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Vim, LaTeX and High School (kramerapps.com)
26 points by conradev on Oct 7, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments

I did the same in high school, and now at uni it is paying off, my work looks great and is at least as easy to write as in a modern word processor except for good spelling and grammar checking. I haven't found a great solution for that yet.

Be sure to keep your tables looking good, look for some resources on it, it's amazing how shoddy even the default tables in LaTeX look, never mind the Excel spreadsheet look everyone seems to go for.

I've been using TeXstudio as a LaTeX editor - it's a fork of TeXmaker with more features (notably a user-editable spelling dictionary). The UI is Qt, and it's available cross-platform.

vim can spellcheck since ver 7 (afair). see :help spell.

I tried to use LaTeX to take notes in Middle School once, no joke, and I found it quite difficult. LaTeX is meant for explicit typesetting and having fine-grained control over your documents. If you want to write an English or Math paper in it, then it's perfect, but I think it's overkill for notes. I now use reStructuredText to write my notes and rst2pdf when I have to print them out to study. It's very simple and I don't have to worry about typesetting. For math...pen and paper. Your math example was well typeset but I doubt you'd have time to do all that in class short of asking the teacher to stop for 15 minutes.

I also did this in HS, and echo what others are saying about this paying off later in life. Four years from now, when you're a junior in college and are scrambling to parallelize the build for your homework due next class, you'll be thankful for the upfront investment ;-). Also, having a LaTeX formatted resume never hurt either.

The one problem I always had was essays. I'd always write essays as plain text, but didn't have a great MLA template ready for LaTeX, so I'd usually just copy/paste my plain text doc into OpenOffice or GDocs. I still sort of wish that I had figured out a better solution for this workflow.

This guy is in high school? Amazing!

Either he is going to amazing places, or education is really coming a long way into better integrating technology and open-source.

I can't speak for everyone, but it is most likely the former. The handful of maths teachers I know absolutely loathe word-processed assignments since the majority of students don't bother using proper mathematical notation when they type things up (let alone use a proper type-setting program like LaTeX), so you end up with a bunch of students handing in stuff like:

∫e^x dx = e^x + c

Unfortunately, this sometimes results in teachers abandoning word processing altogether and making pen and paper mandatory.

Our class has a digital whiteboard (via projection) in the front of the class. Our teacher uses LaTeX to typeset his lessons, displayed on the board.

But yeah, on the projects, the kids are allowed to use pencil and paper to do the things that cannot normally be typed up.

Unfortunately using something like Latex in the Real World is just no pheasible unless you're in an area specific for it. you need to share documents and you think your office secretary is going to learn how to use Latex just to edit your company wide email?

microsoft worwd is the defacto standard, no matter how i feel about foss.

On the other hand, LaTeX should almost be a required skill for developers and dev managers. If you use it rather than M$Office, your development docs can be source controlled, easily diffed, and otherwise gain all the benefits of code! Design docs, data flow diagrams, architecture layouts, data models, &c., &c. can all be done in LaTeX will look great.

I disagree, I've been working on business-area applications for 5 years now and not once have I said to myself, "Man I wish I had some Latex knowledge to work on this document!".

It's just non-existant unless you actually need the math notations and whatnot.

Of course, if the documents don't need to be edited by their recipients, PDF is even more of a de facto standard than .doc{,x}

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