LaTeX forum ⇒ LyXWhy LyX?

Information and discussion about LyX, a WYSIWYM editor, available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X systems.
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Re: Why LyX?

Postby meho_r » Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:04 pm

skibum1981 wrote:LyX is still faster than LaTeX EVEN IF you know LaTeX, at least for me. I agree that writing $\alpha$ is faster than pulling it down from some table, but you can write this in LyX as well; you can use virtually all of the LaTeX commands that you know and love, and some shortcuts too. Plus, you can also create keyboard shortcuts for just about everything. I prefer it to LaTeX quite a bit.

Although I like LyX, I don't agree with this. If insertion of symbols etc. is of significant value to you, you can do the same in "plain" LaTeX editors like Texmaker and Kile (to mention just two). End, beside that, both editors have autocomplete options which LyX lacks (you have to learn shortcuts in LyX, which are configurable in Texmaker and Kile too). Using LaTeX commands (and custom environments and commands) in LyX soon becomes visual mess and is highly impractical.

LyX is very limited when advanced and extensive changes/customizations to the document are needed and has many serious problems which are showstoppers for advanced LaTeX users. But, for users who are new to LaTeX, those who don't have to use many LaTeX commands and use templates as they are, it's pretty good. Just remember to keep backups of your files, since .lyx files can get corrupted from time to time.


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Postby llewellyn » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:54 pm

LYX was the greatest thing that happened in my writing Life.
It allowed me to easily use the power of latex at a time when I could not devote time to learning Latex or TEX.
Lyx is for the ordinary stupid user who just wants a good editor that lets him/her see on screen what is being done. Perhaps other editors mentioned can do it better but LYX is easy and quick to learn and allowed me to produce a very good looking document within the first 5 minutes of me starting with it. As I got cleverer I started poking around in the DVI and in the TEX file LYX produces.
I do the bulk of my document or manuscript fast in LYX, spell checking, examining how my pages look in a flash and later add bells and pretty things to my pages by inserting bits of Latex code.
Lyx brings simplicity when you need it and fancy is available when you want.

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Postby aaronchall » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:34 am

I'll second the fact that Lyx makes Latex more accessible to people who've never used Latex. Then, after you've spent enough time trying to figure Lyx out, you realize you need to figure Latex out first.

That said, I'll probably never learn to write math in Latex, since Lyx makes it so easy. In fact, I'll probably compose my academic notes in Lyx from here on out, and I may just use it for writing papers too (for the Lyz integration with Zotero, if I can figure out how to work the formatting properly). I wish there was an easy way to insert latex graphics too.

Ubuntu 9.10, learning LaTeX, mostly muddling through templates and Lyx, tell me to RTFM if you can tell me WHICH FM

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Postby meho_r » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:34 am

aaronchall wrote:...

That said, I'll probably never learn to write math in Latex, since Lyx makes it so easy. In fact, I'll probably compose my academic notes in Lyx from here on out, and I may just use it for writing papers too (for the Lyz integration with Zotero, if I can figure out how to work the formatting properly)...

Well, Zotero can export your references as a BibTeX file (.bib), so this shouldn't be a problem at all. And don't even try to get around BibTeX when trying to manage references in LyX/LaTeX. Manual approach for any serious work is out of question.

I wish there was an easy way to insert latex graphics too...

What is the problem with inserting graphics? From my experience, it is much easier to do this in LyX/LaTeX than in any word processor.

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Postby PPCC » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:00 am

Maksi wrote:So my question is: why not use LyX? And I am sure that many people, who talk bad of LyX, have not really tried out any of the latest version over a longer period of time. The only reason not to use LyX to me seems to be if you love writing code and feel very cool, progressive or geeky about being able to write everything in code (instead of clicking a few buttons). For some students, this also is a qualification bonus (e.g. people from informatics, sciences and so on).

All are due to the habit. For me, a person working in the engineering mechanics field, because I have known TeX and then LyX nearly at the same time, I felt familiar with LyX as soon as I used. And now, LyX is so convenient for making tables, inserting figures, creating equations, converting Excel/HTML/Maple/MathType/... to LyX (of course TeX from/to LyX too) that I have been using very often.

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Postby slinux » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:18 pm

for me, only fast able to write equation even is enough reason to use LyX

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Postby cmegaw » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:40 pm

I am a math graduate student and personally i use lyx because it is fast. It is a great tool for me to write rough drafts or take notes in class. I do not have to think or worry about any coding mistakes. Also, if you have basic knowledge of the program you will almost never have to use your mouse. There are key board hot commands for almost every basic task. Many of my colleagues think that it would be impossible to tec up notes as fast as the teacher says them but it is quite doable in lyx if you have adequate typing skills.

That being said, i have been using lyx for some time and i do have the occasional gripe where i can't seem to get some easy formatting task done that is easily done in latex. This problem is easily solved though by exporting the file into plain latex and fixing the problem directly.

Like i said lyx is a great tool for writing fast. Its not always the most user friendly when you want to get specific things done and finding help for these specific tasks can be a pain but in general it is awesome tool to have.

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Postby Lucas Malor » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:57 pm

Well, Lyx helped me a lot. Yes, it's not so powerful if you need something more, but for what I need it's enough. I think Lyx is a good compromise between Office (or Libreoffice) and Latex. For now it's a good tool for the casual writer and a good latex "tutorial" if you do "view -> view source".

I don't agree with "WYSIWYM is better than WYSIWYG". IMHO WYSIWYM is a necessity for Lyx not a feature, because Latex is a compiled language.
(TMA: too much acronyms...)

In a perfect world it can become a editor with the full power of Latex but simpler than Word and Latex. I think this is quite impossible because:
  • it's an hard work
  • there's no business
  • Latex is not an intepreted language

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Postby insipidtoast » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:10 pm

As someone who just found out about lyx and latex less than a week ago, I want to say that lyx is a great program for a beginner. I wouldn't have entered the realm of latex if I was exposed to all the code jargon first. That's such a turn off.

Lyx is great if you're just writing a normal, text-only novel or non-fiction book. However, if you doing anything even slightly outside of Lyx's predetermined confines (which are pretty rigid in my opinion), than you will have to learn a bit of Latex coding anyway.

I would like to see Lyx as more of a microsoft word kind of program, but not as fussy. By that, I mean I'd like to see the program as a WYSIWYG program. When you hit the pdflatex preview command and it shows you what the finished product will look like, I wish that's how lyx would look all the time. That would be the best way to dumb the program down for dumb beginners.

Clicking and dragging/scaling/cropping images would be nice.
I'm using windows with LyX 2.0 and MiKTeX 2.9
I'm designing a book using the Koma-script class

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Postby lyxrocks » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:39 pm

Lyx is really good for mathematicians like myself. as many people already mentioned, with regular latex, you have to check for those pesky coding mistakes constantly, it is normal to be forced to check for missing "$" and missing brackets, it gets annoying over time.

some people might say, with latex, you have a lot of freedom, you can do a lot more. But this is not true. think about it this way, can you name one thing that you can do in latex but cannot do in lyx? if you want to do advanced, fancy things in latex, you have to do some research, you have to learn how to do it, it's exactly the same in lyx.

the advantages of latex over lyx are probably: a, it is easier to find an internet/book guide on something very specific because many more people use it. b, it is easier to ask a question and have it answered because, again, many more people use it.

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