RE: real books

Subject: RE: real books
From: "Mark Baker" <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2011 10:18:13 -0400

Erika Yanovich wrote

> The author prefers TeX for which he has (and can develop) styles guides.
Needless to say, he is a power user of TeX and he is used to produce
camera-ready copies in postscript.

TeX is a powerful and long-established standard for academic publishing. If
the author in a TeX expert, it is probably the right tool for the job.

> the author claims that Word can't produce 'real' books (by this he means
the look and feel of modern textbooks).
> Is this true? Are there any [hidden] advanced features of Word for this
purpose, not used by tech writers? What tools would you use?

I don't know about can't, but it could be a lot more effort to produce
complex mathematical formulas in Word. WYSIWYG is not the most efficient
method for many academic publishing tasks. Ad in terms of typesetting
quality, it would be hard for Word to match TeX.

> I have mixed feelings about him doing the formatting (apparently he
doesn't mind, but isn't his time too expensive for this?), based on our
definitions (which is what he apparently expects).

If he is proficient, the trivial page formatting will take him less time in
TeX than it would in Word. The complex mathematical formatting will take him
far less time -- and he'll actually get it right.

> Also, how would we get it for review? What formats are available to export
from TeX?

Lots. RTF and PDF should cover your review needs.

> Any thoughts appreciated.

Do it in TeX. If he is proficient, it is the best choice. Anything else will
annoy the author and slow him down.


Mark Baker

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real books: From: Erika Yanovich
Re: real books: From: Tony Chung

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