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 …
2 thoughts on “LaTex & Thesis: FOUR good reasons.”
You could mention “speed” even though there is a higher learning curve, using LaTeX is much easier when it comes to actually writing anything as you can focus on writing than formatting. This is especially true when it come to typing equations.