What would happen if two people out in space a few meters apart, abandoned by their spacecraft, decided to wait until gravity pulled them together? My initial thought was that …
Reading this review of a PloS One comparison between MS Word and LaTeX, I was struck by how much it resonates. There are many things that I do in both (or, more precisely, in Pages rather than Word) depending on the application. There are things that LaTeX can do much better than any other solution I have found, none of which is touched in the PloS One comparison.
For me, some things that could not be done in Word or Pages without a ton of work, are mentioned in the review:
The referencing (figures, equations, and bibliography) is one of the strong points of LaTeX. I see how much time my students spend on this in Word, and it completely erases the time-savings of Word. I would add the following as well:
I'm the first to admit that the learning curve of LaTeX is pretty steep, but once you know it, it really offers advantages for complex documents. For simple ones, it doesn't stack up to an easier program, but isn't that the case with most powerful tools? At that point, as the review also suggests, it makes more sense to write things in Markdown - which this blog is written in. So MS Word lands in that area of too-complex for simple documents and too-simple for complex documents.