LaTeX Document Preparation
- Set up LaTeX environment
- Drastically improved the workflow to automize the process from finding literature, managing literature, and embedding and using literature within LaTeX
Why did I choose LaTeX?
Working with LaTeX is quite a challenge at the beginning. One can spend hours and days learning it and fixing simple issues that can be done in a word processing software like Libre Office or Microsoft Word in seconds. So why would someone ever start writing in LaTeX? Yes, it is a steep learning curve, however, as soon as the system is up and running it works smoothly and the advantages come to play.
When I worked for my master thesis and for the research project CrAc – Cooperative Activities I set up the workflow the following easy and efficient way:
- Find interesting article/reference online
- Click a single button in the browser to add the article including PDF, and all the necessary metadata into my Zotero library
- Automatic export after each change within the Zotero library (export as BibTeX file and automatic overwriting in the LaTeX project folder)
- Immediately have access to the reference and cite command from my preferred LaTeX editor
- Compile & run the LaTeX project and get the ready-to-print PDF including the entire list of references
Advantages of LaTeX
- Professional typesetting
- Best output
- It is the standard for scientific documents
- Processing mathematical (& other) symbols
- Meaning-based structuring (rather than appearance)
- Knowledgeable and helpful user group
- It is free!
- Platform independent
- Professionally crafted layouts are available, which make a document really look as if printed
- Users only need to learn a few easy-to-understand commands that specify the logical structure of a document. They almost never need to tinker with the actual layout of the document.
- Even complex structures such as footnotes, references, table of contents, and bibliographies can be generated easily.
- Free add-on packages exist for many typographical tasks not directly supported by basic LaTeX. For example, packages are available to include PostScript graphics or to typeset bibliographies conforming to exact standards.
- LaTeX encourages authors to write well-structured texts because this is how LaTeX works – by specifying structure.
- TEX, the formatting engine of LaTeX, is highly portable and free, therefore the system runs on almost any hardware platform available.