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Advantages and disadvantages with using LyX to produce documents.

Someone asked the LyX User's list for how to "sell LyX" in LyxUsersThreadRoot:20654. There is also a second thread in LyxUsersThreadRoot:20658.

Why not list the pros and cons with using LyX below?

Advantages with using LyX to produce documents

  • Easy to use and stable
  • Free
  • Well written and intelligent documents
  • Focus on content instead of layout
  • The printed output is truly typeset giving nicer output
    →Read this Blog for details
  • Table of contents, lists, etc are automatic
  • Superb bibliographies using bibtex
  • Cross references are awesome
  • Cross references (and citations) are automatically numbered and maintained
  • Departmental/group standard documents gets lean
  • Math equations are handled professionally
  • Journals may provide latex classes of their own
  • It is possible to make pdf files with for instance pdflatex
  • Uses a text file format allowing for easy and full back compatibility
  • Encourages structured thinking with putting in the section and subsection when one starts writing
  • Tables and graphics within tables is possible
  • Minitoc is a nice feature
  • Great at placement of figures etc. no orphans
  • Figure placement is superior and true to typesetting

Disadvantages with using LyX to produce documents

  • LyX <-> MS Word exchange is horrible (actually any export to non-TeX-based format is quite difficult -- try export to any XML-based format, ODT or Docbook)
  • However there is a tool to convert to OpenOffice, from which you can convert to MS Word, see
    LyX2OpenOffice (Nick Thomas). Also http://www.penguin.cz/~fojtik/wp2latex/rtf2latex.htm is capable of converting documents in the opposite direction.
  • The position of a word in the printed document is not the same as on the screen
  • A longer learning curve once you need to move beyond the basics
  • In some cases, you will hit the ceiling of LyX and have to use much ERT in your documents
  • LaTeX is hard to debug. Error messages are usually quite meaningless (though this is not so much a problem with LyX as it is with LaTeX)
  • While Lyx/LaTeX/Bibtex makes life much easier if your journal provides a style file, it makes it much much harder if it does not but still expects you to meet specific citation and other style guidelines.
  • Not very many people use LyX. You will always need to bring your own computer (laptop) with LyX, or perhaps a USB drive on which LyX for Windows is installed

Workarounds for the disadvantages

  • Perhaps a "live CD" could be built that contains a working LyX installation?

(It's called Quantian.) Uncategorized

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Page last modified on 2010-08-20 11:01 CEST