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Lyx is the answer

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I totally understand.
All I'm saying is, concentrate on your writing, because that's the point; you'll be telling Lyx what to do as you go along, and it will obey.
The Pre-set Classes available are pretty good, just roll with them for now, there might even be one that's perfect out of the box.
Later, you can open one up and make minor adjustments here and there, and IME that process can get nuts pretty damn quick.

I don't know LyX, but I do know LaTeX which is what LyX builds on. LaTeX is all about removing you, the writer, from the typesetting. Basically you're just supposed to type and then rely on the TeX engine to compile your document in a beautiful PDF. It will do that, and it will do it well.

Again, I don't know how easy or not LyX is to use, but at the moment I myself wouldn't consider using a LaTeX GUI. For me a LaTeX document is like a webpage, you have the content and styling separate, so you can change one easily without affecting the other. When you write a LaTeX document in the markup code, it's easy to try out loads of different styles. I did my Thesis this way, so doing large documents is very possible.

A thing to remember though is that LaTeX wants you to only provide the content, it wants to be left alone to decide the typesetting. Frankly LaTeX assumes you, the writer, is useless at typesetting and document design, and will fight you tooth an nail every time you disagree with it. That include small things like page breaks, it believes it knows better than you.

This behavior is largely by design, most people aren't designers and will often produce awful end products if given access to such features.

Personally I'd say go with raw LaTeX code, possible with the XeLaTeX compiler so that you can easily use system fonts. Also go with the MikTeX distribution, it's Windows orientated and very simple to use.

Of course by all means give LyX a whirl, but I couldn't imagine doing my Thesis (~160 pages, full of math equations, tables and graphs) in WYSIWYM or WYSIWYG program.

Eoin, I understand most of what you say.  But it doesn't quite make sense to me.  I understand the whole idea of Latex.  You say you wouldn't use a gui.  i don't understand why not.  To me, you sound like those programmers and computer powerusers who insist that using keyboard shortcuts and programming things from scratch is "better".

Whenever people talk about latex, they keep repeating the same things.  Latex doesn't want you thinking about typesetting, etc.  And they keep repeating it and repeating.  Look, I get it.  I get the philosophy behind the thing.  Now, let's get down to it.  Latex is not a person, it doesn't assume anything.  I just want to define like 5 different styles, and start using them to create content.  Why wouldn't I want a gui?  Can you explain that?

You say:
Frankly LaTeX assumes you, the writer, is useless at typesetting and document design, and will fight you tooth an nail every time you disagree with it. That include small things like page breaks, it believes it knows better than you.
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That doesn't make sense to me.  latex is not a person, so you need to explain this without all the abstract talk.  What good is a program if it's going to fight me for trying to get things just the way I want it?  That doesn't make sense.  If it's true, why the hell would I use it?

I want to define when and where page breaks should occur.  I want to define what borders and stuff appear on the page.  I want to define how the paragraphs are styled.  I'm EXTREMELY PICKY.  I'm going to nitpick every line spacing, every white space, the indentations.  I don't want it almost the way I want it.  I want it exactly the way I want it.  I don't want to go around in circles trying to "trick" the program to do it.  I want a program that will easily do these things.  Not with codes or syntax, but with buttons and dialogs and previews, etc.

A lot of people like us scoff at WYSIWYM or WYSIWYG.  Why?  How is that a bad thing?  I just don't understand any of this.

If your recommendation is to go raw latex, my answer is no thanks.  I'll just stick to Indesign.

I've been writing a lot the past year.  You guys might be familiar with my frustrations with Word and styles and all that.  Well, I think Lyx is the answer for me.  I haven't gotten my hands dirty with it yet, but I've been reading about it and it seems like it's exactly what I'm looking for.
-superboyac (March 15, 2011, 03:48 PM)
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As I am new in this community, I didn't see your past posts. But I can say about your style. Because I'm answering your present post.
No big words for you, I just impressed.

just a quote for your information:

The first WYSIWYM word processor (and also first editor) was LyX. LyX is a graphical editor built on top of a LaTeX  processor, so it, like LaTeX, is particularly suited for the editing of scientific documents — though, again like LaTeX, it can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

Inside LyX, the structure of a document is partly determined by the 'document layout' chosen for it. These layouts correspond to LaTeX document classes, though LyX can also work with DocBook. The export process is performed in two steps. First the contents are transformed from an internal format to LaTeX, and then the LaTeX processor is used to generate the output document in the requested format (DVI, PDF, etc.). An advantage of this system is that LyX can produce any format to which a LaTeX file can itself be converted.-Wikipedia on 'WYSIWYM'
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