Actually, 40, had I not suggested mathtype to my partner, he was going to do it just as you said: creating the vector art directly in the program (Indesign, not Illustrator, although he was doing it there also).
Your way is logical, and also just cool. I actually wouldn't mind doing it (I'm very particular about how to present math solutions properly). But in our case, it's clearly not a good use of time and resources. You're more like my partner in this stuff, he enjoys the personal touch in all of this.
You give us too much credit. It was neither cool nor intended to provide a personal touch.
Not being all that knowledgeable about engineering or math software, it was the only bloody way we could get acceptable quality within the time and budget constraints we'd been given. Basically we used what we had and knew best
- and went from there.
Turned out it worked very well - and proved to be remarkably efficient down the road since all the formulas could be dropped in like tiles afterwards. Definitely not the optimal or most elegant strategy for how to get a project like that manual done. But it was a workable
method. And sometimes, 'workable' is as good as it gets.
Like the chief engineer for the Data General Eclipse 'Eagle' computer said: Not everything worth doing is worth doing well. Sometimes you have to learn to accept the constraints you're given. We built the machine we thought we could get away with building. But that's just the way things work here so it's really not all that important. What's really important is that you get your machine out the door.