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> No it's not.

Not to speak about collaborating. Oh the fun of sharing a Word doc between 10 people, each one with a slight different version that messes the formats so badly (like that one guy who uses OpenOffice) and constantly making phone calls to ask others to close the document to not overwrite it.

Meanwhile with LaTeX you have plain text source files so you can have nice version control with git or oven github, each person working in their local repo or even branch, with the document having a nice history of commits, blames, merges, etc. Maybe not to the average office worker, but for anyone with experience in coding / version control is a godsend.




https://www.sharelatex.com changed my life in that regard. All the convenience of Google docs, with the determinism of having one single system compiling your LaTeX documents.


I've been using Overleaf to great effect, mainly because it's free version isn't limited to one collaborator.


Also doubles as a Git repo.


I bet you guys sit alone on Jabber while everyone else are having conversations on Skype and Slack.


I'm a relatively big fan of TeX but in my whole life only once have I met a co-worker who also used it. Yes, in theory is great for collaborating, but it practice it's not because nobody would know what to do with a TeX file if you sent it to them.


For me it is less about it being better at collaboration, and more that the popular alternatives are so bloody awful.

It is frustrating, because the popular choices all make better demos. But recovery is often so painful that you start living in fear of formatting mistakes.


put it in a directory with a Makefile, that usually solves a lot of the problem of "knowing what to do with it."


I would probably get some blank stares and get asked why I sent two random files and not a .docx...


To non-editors, you'll usually just send the rendered PDF file.


Try Google Docs while working with 3 people at the same time. It will blow your mind.


OTOH try Google Docs for anything larger than an article. It will blow your browser.


How large article you are talking about? I used Google Slides to make reasonably heavy power points, and it performed well.


It will rot your mind. I'll take LaTeX + git, thank you.


Oh yes, vim + latex + git is better than any google docs when you know how to use it. When you need to collaborate with non-technical people, it's a different story - I've been in that situation and even successfully taught basic git to few people, it's not worth it in the long run.


Try Etherpad.


I find that markdown solves the 95% use-case for me, with a much lower barrier to entry, not to mention resistance from others in the team.


Newer Word versions have this Collaborative Mode (available through Office 365) which behaves like Google Docs, except you work in a full-featured word processor. With it you can edit in real-time via both Desktop and Web versions.


Yes, we used Microsoft's solution for our master's thesis.

<rant> We had to constantly clear cookies, restart the computer, delete our local OneDrive copies and do other quirky work-arounds to be able to do anything. Not to mention the constant crashing and general bugs that plagued the process.

As an example: during the final reading of the paper (a three hour session), I had restarted my computer 8 times and created about 15 local copies of the word document "just in case".

I have heard similar horror stories from other students as well.

It is genuinely shocking to me that Microsoft is getting away with this horrendous performance. </rant>


Yes, used it for a university group project and it was unstable.


I think a side by side markup / WYSIWYG is what is missing to PowerPoint and Word. What I would like to see is the equivalent of the WPF editor in Visual Studio, where you can change either and the other updates accordingly.


There are plenty of apps offering real time collaborative WYSIWYG these days: Google docs, office 365 etc


> Oh the fun of sharing a Word doc between 10 people, each one with a slight different version that messes the formats so badly (like that one guy who uses OpenOffice) and constantly making phone calls to ask others to close the document to not overwrite it.

You can setup git (or your preferred VCS) hooks to make this relatively manageable.


Now Dropbox tells you when others have the document open and so on, so it is easier. But still orders of magnitude worse than working with plain text files.




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