Escape from Microsoft Word

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in microsoft on (#2TKJ)
Edward Mendelson over at the NYT writes:
Auden’s contrast between mediocrity that gets things right and genius that is always wrong is useful in thinking about many fields other than politics. Take, for example, the instruments used for writing. The word processor that most of the world uses every day, Microsoft Word, is a work of genius that’s almost always wrong as an instrument for writing prose. Almost-forgotten WordPerfect—once the most popular word-processing program, still used in a few law offices and government agencies, and here and there by some writers who remain loyal to it—is a mediocrity that’s almost always right.
Good look at the quirks of the modern office's favorite bit of software from a more philosophical point of view. It starts with a quote from Plato, for starters.

Re: Tsk.... Microsoft Word... WordPerfect... (Score: 1)

by engblom@pipedot.org on 2014-10-23 07:48 (#2TM9)

I think LaTeX is something very great. I use it for several things. I have even made several issues of a magazin with pure LaTeX and for most projects handling some kind of printed reports, I generate LaTex code from the program and get a good looking document at the printer or a nice looking PDF at the screen.

That said, I still think LaTeX is far from replacing a standard word processor. Unless you write a very simple document with the same structure all the way from the first page to the very last, you actually break the flow a lot more by looking up stuff in LaTeX reference manuals. Very few write enough of LaTeX to remember all tags. They get forgotten unless they are used daily. Also, as soon as it comes to something a little bit more odd you end up searching for the LaTeX documentation and the thought you had gets lost.

If a text really is simple, and has nothing odd in it, write it in Markdown, then convert it to LaTeX and add the final touch. Markdown is faster to type than the LaTeX tags and is breaking less the flow of thought. Also, LyX is a good alternative as you still have the power there if needed.
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