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New in LyX 2.1

Categories: Development, LyX_2_1
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About the new features in LyX 2.1.

What is new in LyX 2.1?

The LyX Team

April 2014

§1.  Native IPA inset and IPA toolbar

(:statusicon documented:)While LyX supported the insertion of phonetic symbols (IPA) for a long time, one had to (mis)use mathed for that. Now LyX has a native IPA inset in text mode that features

  • instant preview
  • multiple paragraphs
  • sub-insets for top and bottom tie bars
  • superscript support
  • automatic shortcut transformation

Contrary to the old math-ipa input method, the IPA inset supports Unicode input equally well than TIPA shortcut notation. In fact, Unicode input is automatically transformed to TIPA shortcuts. Hence, the kerning and font mixing problems of former LyX versions are gone (as long as you input Unicode IPA into this inset, not in normal text).

An IPA toolbar which automatically opens when you enter the inset (analogous to the math toolbar) and which is categorized like the IPA chart is also provided.

The feature was contributed by Jürgen Spitzmüller.

§2.  New supported languages

Provided you use XeTeX, it is now possible to write documents in the languages

  • Coptic
  • Divehi
  • English (Australia)
  • English (New Zealand)
  • Greek (ancient)
  • Hindi
  • Kurmanji
  • Lao
  • Marathi
  • Occitan
  • Sanskrit
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Tibetan

This feature was contributed by Uwe Stöhr and Jürgen Spitzmüller.

§3.  TeX-fonts additions

(:statusicon documented:)LyX's interface to handle LaTeX fonts has been rewritten and cleaned up by Jürgen Spitzmüller. Thanks to this, it is now much easier to add support for new fonts. In the wake of this change, support for the following fonts has been added:

  • Biolinum
  • Bitstream Charter (via Mathdesign)
  • Iwona, Iwona Condensed, Iwona Light, Iwona Light Condended
  • Kurier, Kurier Condensed, Kurier Light, Kurier Light Condended
  • Libertine, Libertine Mono
  • Minion Pro
  • all TeX Gyre fonts
  • TX Typewriter
  • URW Classico (= Optima)
  • URW Garamond (via garamondx, ugm), URW Garamond (via Mathdesign)
  • Utopia (via Mathdesign)

Furthermore, LyX now has a dedicated math font selection, where you can prevent some fonts (such as Times and Palatino) to automatically change the math font, and you can select a dedicated math fonts. Currently the following math fonts are supported:

  • Euler (via eulervm)
  • Iwona Math
  • Kurier Math
  • Libertine (via newtxmath)
  • MinionPro (via newtxmath)
  • Times Roman (via newtxmath)
  • URW Garamond (via newtxmath)
[ -> ]]

§4.  Basic support for Math OpenType fonts

LyX has now basic support for the package unicode-math, which allows the use of OpenType and TrueType fonts for math (similar to the non-TeX text fonts LyX already supports). Currently, the actual fonts still have to be loaded manually in the preamble (if you do not want to use the default font Latin Modern Math), but it is planned to provide a selection of fonts in the math font combo box.

§5.  Document class categories

  • (:statusicon documented:)Document classes are now systematically categorized. In the user interface, this most visibly reflects in the document class selection within the document settings dialog. The classes are now grouped by genre, and some more information is given about the availability of classes. The feature was implemented by Jürgen Spitzmüller.

§6.  Enhanced support for LaTeX options

(:statusicon documented:)The interface of LaTeX Options (a.k.a. "Short Titles" in LyX) has been completely rewritten by Jürgen Spitzmüller.

  • Options now have proper names (instead of the often irritating "Short Title"/"Opt"), menu entries and tooltips.
  • The insertion order of the options in LyX is now independent from the option order in the respective LaTeX command. Thus, the menu presents now all available options at once.
  • There are no more restrictions as far as the ordering of mandatory and optional arguments is concerned.
  • It is now possible to specify custom delimiters (e.g. for beamer's <overlay> options).
  • It is possible to specify preset values for options.
  • Arguments can be auto-inserted when the respective style is selected.
  • The look of the options in LyX as well as its output in the LaTeX code can be tweaked in various ways.
  • Options are now also supported for InsetLayout.
(Click on the image to enlarge it.)
The cursor is in the environment Entry that has 5 arguments. You can insert them via the Insert menu. As you can see, already inserted arguments are grayed-out in the menu. The inserted arguments appear as collapsible box.

