LaTeX forum ⇒ Decision GuidanceOpen-source software for a copyeditor?

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Open-source software for a copyeditor?

Postby rjh1109 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:00 am

I'm a freelance copyeditor and I've been offered a part-time job as a remote editor of dissertations and theses written in LaTeX. I previously did this type of editing for a scholarly journal using BaKoMa.

However, that's no longer available to me and I'd like to find an open-source editor that would be good for this job. Note that I won't be writing anything in LaTeX, simply loading and editing documents written by others. I'm not sure if that makes much of a difference, but it might.

Any suggestions/recommendations from you more experienced hands?

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Stefan Kottwitz
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Postby Stefan Kottwitz » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:22 pm


welcome to the board!

Is there any reason, that you would like to use only open source? Do you plan to read or change the sources? Because there are free editors which are not open source but are free, for example WinShell and LEd. Just a remark - I prefer open-source editors too, since there are some of very good quality and well supported.

Thinking of copywriting, I would use an editor which
  • supports most uses input encodings, since you may get files in UTF-8 or Windows or Apple specific encoding
  • works with SyncTeX, since you read the output and frequently need to jump to the to the corresponding specific position in the source code
  • doesn't have distracting toolbars, since you don't write
  • perhaps also provides spell checking capability or possible integration of hunspell or aspell

Regarding this, I would say TeXworks would be good choice.

Furthermore, using a version control system could be useful, and tools such as latex-diff or general text diff tools, and a PDF diff program.

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Postby rjh1109 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:07 pm

Thank you for your well-reasoned reply, Stefan.

I should not have said "open source." I'm afraid I used it as a kind of oode for "free of charge," which wasn't very wise of me.

I'm basically a novice at this. I gather that, if I choose Texworks, I also need Sync Tex?

I'll look further into both of these programs.

Meanwhile, thanks again for your help :D


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Stefan Kottwitz
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Postby Stefan Kottwitz » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:27 pm

Hi Ralph,

with SyncTeX I mean the support of this feature, forward and inverse search. Simply click in the PDF, which you read, and you will land in the right source code place in the editor. This is gread for copy editing.

This feature depends on the PDF viewer. TeXworks has an integrated viewer which supports it. The Adobe Reader doesn't support it, that's why some TeXnicCenter users (also with other editors) use Sumatra PDF (with support).

I like TeXworks because it's clean, fast, configurable, and source and preview windows are sharing the screen. And I use this cross-platform program both on Windows and Linux, same way of working. And TeXworks and MiKTeX already install it, so you can easily try.

Just ensure that synctex is enabled. Here are my settings (I additionally enabled shell-escape):

preferences.png (40.99 KiB) Viewed 16818 times

synctex.png (27.62 KiB) Viewed 16818 times

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Postby annginette » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:09 pm

Hi, Stefan and rjh. I'm in exactly the same position as rjh was back when he first posted. I'm downloading TeXworks 6.1 right now -- thank you, Stefan.

RJH, now that some time has passed, do you have any advice? How has it worked out for you?

I've done a lot of copyediting work in markdown and am hoping that will help jumpstart me as I learn about copyediting in LaTeX.
Thanks in advance,
-- Annginette

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Postby mariareese » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:51 pm

Absolutely right ..TeXworks works good .. I downloaded today to use it.. :D

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