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It must be getting used to it; I tried to use Word recently and ended up so frustrated that I almost switched to writing a layout script and making a pdf via Ruby. But other people use Word just fine so it must not be as shit as I think it is.

(La)TeX is a half-decent language to write layout scripts in. That's mostly because of the good libraries available. (The language itself sucks a bit. It was never really meant for general computation, and it shows.)

Having done several years of college using LaTeX religiously, I can safely say it isn't a replacement for Word. I found my documents were immaculate, but I wasted a lot of time on relatively simple things (getting the pt's right, margin's, title pages, etc..)

Meh, but once you have them right in one document, reproducing that ‘right’ layout is really easy. I also doubt that I’d spend less time in Word to set up a simple letter template than I did in LaTeX to do the same, and now my letters take roughly 2 minutes to write (including typing in addresses and such).

I use LaTeX at work, but usually through Org-mode. I usually give other people around me who are not LaTeX users PDF but if they insist on having something editable I either give them a plain text or whatever they want through ODT export through Org-mode. I don't have to touch MS Word it can happen all on Linux...

lyx makes does a good job wrapping latex for casual use.

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