ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Three productivity tools for LaTeX implementations

Updated on February 17, 2011

George Gr├Ątzer, in his book More Math Into LATEX, said that a good LaTeX implementations must have three important productivity tools: Synchronization, Block comment, and Jump to a line.

In his short article I try to compare two popular Latex distributions, MikTex, and TeX Live. The former comes with TeXworks, while the later TeXShop. To my experience, TeXShop is better than TeXworks with regard to these three tools.

Syncronization

Syncronization facilitates moving quickly between the source file and the typeset file, to locate the corresponding place in the source file and from the source file to the corresponding place in the typeset file. TeXWorks highlights the corresponding line or a block, while TeXShop can locate a single word or even punctuate, with color highlight in source file or with a red circle on the preview file. But if you have \include files, it seems not so sensitive.

Block comment

Block comments are very useful:

1. When looking for a LATEX error, you may want LATEX to ignore a block of text in the source file.

2. Often you may want to make comments about your project but not have them printed or you may want to keep text on hand while you try a different option. To accomplish this, insert a comment character, %, at the start of each line where the text appears. These lines are ignored when the LATEX file is processed.

In TeXShop, select a number of lines in a source document, and choose the menu Source > Comment. All the lines, the whole block, are commented out. The reverse is done with Source > Uncomment.

In TeXWorks, this is done by choosing the menu Format>Comment and the reverse Format>Uncomment.

Jump to a line

This is specified by the line number in the source file. To find an error, LaTeX suggests that you jump to a line. In TeXShop, you can click "Go error" button on the typesetting console, while in TeXWorks, you have to look at the error message, and find the line number, and click the menu search--> Go to line. The error message may look like this:

! Misplaced alignment tab character &.

l.103 &

103 is the line number. You type this number in the 'Go to line" dialog popup window to locate the error in source file.

Pay careful attention how your LATEX implementation works. This enables you to rapidly perform the editing cycle and utilize the productivity tools when necessary.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      kap 

      6 years ago

      @slc334

      Another important thing is that once you've learned typing equations in latex it's MUCH faster than pointing and clicking with your mouse in word.

      Not to mention that things like cross references, equation numbering etc just works without messing up randomly so you don't have to manually copy and paste everything you just did into a new word document 2 days before deadline.

    • profile image

      curiousCharacter 

      7 years ago

      For more on this subject, I have a blog post about word processing and mathematics:

      http://brightstartutors.com/blog/2011/03/06/word-p...

    • slc334 profile image

      slc334 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Cool, good to know. Thanks!

    • jim.sheng profile imageAUTHOR

      Dalriada Books Ltd 

      7 years ago from UK

      When Donald Knuth wrote his first TeX ?1978?typesetting system for his math book, people didn't have MS Word (1983) yet, not even mention equation editors. Now some say TeX can typeset math equations (or any documents such as Music) more beautifully than MS Office or other similar softwares. TeX and it's successors are free, so people don't pay hundreds of dollars for a Microsoft Office if they can get their job done for free and even better.

    • slc334 profile image

      slc334 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Ahh, thanks, but then how is this different from equation editors in word processors like Word and Pages?

    • jim.sheng profile imageAUTHOR

      Dalriada Books Ltd 

      7 years ago from UK

      Hi, I don't think LaTex is very popular among office workers or common folks, this is a tool (or toy now it seems) for typesetting academic papers, especially those with a lot of Math equations or other symbols.

    • slc334 profile image

      slc334 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I find LaTeX very interesting, but am not sure the benefits of such a program. Can you explain to me what makes LaTeX so popular, and why?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)