Writing in NeoOffice, dreaming of LaTeX

I am working on a paper for a journal that only accepts RTF documents, and to avoid the possible problems resulting from converting a LaTeX document into RTF (or possibly from PDF), I decided to try using a word processor from the beginning. For simple word processing I have grown very found of Bean recently, a lightweight application slightly more advanced than TextEdit. I started out with Bean, but since I had to include endnotes in the document I ended up moving over to NeoOffice instead.

There is nothing wrong with NeoOffice per se, but I notice how much harder it is to write a scientific document in a what-you-see-is-not-what-you-get (WYSINWYG) environment. Writing text is fine, but as soon as I end up with a somewhat more complex structure, some lists, a couple of figures, a bunch of endnotes and a pile of references, everything just gets very difficult and messy. Now I really miss working in LaTeX! True, LaTeX has a steep learning curve, but when you first get the hang of it you never want to go back to an “easy-to-use” word processor.

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Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.