All-in-one TeX/LaTeX tools?
Apr 08, 2014
8:18 PM EDT
|Do you really need 'em?
Some folks really like fiddling with the text attributes while they're writing but I've been sticking with the basics:
- an Xterm
- a 'skeleton' TeX document file (that contains the mandatory document directives but otherwise largely empty except your most frequently used packages are pre-specified)
- a Makefile with an entries to 'make' the .dvi, .ps, and .pdf (depending on the audience's needs/druthers)
- a text editor
- a document viewer (I mostly use 'gv').
A simple shell script launches the editor to edit an existing file (creating a new "existing" LaTeX file from the skeleton if necessary) and launches the viewer with the most recent output file (if it exists). Edit in the editor window, make in the xterm, and view in the viewer window. Easy peasy.
I've tried a couple of the tools that the author listed -- and some others not listed -- but I still use the separate programs as I find the all-in-one tools eat up too much screen real estate with menus that, frankly, I find more cumbersome (and often more cryptic) than handy. I can make the separate edit and viewer windows larger then the all-in-one program will allow. But the big reason I don't use the author's listed tools is that they get me back into the (bad) habit of mixing composition and formatting into the same task. I find it much more straight forward to write the text with as little markup as I can get away with during the initial stages -- initial edits tend to merely create an outline consisting of nothing but section/subsection/.../paragraph/etc. markup. I add the majority of the markup last. The vast majority of the LaTeX markup is easily remembered and I don't need a menu to add it in. Even the mathematical markup becomes second nature if I'm using it regularly.
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