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For an average document that doesn't do anything special, Latex is extremely simple. It only gets complicated if you want to deviate from the design that your document class uses by default.

The average user of course doesn't even know what the difference between a text editor and MS Word is but I'd argue that it's not much harder to learn using something like LyX than learning Word. Word only wins because of peer pressure. Almost all offices use MS Office, so you're expected to use that, even for documents where simple Markdown would be completely sufficient.




> It only gets complicated if you want to deviate from the design that your document class uses by default.

Which is always, because defaults are ugly as hell. Might work for math papers, but not much else.

My only real issue with LaTeX though is its error reporting, which is less readable than C++ template metaprogramming fails, and the fact you have to compile the same file $magic times in a row to get a stable render.


> the fact you have to compile the same file $magic times in a row to get a stable render.

You should look into LatexMk[0].

[0]: http://mg.readthedocs.io/latexmk.html


I wish I could upvote this more than once. Anyway who is writing non-trivial documents in LaTeX will benefit from this.


Haven't heard of that, thanks.


> My only real issue with LaTeX though is its error reporting, which is less readable than C++ template metaprogramming fails

Oh, that's so true. I've spend far to many hours trying to help debug LaTeX code from friends and coworkers.

I'd give Office users that MS Office is easier to use if you want to write one page of plain text without anything else but above that Office is just a huge pain in the a... But the biggest problem I have with Office isn't whether it's hard to use or not but that the text it produces is simply ugly. Especially so if you have to work between different versions of MS Office and maybe even an OO user within the loop. (That would than probably be me...) The text layout MS Office produces is simply hideous.


> Which is always, because defaults are ugly as hell. Might work for math papers, but not much else.

There are shittons of templates.


You don't have to compile the same file a magic number of times. You either click the button in your GUI or you use latexmk or texify.

The error messages suck though, that's true.


Does GUI LaTeX tools run the compilation several times in the background? Because last time I checked, you absolutely had to run it several times, if you wanted to have all your references correct.

EDIT: nevermind, I didn't know Latexmk is a thing and is popular.


Lyx for one does run latex/bibtex as many times as required.


> have to compile the same file $magic times

I now use rubber[0] to avoid this. I especially like that it has a --clean option :)

[0]: https://launchpad.net/rubber




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