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Lyx is the answer

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I'm pretty excited about it, actually.
-superboyac (March 15, 2011, 03:48 PM)
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Hell! You've got me excited about it~! :D

Sounds fantastic. Checking it out now...

Superboy, all we're saying is that Lyx (Latex) is VERY powerful for formatting text (you already know that), and as Spider-Man once said oh so long ago, "with great power comes great responsibility".
We'd like to spare you that pain, but since you've stated many times how nit-picky you are, I'm thinking it's inevitable you'll be wanting to get your hands dirty.
IMHO, nothing wrong with using a GUI, nothing wrong with being picky; Latex CAN be made to do your bidding, it just might take a bit of work.

My advice would be to write an example document, say 5-10 pages long, load it into Lyx and spit out some PDF's, applying appropriate-sounding Classes for each one.
Figure which one is closest to how you want it, make a copy and tweak it, checking the output after each adjustment until you get it just right.
Don't be surprised if this process takes a good chunk of time, but once you get it set up, you can write to your heart's content and spit out perfectly formatted documents until the cows come home.

I only warned you because I did this myself a short while ago, trying to format a resume from a plain text file into a pretty document.
I have to say it actually worked VERY well, and the default 'Curriculum Vitae' formatting was very impressive.
I tried out a few different classes and every one had nice touches and distinct advantages that obviously would work very well for other types of documents.
But when a few very minor things didn't turn out exactly to my liking, I spent a LOT of time tweaking a Class and after 4 or 5 hours it still wasn't coming out exactly right (probably due more to my inexperience than anything), so I gave up and went back to the CV class I had tried in the first place.

Caveat Utilitor...

Edvard, I'd like to discuss the details of your issue here:
But when a few very minor things didn't turn out exactly to my liking, I spent a LOT of time tweaking a Class and after 4 or 5 hours it still wasn't coming out exactly right
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These are my questions:
1) What was it exactly that you were trying to do?
2) When you say tweaking, what were you tweaking. (the more specific the better.  An xml file?  A settings dialog?)

I don't think I'd have more than 10 styles I'd use.  It can't be that hard to create 10 styles from scratch, could it?  Let's say it takes me 40 hours.  that's ok.  I'm fine with that.  What I don't want to do is after 40 hours, find out that it's really going to take me 100 more hours to figure this out, and then I just go back to Indesign.  i suppose I should just start playing with it.  I just can't see too many things that need to be tweaked.  Font, font size, font styles (italic, bold), line spacing (top, bottom), indentation, bullet lists, numbered lists.  This is all basic stuff.  Then I'd add some page decorations, like borders, page breaks, horizontal lines.  Is lyx going to fight me in trying to do these things?

Well, here's my first problem with Lyx:
No print preview of any kind.
I'd like to be able to preview what my document is going to look like without having to print to pdf, which takes a while.  I'd like to be able to make some changes, check the changes, fine tune the changes, check it again, etc.  I know, I know, "Lyx doesn't want you worrying about that." Whatever.  I need to see a preview!  It's 2011.

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.-superboyac (March 15, 2011, 10:45 PM)
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From that chunk of text, it sounds like you want DtP software, and not something with TeX as the underlying formatting engine.

It's not that you can't tweak layout with TeX, but it's something you do once, globally, and then let go - you don't mess with individual line spacing, page breaks, et cetera. A GUI frontend for TeX isn't meant to be (ab)used as a pseudo-DtP application, it's meant to provide some shortcuts, possibly a bit of not-accurate preview, and streamlining the "create ouput" process so you don't have to fiddle around with a shell and a bunch of commands.

I need to see a preview!  It's 2011.-superboyac (March 16, 2011, 08:55 AM)
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Content over form, mate ;) - while TeX is about making things looking good, it's also about separating all the layout stuff from content-production. You shouldn't be worried about those pesky details (and wasting time tweaking) while producing content. Go into content-production mode, write write write write write, and worry about layouting later.


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