LaTeX Writing Guidelines

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TeX is an important and significant text processing language, which is now the format used by a number of periodicals. TeX consists of a number of macros and, if you want, you can eventually add your own macros as per requirements.

LaTex is basically a macro package used in conjuction with TeX and which helps with structuring support especially while writing bulky documents. There are automated chapter and section macros, as well as macros dealing with bibliography and cross-referencing. This can be very helpful if you have a mathematical project.

If you are preparing a document which contains a great deal of mathematics, tables and cross-references, use LaTex. Also if you are keen on getting published, you might need to submit your work to several publications, each of which has different formatting requirements. LaTex is a good instrument to help you with formatting requirements.

Still, if you are one who does not mind renumbering captions or updating cross-references, then you will not need LaTex and MS Word is good enough for you. Word will certainly suffice if your document is short, consists of several varieties of maths and little mathematics. But the benefits of LaTex are several- it is compatible with different machines. LaTex files are of the ASCII variety and are thus portable. You can do considerable editing. The typesetting is much better, particularly for mathematics. The manner of style change highlighting is cleaner for LaTex. There are also a number of style files for several periodicals. LaTex is flexible and be modified by the user. In case you are in requirement of an extra feature, you could always browse the internet for one, or even write it in yourself.

However, there are disadvantages too. The choice of font is tricky compared to Word and Framemaker. Further, LaTeX is not so good at fitting in text around pictures. Moreover, LaTex also tends to encourage structured writing and the separating of style and content. However, most people may not be able to work accordingly. However, those who are regular LaTex users like to argue that it is free typesetting mechanism which gives you the space to wholly focus on your content and to not be bothered about the layout at all.

The software is designed to take care of the process of typesetting, structuring and page formatting and produce documents which have a rather elegant appearance. Moreover, it permits fine-tuning of control with regard to typesetting choices. Even if you decide not to use the options and merely stick with the default configuration, you will still have documents with great typographic quality.