§7.  New supported LaTeX commands

  • (:statusicon documented:)Support for \textvisiblespace (␣) via the horizontal space dialog. Implemented by Pavel Sanda.
  • (:statusicon documented:)Support for \negmedspace and \negthickspace outside of math. Inside of math the commands \enspace, \hfill, \hspace* and \hspace*{\fill} are now supported. All commands are available via the horizontal space dialog. Implemented by Jürgen Spitzmüller and Uwe Stöhr.
  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for the math command \utilde. It also supports the LaTeX-package undertilde via the menu Document → Settings → Math Options. Added by Georg Baum and Uwe Stöhr.
  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for the LaTeX package mathtools. This allows to use some fine-tuning math commands like \mathclap, \coloneqq. Note that not all commands provided by mathtools are yet supported by LyX. Added by Georg Baum.
  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for the math commands \smash and \sideset. Implemented by Georg Baum.
  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for the LaTeX package cancel. This allows to use the math commands \cancel, \bcancel, \xcancel and \cancelto. Implemented by Uwe Stöhr.
  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for the LaTeX environment verbatim via LyX's environment selection box in the standard toolbar. Added by Georg Baum, Jean-Marc Lasgouttes, Richard Heck and Uwe Stöhr.
  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for a list of listings via the Table of contents inset was implemented by Georg Baum. (LaTeX-command \lstlistoflistings)
  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for the LaTeX commands \fbox and \mbox. They are used if no width is chosen in the box dialog. Implemented by Uwe Stöhr.
  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for the LaTeX command \caption* in longtables. Implemented by Georg Baum.

§8.  Table enhancements

  • (:statusicon documented:) When the cursor is inside a table, rows and columns can now be moved/swapped either with the shortcut Alt+<arrow key> or the corresponding table toolbar buttons. Implemented by Scott Kostyshak.
  • (:statusicon documented:) It is now possible to rotate table cells and also whole tables by any angle, not only by 90°. Implemented by Uwe Stöhr.
  • (:statusicon documented:) LyX supports now captions in longtables that are unlabeled. They can be used when the caption for the first longtable page should be different from caption for the following longtable pages. Implemented by Georg Baum.

§9.  Layout enhancements

  • (:statusicon documented:)The beamer layout has undergone a major revision. Some long-standing drawbacks were removed, and some important beamer-specific features (such as overlay options) are now supported natively. Contributed by Jürgen Spitzmüller.
  • (:statusicon documented:)The caption inset is now customizable. In the wake of this, special captions (such as \captionabove and \captionbelow of KOMA-Script) were implemented as real caption insets (they were only available as layouts previously, a special treatment which was rather irritating). One of the advantages of the new approach, besides the uniform look and feel, is that you can now easily switch between different caption types of a class via the context menu. Contributed by Jürgen Spitzmüller.
  • (:statusicon documented:)The layouts for the document classes achemso, europeCV and modernCV have been completely rewritten. It is now no longer necessary to add preamble code. The corresponding LyX example files explain how these layouts are used. Contributed by Uwe Stöhr.
  • (:statusicon documented:)LyX supports now not only papers for IEEE journals but also contributions to IEEE conferences, IEEE Computer Science publications and the journal IEEE Transactions on Magnetics. See the corresponding LyX template files for a brief description. Contributed by Uwe Stöhr.
  • (:statusicon documented:)One can now set package options using the layout tag "PackageOptions". For example, "PackageOptions natbib square" will cause natbib to be loaded with the option: square. This is useful for users who would like to supply options for packages that LyX loads automatically.
  • (:statusicon documented:)LyX now has convenience functions to easily split two consecutive environments of the same type. Instead of manually inserting the Separator environment at the appropriate nesting depth, you can now simply click Edit→Start New Environment or Edit→Start New Parent Environment (implemented by Jürgen Spitzmüller).

§10.  New modules

  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for custom paragraph shapes via the module Custom paragraph shapes. For a detailed description see the section Non-standard Paragraph Shapes in LyX's Additional Features manual.
  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for multilingual captions via the module Multilingual captions. For a detailed description see the specific manual Multilingual Captions in LyX's Help menu.
  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for multiple text columns via the module Multiple Columns. For a detailed description see the section Multiple Text Columns in LyX's Additional Features manual.
  • (:statusicon documented:) Support for chemical risk and safety statements via the module Risk and Safety Statements. For a detailed description see the specific manual Risk and Safety Statements in LyX's Help menu.

The modules were added by Uwe Stöhr.

§11.  Support to output cropped PDF or EPS

  • (:statusicon documented:) It is now possible to export documents so that all whitespace or page margins are cropped in the output. This can for example be used for formulas: By using a document that contains only a single formula one can create a PDF or EPS of that formula by exporting the document as cropped EPS/PDF. The result is a PDF or EPS with exactly the size of the formula. So LyX can be used as a "generator for includable graphics" (equations, commented graphics, etc.) for the usage in web pages or other programs (like for presentations or lectures).
    This feature was added by Liviu Andronic.

§12.  New command-line option

  • -E [-export-to] format filename
Allows to export to an explicit destination file-name.

