LaTeX forum ⇒ Decision GuidanceDecision between LyX and Scientific Workplace

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Rick Taylor
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:01 pm

Decision between LyX and Scientific Workplace

Postby Rick Taylor » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:10 pm


I teach mathematics at a community college. I'm looking for a tool to write papers on mathematical topics, exams, and problem sheets. I'm considering using either LyX on OS X, or Scientific Workplace on Windows.

My main motivation for using a platform like these instead of straight LaTeX is to make it easy to insert graphs and diagrams in my papers. I'm also hoping to have a package that makes it straightforward to update such things. So for example, if I'm editing an old exam, and I want to modify a graph given for a problem, I don't want to have to locate the file where the graph is stored; I'd like to be able to just click on the graph within the document and have whatever program created it launch, allowing me to make appropriate modifications.

Scientific Workplace attracts me, because it promises that sort of integration. It also has a computer algebra system, but I don't care so much about that; what attracts me is the ability to create and format a new graph within the program, and then to be able to modify it later, again while within the program.

I'm wondering how effective LyX is for this style of editing, especially on a Mac where programs have linkback support? Also, I'm curious what tools people would us in this regard for creating graphs and diagrams within a paper?

Thanks for your support.

Posts: 70
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 12:37 pm

Postby sitex » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:24 am


I am retired now. I have used Scientific WorkPlace for years to typeset documents, create course materials, and (random instance) exams. Many of my students used it to typeset assignments. (We had a roaming license for 25 copies.) As you correctly noted, its main pros are ease of use, the computer algebra engine with plotting capabilities, the VCAM window and its import and export features. The major con is its cost.

I still do some technical typesetting and I recently began experimenting with Lyx. It is a wonderful program and it is free. However, I will probably continue to do most of my work with Scientific WorkPlace because of the import/export features and the CAS.


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