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Re: Re: Which editor do you use for math articles

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg95470] Re: [mg95426] Re: Which editor do you use for math articles
  • From: DrMajorBob <btreat1 at>
  • Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 02:59:43 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <>
  • Reply-to: drmajorbob at

What I find odd is using a text editor for this.

Is TeX a version of HTML, then?


On Sun, 18 Jan 2009 16:30:46 -0600, Murray Eisenberg  
<murray at> wrote:

> What you say is both true and non-true!  A commercial package such as PC  
> TeX is a single application that includes the editor, previewer, etc.
> On the other hand, the origin of TeX is in the *nix world, so the  
> paradigm persists of a separate tool for each task:  a text editor; the  
> executable TeX engine itself; and a previewer (from which one often does  
> the printing).  The TeX engine may itself have a version that produces  
> pdf directly, or one may use a separate tool in the bundle that converts  
> the the standard TeX device-independent output .dvi file into pdf.
> The TeX engine is the analog of Mathematica's kernel; the editor and  
> previewer together form the analog of Mathematica's front end; and the  
> various TeX/LaTeX packages are analogs of specialized Mathematical  
> packages.
> With contemporary distributions, however, the separation into the  
> different tools is largely transparent to the user. The front-end editor  
> is, in a sense, the application, and you don't really have to care what  
> executable or batch file is doing what.
> About fonts:  producing a high-quality font family that includes all the  
> necessary fonts for mathematics is no mean feat. That was a reason that  
> Donald Knuth originally designed TeX, because so many journal articles  
> looked plain ugly as they tried to mix and match symbols with letters.  
> And among symbols I include upper & lower-case Greek, both upright and  
> slanted, Cyrillic, "blackboard bold", Hebrew (for set theory's Aleph,  
> e.g.)
> The standard, default set of fonts is Computer Modern, which looks great  
>   on-screen but can seem a bit spindly in print. Many folks who are  
> producing technical documents with mathematical symbols want a different  
> choice, and that's why the two most popular alternatives -- Times with  
> MathTimes and Lucida with Lucida Math -- were developed.  To use those,  
> instead of Computer Modern, one simply includes a line or two of code in  
> the document to load some packages; then, provided you have the  
> underlying fonts, everything works transparently; you do have many  
> options available that you can set for these fonts though, and some even  
> for Computer Modern, e.g., just what font to use for script.
> (TeX is is used for many purposes far from math and science, and there  
> are fonts and supporting packages available for a huge number of world  
> languages.)
> It is NOT difficult at all to getting a working TeX system: my TeX-naive  
> Math 370 students all managed to do it in short order.
> But just like using Mathematica effectively takes some learning effort,  
> so using LaTeX effectively does, too.
> DrMajorBob wrote:
>> Judging from your links, there IS no application that creates, edits,  
>> and maintains LaTex (and displays it; I forgot that part).
>>  It takes at least four different pieces of software? And dozens of  
>> extra, optional pieces? For one task?
>>  And you sometimes use a different package because it handles certain  
>> fonts, but the other package doesn't?
>>  Wow! That sounds like quite a briar patch you're suggesting.
>>  Anyway, isn't loading, and THAT'S not encouraging.
>>  I initially used TeX for early versions of my dissertation back in  
>> 1987-1989, but the writing went on hiatus when I was assigned to the  
>> Pentagon, dissertation unfinished. (Dr. Klingman, my adviser, was dying  
>> of brain cancer at the time, though I don't offer that as an excuse.)  
>> When I took up the struggle again in 1992, I used Word and its Equation  
>> Editor (later adding MathEdit because Equation Editor was only its  
>> stunted younger brother). It was a MUCH better experience than what I'd  
>> gone through with TeX, although I suppose TeX had improved in the  
>> meantime as well. Sadly, it was not long after finishing the  
>> dissertation that Word would no longer display the equations properly.  
>> (A year or two?)
>>  Still, my MS Thesis was accomplished (1983) with rub-off templates for  
>> equation symbols, so it was a very significant progression from that,  
>> to 1988 TeX, to 1992 MathEdit.
>>  Oh, and let's not forget the Wang workstations I used, 1984-1986,  
>> which handled equations better than anything I've seen since... until  
>> Mathematica.
>>  Another poster suggested LyX, and it "looks" very promising (though  
>> looks can be deceiving). It seems to do everything at once.
>>  Bobby
>>  On Sun, 18 Jan 2009 04:31:52 -0600, Murray Eisenberg  
>> <murray at> wrote:
>>> There are several distributions of TeX, which include the LaTeX macro
>>> package along with scads of other packages that modify the default
>>> behavior of, or add new functionality to, LaTeX.  Some of these
>>> distributions, except for Linux, include a "front end" editor that
>>> integrates into the input -> dvi (or pdf) viewer -> print chain.
>>> For some recommendations, see the menu item "About Math 370" at:
>>> And you may be interested in the items under "LaTeX resources" at that  
>>> site.
>>> For a more complete listing of TeX/LaTeX distributions
>>> and the links there.
>>> There are both free and commercial distributions.
>>> For an easy-to-install Windows distribution that includes a front end
>>> editor, I recommend ProTeXt. Personally I most often use the free  
>>> MiKTeX
>>> distribution (which is part of ProTeXt) together with the low-cost  
>>> front
>>> end editor WinEdt (which is more powerful than the editor that comes
>>> with ProTeXt but is more complicated to configure). Sometimes I use the
>>> nicely integrated, commercial PCTeX system ( just because
>>> some of the LaTeX packages it includes make it much easier to use the
>>> non-default Lucida fonts or the MathTime Pro fonts.
>>> DrMajorBob wrote:
>>>> What application creates, edits, and maintains LaTex?
>>>> Sign me curious,
>>>> Bobby
>>>> On Sat, 17 Jan 2009 04:27:37 -0600, Murray Eisenberg
>>>> <murray at> wrote:
>>>>> If you want an interactive document, then there's little, if  
>>>>> anything,
>>>>> that can touch Mathematica.
>>>>> If you want a more-or-less static document, then the gold standard in
>>>>> the mathematical community, and in a good part of the scientific
>>>>> community, is LaTeX. You can include any Mathematica-produced graphic
>>>>> there by exporting it as EPS.
>>>>> And LaTeX documents today typically wind up as PDF, with embedded
>>>>> hyperlinks and even animation and some interactive effects.
>>>>> TL wrote:
>>>>>> 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.
>>>>>> For example it crashed multiple times on me while I was trying to  
>>>>>> setup
>>>>>> the right fonts and sizes, as  a result I lost all my work several
>>>>>> times, it also messed up my fonts, sizes, styles, settings for the
>>>>>> equations, its undo is totally useless and I couldn't figure out  
>>>>>> how to
>>>>>> format a text and a graphic in two or more columns and display them  
>>>>>> side
>>>>>> by side in a notebook as well as how to control what goes on what  
>>>>>> page
>>>>>> and while printing to PDF often it wouldn't print all pages, but  
>>>>>> just
>>>>>> the first 2-3.
>>>>>> 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?
>>>>>> What is the best way to export Mathematica 7 equations and graphics?

DrMajorBob at

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