Why Latex and when not to choose Latex


I love to work in Latex Because, there is one big of the advantages of LaTeX over other more traditional systems (e.g. Word or OpenOffice) is that it possess high typographical quality of the documents that you’ll be able to produce. This is particularly true for documents that are heavy on mathematics, but documents for any other area could also take advantage of these qualities.

A less obvious advantage, but much more important, is that LaTeX allows you to clearly separate thecontent from the format of your document. As a writer (scientist, researcher or not), this gives you the opportunity to focus on the “what”, the creative part of your work, rather than the “how” is it going to look printed out in paper (that is the work of LaTeX document class designers).

Now, you shouldn’t use LaTeX if

  • You don’t have time to learn it. Unlike most other point&click systems, LaTeX does take some time to learn. There are of course many guides and tutorials that can help you with this, but don’t try to learn LaTeX if you have, say, less than 24 hours to prepare a manuscript.
  • Your document is already written. Say, if you have already written your thesis in Word, there isn’t much point in trying to “convert” your document to LaTeX. You can do it, but the results won’t be pretty. LaTeX isn’t just another “format” to store documents, it’s a “system” to help you write those documents.
  • What you care about is the design of the document. If you do care about creating your own designs for your documents (rather than the content), LaTeX is perhaps not the best system for you. There are a number of packages (perhaps most notably memoir) that allow you to customize the look of your document, but things are not always straightforward. Having said that, if you are a designer, of course we would welcome your help in designing new document classes and templates!

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