During my degree in 2002, most of my assignments and the final year project report is done in Microsoft Word 97, a WYSIWYG type word processor. For a person first time using a computer (for official reason, other than Daytona USA, minesweeper and the dial-up type internet surfing :)), this what-you-see-is-what-you-get word processor is actually impressive for me on the things it can do, BUT I notice something, some patterns,
- chances of my computer getting crashed is directly proportional to the importance of the document, for example – the chances of my computer getting crashed when I’m writing my report for the final year project is HIGHER compared to when I’m a writing a letter to ask permission for motorcycle sticker.
- chances of my computer getting crashed is inversely proportional to the time left for my deadline, for example – the chances of my computer getting crashed when I’m writing my report for the final year project when the deadline is tomorrow is HIGHER than the deadline 1 week ago.
This waste my effort and time.
FOUR good reason I found to start using LaTex for my thesis.
ONE. Scalability – As I mentioned earlier – the size of your document. Word (or even Open Office) can get slower when editing large documents with equations and figures. In LaTex, I break my thesis into smaller chunks (like one chapter per file) and then let LaTex combine them altogether. This also lead to more organizable and manageable documents.
TWO. Support – Excellent support from the web community, one such example is the Malaysian LaTex User Group blog. I can ‘google’ any matter related to LaTex and come up with a solution.
You should NOT use LaTex if,
- You don’t have time to learn it. – You’ re reaching a deadline, you better stick with what you know first.
- Your document is already written – You had written your thesis in Word and need to submit in two days. Well my friend, I found no good reason to convert to LaTex and submit it.
Just google ‘advantage and disadvantage of LaTex’, you can find so many sources available out there.
- and many more …