[OS X TeX] Macintouch report on TeX versus Word

David B. Thompson, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, CFM drdbthompson at gmail.com
Mon Jan 19 18:02:40 EST 2009

On Jan 19, 2009, at 09:55, Alain Schremmer wrote:

> The question, though, is how much "guidelining" NASA needed to  
> provide to those who used Word.MathType. My guess is, a lot less, if  
> any. So, why indeed should they bother with "TeXpertize in their  
> Technical Publications office"?

Interesting point, but I'd like to point out that my research team  
abandoned Word because it was a lot more trouble when working with  
multiple authors. I can't tell you how many hours I spent trying to  
figure out why Word would choose to reformat a segment of the report,  
seemingly arbitrarily, when I pasted in some text. Then I had all  
kinds of issues with floats.

There were so many hours spent in frustration, when my personal  
documents, all prepared using LaTeX, just seemed to "work." One of my  
colleagues was familiar with LaTeX from his graduate-school days.  
Another takes to anything computing like a duck to water. The other  
two just give me Word source and I paste the text and set the  
equations. Setting equations is laborious, but my frustration level is  
much lower.

Our experience was the opposite, but that may have more to do with the  
professionals involved and that we do our own work without a  
publishing staff. My experience might be a lot different if I was  
using an in-house publishing unit. (Although, I have to admit that one  
of our professionals has an in-house publishing unit and still prefers  
to roll his own! ;)

OK, but to my rock...


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