§13.  New preferences settings

  • (:statusicon documented:)A new setting in the LyX preferences under Editing→Input Completion to specify the number of characters that a word must at least have that it is used for input completion (implemented by Richard Heck and Stephan Witt).
  • (:statusicon documented:)The status bar can be set on/off in full screen mode in the LyX preferences under Editing→Control.
  • (:statusicon documented:)One can now decide in the LyX preferences under Look & Feel→Document Handling if the document is closed or hidden when its tab or view is closed. Not to close documents can be useful if you open files parallel in several instances of LyX and only want to close the view in once instance (implemented by Tommaso Cucinotta).
  • (:statusicon documented:)In Language Settings→Language it is now possible to specify whether the default unit for lengths in LyX's dialogs should be "cm" or "in" (previously the default was hardcoded to "cm") (implemented by Vincent van Ravesteijn.)
  • (:statusicon documented:)It is now possible to specify a global default output format for documents using non-TeX fonts in the LyX preferences under File Handling→File Formats (implemented by Jürgen Spitzmüller).

§14.  Miscellaneous

  • Ability to specify several extensions for a single file format (e.g., files ending in .htm and .html are the same file format, they both are hypertext markup language).
  • (:statusicon documented:)Users can now decide for every document in the menu Document→Settings→Text Layout if LyX justifies the document text or not. (This setting has no effect on the output.)
  • The Thesaurus is now able to understand inflected words (such as trees or even mice). It still suggests only infinite forms, though. This feature (implemented by Jürgen Spitzmüller) requires that you use the Hunspell spellchecker, since it relies on Hunspell's stemming ability.
  • When switching the document language, LyX now automatically sets the appropriate quotation mark style (implemented by Jürgen Spitzmüller).
  • Undo now restores more precisely the editing context, in particular active selection, current font and logical position (for RtL text).
  • Redo now restores the cursor to where is was before undo.
  • (:statusicon documented:)A new command, "buffer-forall", can be used to run a command on all open documents. Thus, the user is now able to export all open documents and globally toggle read only or change tracking, for example (implemented by Scott Kostyshak).
  • (:statusicon documented:)Added a search box for options in the LyX and document option dialogs (implemented by Alessandro Di Federico).
  • BibTeX and biber errors are now highlighted in Document→LaTeX Log→BibTeX (implemented by Jürgen Spitzmüller).
  • The Scientific Word bind file (sciword.bind) has been updated to fix various problems (implemented by Scott Kostyshak and Michael Stepner).
  • (:statusicon documented:)Improved version control: LyX can now work with newer versions of the version control system SVN. Furthermore basic support for the version control system GIT support was added. See the section Version Control in LyX in LyX's Additional Features manual for detailed information (implemented by Pavel Sanda).
  • (:statusicon documented:)Branch insets are allowed to have particular layout defined.
  • LyX can import TeX documents that use the LaTeX package algorithm2e and offers limited support for this package (implemented by Jürgen Spitzmüller).
  • (:statusicon documented:)Support for the AppleScript scripting language on OS X was added by Benjamin Piwowarski.

§15.  Under the hood

  • As in any development cycle, much work was put into cleaning up and polishing the code-base.
  • An automatic self-testing framework was setup by Kornel Benko, Scott Kostyshak and others.
  • Some work was done towards Qt5 support. LyX 2.1 will not yet fully support Qt5, but we are almost there.
  • Much work has been done to get LyX working with the Cocoa framework on MacOSX. This removes many existing flaws on that platform.
  • Here are some development statistics

§16.  Backported

Some new features have been backported to the 2.0.x stable branch during the 2.1.0 cycle, you can find the list here.

§17.  New features backported to the LyX 2.1.x series

Although new features are primarily developed in the development branch ("master"), few of them were backported to the 2.1.x branch:

  • (:statusicon undocumented:) Sectionbox module (useful for conference posters), implemented by Jürgen Spitzmüller (2.1.3)
  • (:statusicon documented:) TColorbox module for fancy boxes, implemented by Jürgen Spitzmüller (2.1.3). Since LyX 2.2.0 the example file Colored Boxes describing fancy boxes is part of LyX. See there the menu Help→Specific Manuals.
  • (:statusicon documented:) PDF Comment module for PDF annotations, implemented by Jürgen Spitzmüller and Uwe Stöhr. For a detailed description see the specific manual PDF comments in LyX's Help menu. (2.1.3)
  • (:statusicon undocumented:) Jürgen Spitzmüller has implemented support for conference poster generation via the classes a0poster, beamerposter or sciposter. (2.1.3)
  • tex2lyx supports now things like relative and glue lengths. See the LyX 2.1.3 announcement for detailed info. (2.1.3)
  • (:statusicon documented:) Possibility to export the document to a low resolution PDF (150 dpi). Implemented by Georg Baum. (2.1.4)
  • (:statusicon documented:) PDF Forms module to create PDF forms, implemented by Uwe Stöhr. For a detailed description see the specific manual PDF forms in LyX's Help menu. (2.1.4)

18.  Categories

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