[OS X TeX] Macintouch report on TeX versus Word
loki at uchicago.edu
Mon Jan 19 18:28:58 EST 2009
My experience is a little different, but it may be worth reporting.
I have transcribed two books (Freeman Dyson's "Advanced Quantum
Mechanics" and Lillian Lieber's "The Einstein Theory of Relativity").
The first was, after I posted it to the arXiv, picked up by World
Scientific. They are used to LaTeX and had no trouble at all making
such adaptations as they wished to my LaTeX source. The second was
going to be reset laboriously into Quark. The guy that was going to do
it wanted USD 8 a page, which would have been ruinously expensive to
the publishers. I volunteered to do whatever they wanted. It was a
little time consuming but not really terrible (had to put proof marks
in and learn how to do that; had to change the font for pagination,
and so on.)
I think that the publishers of the world (whether or not they do
mathematics) would save themselves a lot of time, money and grief were
they to set a few of their team to learn LaTeX. I was told by my main
liaison at the Lieber publishers that most typesetters he was familiar
with were "terrified" of LaTeX. I find this astounding.
God only knows what time and money have been wasted by people
wrestling with the capricious behavior of various releases of Word.
U of Chicago Laboratory Schools
On Jan 19, 2009, at 5:02 PM, David B. Thompson, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE,
> 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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