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> Is latex powerful? Yes. Is it easy? Not for the average user.

Have you tried writing technical reports in Word? It's a nightmare. Word's numbering and reference functionality, not to mention its citation functions are way worse than what you can achieve with TeX. Cooperating on writing the same document with many people? Yeah, forget about it. One guy has Mac OS with one Word version and then you have three others with different combinations of Windows/Word, and the whole thing implodes in a cascade of formatting glitches.

Also, I'd say that if you can't write your technical report in LaTeX because LaTeX is too hard, let's go shopping (in the Microsoft App Store), then maybe you shouldn't be writing a technical report.

Not to mention that nobody has to write an ounce of LaTeX since the advent of pandoc.




Saying that the alternatives are hard does not do anything to prove that LaTeX is easy.

When you make a syntax error (missing closing brace, forgot to escape that underscore, etc), what's the probability that the latex error message will be at all relevant to the source of the error? It's pretty damn low. In my experience, debugging LaTeX is anything but easy.


Yes, typesetting documents isn't easy, and it takes skill. Yes, LaTeX's error reporting is a bloody mess straight out of the 80s.

Word may make it easier to half-ass something. But its error reporting is way worse than LaTeX's — it doesn't have any. If something's fucked up, it's fucked up, and good luck finding out what you did wrong. Writing a consistently styled, readable and good looking document in Word is anything but easy.

So we're back to square one: typesetting a document is hard, and there is no software solution that makes it easy (for simple stuff, pandoc comes close.) You'll have to learn to do it.


Have you tried writing technical reports in LyX? It's not a nightmare and you can see what it looks like.


To provide a counterpoint, I've been writing Technical reports in word for about 15 years, using it for about 20, works fine for most things I've seen.

Like any complex program there are things to learn and quirks to get used to, but it can be a very powerful platform once you get past that.




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