On Fri, June 16, 2006 10:10, Sven Schreiber wrote:
Talha Yalta schrieb:
> I searched the web and found a latex editor called LYX. It looks very
> neat but do you think it is worth learning how to use this program?
> Are there better alternatives? Which programs do you fellow economists
> use for writing articles?
Lyx is great! I used to write papers directly in Latex with editors like
Kile or WinEdt or Texniccenter (like the others recommended, and those
are good editors indeed), but with Lyx I am (and you will be) a lot more
productive, especially with formulas. For basic usage, there is very
little you have to learn to use Lyx. For troubleshooting and workarounds
at some point you will need to enter some Latex constructs in your Lyx
document, but that's exactly the point: You have the real Latex thing in
Lyx and you can use it! For example, in the formula editor you *can* but
*don't have to* point-and-click; you can enter \alpha and you will see
the greek letter appearing! You can also use other low-level Latex
features, but most of the time you're operating on a more intuitive
level. Did I already say it's great?
Of course, it's a matter of taste. A (La)TeX file is an ASCII file, and *I*
like to see it on screen that way. At one point, I was intrigued by
), but after a
couple of weeks of "ooh"s and "aah"s I went back to plain editing.
Another thing I don't like about programs like LyX is that LaTeX import/export
can be tricky. This is not a problem if you write on your own. It definitely
becomes a problem if you have co-authors who don't use the same tool you use.
One of my co-authors would use Scientific Workplace (sort of commercial LyX)
and revisions were a nightmare, essentially because, in order to modify my
stuff he had to open it in SciWP and the re-export it back in pure LaTeX; even
changing one line led to a totally different file from what I'd sent him. This
obviously doesn't happen if you operate on the raw ASCII file. Eventually, HE
switched ;-) and he's been thanking me ever since. This sometimes happens with
publishers too: some of them have very strict rules on what you should (and
shouldn't) have in you LaTeX file. Kluwer, for example, have a very cool set
of custom macros you MUST use; Elsevier too. I wouldn't know how to handle
those outside a pure text editor.
I must admit, LyX can come in handy for a beginner, when you know what you
want, but you don't know how to do it. Do it in LyX, see what the LaTeX file
looks like, learn what the trick is.
Riccardo "Jack" Lucchetti
Dipartimento di Economia
Facoltà di Economia "G. Fuà"