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About the new features in LyX 1.4
It's been a long time since LyX 1.3.0 was released (on February 7, 2003). What new goodies does LyX 1.4 have?
LyX 1.4 has a re-designed layout for the menus,
designed to decrease clutter and maximise productivity. Several menu items (in the
It's now possible to define multiple toolbars as seen in other editors. By default, the new LyX release has two toolbars displayed, the standard one (similar to the static toolbar in LyX 1.3), plus the extra toolbar:
In addition, there are two pre-defined toolbars available: one for tables, and one for math. You can enable this in the UI by right clicking on the toolbars, and selecting the item:
The default math / table toolbars look like this:
For 1.3 users wondering about the minibuffer, this is still available as a toolbar; in addition
it automatically appears when using the shortcut for entering a command (
All of these toolbars are customisable: by the usual method of copying the UI files into the personal LyX directory, the toolbars and their contents can be set to whatever's needed. Another new feature worth mentioning is popup toolbars: you can set a toolbar such that it only appears when editing math, or when editing a table.
This new feature, similar to that found in Microsoft Word and others, makes collaboration on a document a cinch. It provides a way to track changes made to a document, and later approve, reject, or modify such changes. To freeze a document for change tracking, use the Document→Change Tracking menu:
When enabled, any edits made to a document are tracked. Deleted text is marked in red and struck through, whilst added text is marked in blue; in addition a changebar is added to the margin. With the dvipost software installed, such marks can even be exported to PostScript and PDF.
Send a change-tracked document off for review to a colleague, and let them make changes - when you receive it back, you can use the Merge Changes dialog to review his changes.
Once all marked changes have been processed, change tracking can be disabled again to allow normal editing.
The ancient and unloved Perl script,
For a system that purports to make it easy to write documents full of logical (as opposed to visual) markup, LyX has always had one glaring omission: no character styles. LyX 1.4 goes some way towards addressing this defect, although there's no dialog to define your own styles. Indeed, there doesn't appear to be a menu to insert a new character style either.
So, we're forced to use the minibuffer. Typing
allowing you to input the command
The markup (both on screen and on export) for this particular character style is defined in
If LyX does not recognize the name of the character style, you'll get no markup and an angry red label:
The teacher who's setting an exam obviously doesn't want her pupils seeing the answers, yet having questions and answers in the same document will make the life of the markers of that exam much easier.
That's just one example of someone who would benefit from LyX's new "branches" feature. In fact, anyone who writes documents which have more than one target audience will find this feature useful.
First, you must create your branches using the Document→Settings... dialog:
The name of the branch, it's activation state (whether its contents will be output in the exported document) and the background colour of the view on the LyX screen can all be specified in this dialog.
Thereafter, adding a "branch inset" is simply a matter of selecting the appropriate menu item:
In 1.3, LyX only had native support for plain minipages. Now you can use a wide range of box types and decorations directly from the LyX GUI:
LyX now has three different Notes for you to add to your document from the Insert→Note menu:
Two features help to make the screen rendering closer to the printed output:
Yes, it's finally there! Tools→Count Words will give you a word count of the document or of the current selection.
Nasty "error boxes" were eliminated in favor of a dialog with a list of errors popping up at compilation time:
LyX aims to produce superior typography. With 1.4, it supports:
Lots of long-lasting bugs have been fixed, as documented in LyX bugzilla. Probably some new ones have been introduced instead ;-)