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MathGroup Archive 1999

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Re: LaTex on a Mac

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg18661] Re: LaTex on a Mac
  • From: Jens-Peer Kuska <kuska at>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 01:45:49 -0400
  • Organization: Universitaet Leipzig
  • References: <7mei23$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Hi Paul,

to make it clear, I know about the keyboard shortcuts and I know allmost
all TeX aliases of the frontend, but I don't like to type a text with
the frontend.

ok here are some examples:

I type some text as a section header, in TeX I can simply say
\section{some text}
I don't have to touch the mouse. I Mathematica I have typical to type
the text,
select the cell with the mouse and can use Alt-4.

Next example: I will type a file name. Typical I use different font
to decide between filenames, Mathematica Indentifers ... In TeX I have a
macro say \FileReference{}. Now I can simply type
In Mathematica I have to make a new cell style "FileReference" and than
I create a
palette that makes from a selected text a new
Even with the best collection of keyboard short cuts I can't avoid to
a mouse.
More over if my publisher say : Make a separate index of all the file
you have referenced I just change my TeX macro a bit and it will work
for the next 100 years.

An other example, I have two macros \diff{f}{t} and \Diff{f}{t} to
\frac{\partial f}{\partial t} and \frac{\DifferentialD f}{\DifferntialD
Clearly the macros save a lot of typing. How ever neither a style box
will manage
this because I have two parameter nor a automatic replacement will help
because the automatic replacement don't kow what to use for the
and I can't have two selections. Ok I can make a palette with
placeholders but
than I have t use the mouse again and it is always slower than to type
More over if it turns out that my publisher don't like the \DifferntialD
and would
like to see a \mathrm{d} instead, it take me a smile in TeX to change
Mathematica's expanded version will cause that I have to change every
used \Diff{} because it is expanded.

The next example is a typical german case. I german you may type
"Schroedinger Gleichung" or "Schroedinger-Gleichung" for the
equation. It depend on your personal taste to use a hyphen or not. How
it is important that the document does not mix up the two versions. In
TeX you can simply make a macro \SEqn and all works fine. A key event
will not help me because it expands the definition when I type it in.
If it turns out that I have written "Legendre-Polynome" (with hyphen) 
but "Schroedinger Gleichung" (with out a hypen)
I have to change the expanded sequences in Mathematica, in TeX I can
modify my macros and I have a consistent naming scheme.

The general advice while preparing a document is
a) think about all the typographic elements you whant to use 
b) make macros for *every*, absolute every typographic element
c) use the macros stricly in the text to keep the logical markup
   independent of the layout

The Frontend make it extrem complicated to make a well structured
document. Finaly I would end up with a over crowded screen for my
30 markup macros and I would be still unable to use more than one
parameter for a StyleBox[].


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