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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
- 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.)