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Old 12-13-2002, 04:33 PM   #1
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Latex... should I use it?


I recently submitted my proj synopsis, over which the examiner was not at all impressed (spacing,indentation,et al...)

We had done the thing in Microsoft Word format ( I used Star Office while my colleagues Microsoft Office )

I researched a little and found out that groff and Latex are great doc formatting (typesetting ?) tools. Also I discovered that mostly Latex is preferred over groff. Now I've learnt Latex a little. However the pdf file I create (with the help of dvips and ps2pdf) looks very crappy in acrobat reader. Ghostview however displays the thing quite well. Is this normal?
Has anyone tried Latex and stuff ?

Most probably we would print the project on a Windows machine ( i guess very few DTP vendors have Linux as of yet ). One of my friends told me that pdf files do not print quite well as compared with Microsoft Word files. Is this correct? I'm in a fix. I'm beginning to like Latex. But at
the same time I would not like to face problems with the printing and stuff.

Has anyone made his/her synopsis/report/article in Latex ? Is there any other good doc formatting system? Please guide

Old 12-14-2002, 01:36 AM   #2
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I'm not a TeX-Expert, but as for what I
understand from my colleagues work I'd think
that the quality of your PDF depends on the
PS drivers settings, primarily resolution?

And as for the type-setting world, every
DTP vendor should be able to handle a PS file,
rather than a PDF of your TeX source ;)

Old 12-14-2002, 09:09 AM   #3
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yes, I made a article in latex and compiled in to pdf. Eventually, I got a very decent pdf document but I had to work hard for it.
I used "pdflatex". I made the bulk of my report in something called "scientific word" which is a windows only prog ( ). I generated a good latex document. After tweaking with that latex document, I compiled it with "pdflatex" and the results were great in both pdf viewer in linux, and acrobat reader in windows.
What I mostly changed in my original latex document was the path names to my figures. Not much else. I you want I could mail you my latex file/
Old 12-14-2002, 09:19 AM   #4
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Don't know if this will be any help, but someone on here suggest a VERY good desktop publishing program called SCRIBUS.

It exports into PDF 4.0 and 5.0 format. The ones that I made testing I checked on a window$ machine with Acrobat 5.0 and the quality was very very good. You can also set it up to see your truetype fonts for awesome text quality.

The program is like Adobe Pagemaker. Don't know if it will work for your needs but it is worth a look.

Old 12-14-2002, 10:23 AM   #5
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Just want to say something that has nothing to do with the original post.
It's apps like this that really make me, well almost proud to be a linux user. What can you do with linux you can't do with windows (unless you are rich) .... Got about a million resons.
Old 12-14-2002, 04:56 PM   #6
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my $0.02


Here's how our department works (university researchers), hope it is helpful: Proposals and reports are made in Latex when necessary. This is _only_ when the mathematics cannot be represented with typical programs i.e. word eqn editor or math type. It is more powerful alternative windows software, but takes a lot of work (and time) to assemble. Publishers (Nature, Phys. of Fluids) request that submissions be rendered with the adobe _distiller_, not PDF writer (two ways to render PDF's with adobe software). Distiller renders more accurately than the emulated printer (PDF writer). A combination of distiller and Latex in unix is necessary, as distiller is typ much faster but mathematically limited. Latex gets the job done when nothing else can. However, if you're time-limited, Latex might not be your best choice for a submission.
Old 12-14-2002, 05:47 PM   #7
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While we are at the subject. Does any one know a good latex editor? I have used several promising typesetting software, but one of the were of much use. I tried lyx and texmacs.
What I need is a editor that works with latex, and not with it's own formats. I you are familiar with "scientific word", that's what I need. But as I already said, there is no linux version of that software.
If there really is nothing that can help you create latex documents, i'm thinking of setting up a project to create such a thing. Would you people be interested such software?
Old 12-15-2002, 04:22 PM   #8
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I joined a Tex users group and resolved my problem
The solution was quite simple... use pdflatex instead of dvips+ps2pdf to generate the pdf file

About the latex editor.. there are quite a few on
i use tle:

Also you may like to visit:

Abt software development .. sorry but I've never done it.
Old 12-16-2002, 12:13 AM   #9
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Latex is strongly recommended
Old 12-16-2002, 07:24 AM   #10
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Cool, seems there are a lot of latex editor. But non of them is a WYSIWYG edior. But none the less, the make life easer.
By the way, WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get.
Old 01-04-2003, 07:40 PM   #11
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Your problem is probably due to the fonts you use. Many installations default to a resolution-dependent font which does not render well in Acrobat Reader. (This will look good in print however.)

The exact remedy is different in different distributions. First, try to get an as recent LaTeX installation as possible. Then try some of the following commands in the preamble of your latex file:


(This will give you Times Roman and such postscript fonts, which may not be what you want but looks good in Acrobat)

The proper solution, if you want the normal Computer Modern fontset, is to configure your dvips to use the Type1 font set.

In my installation, I looked in /usr/local/tex/texmf/dvips/config , and replaced with (something like. cp
Old 01-06-2003, 04:14 AM   #12
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lyx interface for latex

use the Lyx
interface for the Latex.
don't need to know latex ( If you know it is better)

look at


Old 02-26-2003, 04:00 PM   #13
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Does latex have a gui? I just installed one, but it seems to have only the shell.
Old 02-26-2003, 04:23 PM   #14
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LyX has a GUI frontend.

Last edited by Bert; 02-26-2003 at 04:25 PM.
Old 02-26-2003, 07:07 PM   #15
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Does latex have a gui? I just installed one, but it seems to have only the shell.
LaTeX is a typesetting language, branching from TeX.

LaTeX is a very powerful, and I don't find it hard to use. LaTeX does not have a "gui" because it only compiles stuff you write (kind of like gcc). Yet recently there has been a new addition of ide's which may hide some of the more gruesome sides of LaTeX. I personally have always stuck to vi(m) .

LaTeX is especially cool when used to write math papers, although I use it for all my "word processing" needs. One of the nice things is you can print proffesional-looking papers w/o even X installed. Lastly, combining LaTeX w/ metapost, etc. can yield very nice results.

If this hasn't been long enough, any people just starting off with LaTeX, I recommend "The Not so Short Guide to LaTeX".

BTW shatoor, there are LaTeX ports to windows (and other OS's?). Most known in Windows is MikTex and WinEdit for an IDE to LaTeX. note: winedit just makes scripts/etc/ easier to find/run - its not a wysiwyg as Lyx is (from what i understand).

Last edited by cuckoopint; 02-26-2003 at 07:11 PM.


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