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MathGroup Archive 2003

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Re: Trying to use Mathematica as "word processor" for my math homework

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg44417] Re: Trying to use Mathematica as "word processor" for my math homework
  • From: "Steve Luttrell" <luttrell at _removemefirst_westmal.demon.co.uk>
  • Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2003 04:50:58 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <bo7oud$aj1$1@smc.vnet.net> <bofsl1$5ko$1@smc.vnet.net>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

> I have found Mathematica  to be so incompetent at basic typesetting,
> and its behavior so bizarre and unpredicatble,  that I would never use
> it for what you are doing.

I wouldn't have put it as strongly as that, but I know what you mean.

I think the default behaviour of the various Mathematica style sheets is not
what you would expect if you are used to a standard wordprocessor (e.g. MS
Word). I have spent a lot of time trying to discover how to coerse
Mathematica into typesetting things the way I want, and I have been defeated
in only a handful of cases (e.g. WYSIWYG multiple-column formatting,
outdented paragraph numbering that is correctly aligned with the first line
of the paragraph, etc).

I wish things were documented better and lots of examples given (maybe it
is - but WHERE is it?) to save us the time rediscovering how to make
Mathematica do the typesetting we want. It seems that a long learning curve
is quite a tradition with Mathematica.

FWIW I have written many technical papers using Mathematica, which I also
use to develop the research and generate the results that appear in my
papers. I used to use MS Word and LaTeX, but now I can't imagine not using
Mathematica despite having to solve cryptic (but very logical) puzzles in
order to make it do what I want.
--
Steve Luttrell
West Malvern, UK



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