Ed: This WordPress theme makes the titles all-caps, thus mangling “LaTeX.” My analytics should get interesting in a little while.
I haven’t read this entire article yet, but the opening paragraph has the best comparison of Word and LaTeX I’ve seen yet:
Microsoft Word is based on a principle called “What you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG), which means that the user immediately sees the document on the screen as it will appear on the printed page. LaTeX, in contrast, embodies the principle of “What you get is what you mean” (WYGIWYM), which implies that the document is not directly displayed on the screen and changes, such as format settings, are not immediately visible.
plosive.org: An Efficiency Comparison of Document Preparation Systems Used in Academic Research and Development
Between work and school, I deal with Word and LaTeX a lot. LaTeX less so than Word given Word’s ease of use for everyone, but I work with enough math content at work that I needed to learn at least the basics. But, once I got the hang of LaTeX, I’ve been using that as my “go to” for document preparation, despite the state of LaTeX to be a lot more crunchy than I think it needs to be (that’s a separate blog post entirely). Still, even after using LaTeX consistently for a few years, I find it hard to explain it to someone who hasn’t so much as even seen it.
This bit in the abstract is interesting as well:
We show that LaTeX users were slower than Word users, wrote less text in the same amount of time, and produced more typesetting, orthographical, grammatical, and formatting errors. On most measures, expert LaTeX users performed even worse than novice Word users. LaTeX users, however, more often report enjoying using their respective software. We conclude that even experienced LaTeX users may suffer a loss in productivity when LaTeX is used, relative to other document preparation systems.
I really need to read the article to find why this to be true but two things come to mind immediately:
- Know your tools. If LaTeX is a core requirement for submissions, then take the time to really learn it.
- Always double-check your work. There are no excuses for not checking work before submission.