for Linux?

Jens Noeckel noeckel at uoregon.edu
Mon Jan 21 22:09:26 EST 2008

On Jan 21, 2008, at 12:58 PM, Christopher Menzel wrote:

> 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).

I don't disagree. LyX's math editor (even with instant preview turned  
off) is in fact the closest to mathematical WYSIWYG one could wish  
for. I'm just wondering how best to sell this all to a Word user, and  
I do think it's to a large extent an issue of letting go of the  
"strict WYSIWYG" mindset.

>> - 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  
> answered.

Absolutely, and some of the best help there comes from PC users.  
Could it be that the "I'm a Mac" ads were wrong? Deep questions that  
LyX'  multiplatform nature confronts us with...

Seriously, most problems on the lyx-users mailing list are (more or  
less simple) LaTeX problems, which is precisely my point.


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