Thursday, September 26, 2013

Resources for Scientific Writing: LATEX

The writing tools I use for white papers, cases, and class reports are:
  • Microsoft Word
  • OpenOffice
  • Google Docs - to share with friends (most informal due to lack of templates and not friendly in terms of formatting and shortcuts)
  1. Figures/Tables/Equations: very easy to write and automatic number of equations etc.
  2. Higher control on formatting and fonts unlike MS word.

What I use for scientific writing: LATEX

LATEX is a typesetting program that is based on document markup language very similar to html (hypertext markup language). Key benefits of LATEX are:
Download LATEX here:

LATEX plugin for powerpoint slides: IguanaTex, Texpoint (paid) or beamer.

LATEX plugin for excel to convert excel tables to LATEX format. excel2latex

LATEX forums: : Stackexchange for TeX : Wiki for LATEX

I have seen a few online (cloud based) websites forLATEX, that might be the future of scientific writing, where authors can collaborate online to write articles, and possibly integrate with Journals/ Publishers.

Then for this blog I use or to write latex based equations as rendered images into html code.

People are usually scared to start with LATEX as it is typically not WYSIWYM /ˈwɪziwɪm/ (an acronym for "what you see is what you mean") . Lyx is a downloadable software for Windows/Mac that is based on TEX and is WYSIWYM. (

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