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Re: Which editor do you use for math articles

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  • Subject: [mg95427] Re: Which editor do you use for math articles
  • From: AES <siegman at>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2009 05:32:03 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <gksbnh$dr2$>

> > Although Mathematica 7 is a very powerful peace of software as far as
> > the computational part goes it turns out to be quite limited and
> > unstable when it comes to word editing and processing, despite the
> > claims in the help that it is almost as powerful as WinWord.
> >
> > ----SNIP----
> >
> > All that said I'm wondering what program to use to write my work in, and
> > I'm asking for advice - is WinWord any better when it comes to handling
> > equations?
> > Any other choices?

> Hi,
> I faced exactly the same troubles you describe. I do not know how to
> correct these inconveniencies caused by font changes and crashes...Please
> let me know if you are advised good recommendations.

There is definitely another (and much better) choice:

1) Do your calculations and create your _graphics_ (including animations 
or movies, if such are involved) in Mathematica, and export them to PDF 
files (or possibly QuickTime or other formats).  

(You'll have to work out for yourself which of the various "export" 
capabilities in Mathematica really work properly or consistently, recognizing 
that some of these will probably change or break with each new release 
of Mathematica; but that's part of the game and something you have to do with 
Mathematica in any case.)

2)  Acquire Adobe Illustrator for editing, modifying, or touching up 
these exported graphics, including re-purposing them for use in 
different final documents (along with maybe a good graphics cataloging 
application if you're going to have a lot of such files).

(Illustrator is very effective and easy to use for these tasks; it's 
WYSIWYG; it's easy to acquire the needed fluency in it; and it's both 
stable and very well documented.)

3)  Acquire an up to date version of TeX, which will automatically 
include LaTeX, and will produce superb PDF output documents, with easily 
variable formatting, and with your PDF graphics automatically included 
or embedded in your documents in any way you like.

(If you can cope with Mathematica, you will find Tex/LaTeX trivial to 
learn; they will produce superb documents; and their consistency and 
freedom from "gotchas" will amaze you.  Joining TUG is a good way to 
start.  Producing documents with TeX/LaTeX will be a joy compared with 
trying to produce them with Mathematica.)

4)  The above steps are all you really need, but if you like you can 
also acquire a copy of Adobe Acrobat, to do misc tweaks and other things 
with your PDF documents.

(Acrobat will also be easy to learn and well documented.  You won't have 
to acquire it, but it will turn out to be useful in many ways.)

Bottom lines:

1)  If you do the above, you'll be using Mathematica for the one thing 
it's really good at -- and using other, much better tools for the tasks 
that Mathematica is not at all good at.

2)  You'll have immensely more flexibility for making changes or 
tweaking things at each stage in the process, without going all the way 
back to the beginning, as well as great flexibility for re-using or 
re-purposing individual parts or components of your documents.  And, 
your tools for doing this will be essentially WYSIWYG, and will have 
much better documentation.

3)  You'll also be "in the mainstream" so far as document preparation, 
publication, and distribution in the real world is concerned.

4)  And finally, you might note that the total cost of these additional 
tools (including their upgrades or support) will only be a fraction of 
you paid for Mathematica.

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