Struggling to use linux in college - GNU/Linux
replace the win7 pxe image that all the machines boot from and use plan 9
Turbo late, but...

LibreOffice sounds like it would have easily checked off most of your troubles. It has a command line switch to convert documents to PDF and some basic support for DOC(X)/XLS(X)/PPT(X)/&c. Some tool called `docx2txt` might also work for some basic documents. Overall I haven't had any professors complain about the fact I upload all my documents and slideshows in PDF and they have also been considerate and provided me a PDF of whatever they hand out upon request.

No offense but until you know exactly what you want, know your tools very well, a WSYIWY{G,M} tool will be your best bet if only for discoverability and instant preview. Still want to deal with (La)TeX? LyX has been incredibly useful in that regard.

But alas, documents aren't your main problem. The real enemy lies in those that oppose a free/open workflow and by that I specifically am referring to DRM-riddled tire fires and certain Web sites that will refuse to work on a *NIX system either by malice or lack of support. I'd advise a separate Windows machine (virtual or not) to work around that, as much as you might not be fond of the idea.
Any updates on this I'm interested. What did you end up using (web apps?) and what was wrong with the libreoffice calc stuffs?
(11-01-2018, 05:43 AM)resk Wrote: what was wrong with the libreoffice calc stuffs?
Check out:, for the complete comparison.
What it boils down to for me is the lack of power in the table department. Pivot tables, table types, comparing tables are all awful on Calc I believe. I also harbor an unfounded dislike of Libre office for some unknown reason.

(11-01-2018, 01:30 AM)rocx Wrote: LyX has been incredibly useful in that regard.
I'll be sure to check it out! The allure of LaTeX to me is in the separation of text and formatting. College classes are a mess of different formats. English classes insist on MLA, Social science classes swear by APA, some history classes prefer the Chicago style of formatting. I detest having to stack style guides on my desk and flip through them to find out if my citations/works cited/footnotes/headers/whatever are formatted correctly.

I'll post a longer response later today with a bunch of updates from what I've been up to.
(11-01-2018, 02:59 PM)Houseoftea Wrote: The allure of LaTeX to me is in the separation of text and formatting.

Ha. Good one. It takes discipline to actually separate those concerns even in something like TeX otherwise every few lines you'll render the paper to see how it looks after those changes. Then you'll be back into the WSYWY{M,G} camp.
(11-01-2018, 02:59 PM)Houseoftea Wrote: The allure of LaTeX to me is in the separation of text and formatting.

If you're into that, you should check out one of the newer pandoc releases (2.0+: with groff/pdfroff support! don't need to install half of texlive) or maybe even org-mode for emacs. I personally use groff+ms for nearly everything I have to submit for university, since they're sane enough to do everything in pdfs. Pandoc also has great citation suppoet, afaik. It's also far easier to write markdown with some TeX sprinkled in between than normal LaTeX (not saying it's impossible, it's ok with a good editor, but markdown is stll more pleasant)
New question. Most (all) of you have more experience than me with LaTeX, would you personally recommend I try it out, keeping in mind that I want a sane solution to the problem of writing various essays in different styles.

For the meantime I have decided on using Google docs. I liked them a lot better than the Microsoft 365 online suite (even though its provided free by my uni).
This will at least get me onto my feet for the semester that starts next week. I'll continue to look into other, better, options.
Obligatory scrot:
LaTeX was a fun and worthy experience in my life as a student for two reasons:

First, I could get a nice document, well written, extremely clean that I was really proud of.

Second, It taught me why I would never use LaTeX agaon in my whole life.

To be honest, I'm glad I used it, and this markup language is really nice at creating clean docs to publish.
But it is awkward to type, takes really long to to configure properly (formatting wise), because yeah. It needs you to configure formatting, and it is way more complex than with CSS! Also, the copilation cycle can get tedious in the long run.

So yeah, latex is good, but not for everyday use!
(12-01-2018, 08:18 PM)z3bra Wrote: Second, It taught me why I would never use LaTeX agaon in my whole life

That's exactly what my professor said to me during my bachelor thesis, when i complained about latex and that i wished i've written it in open office. :D
Though I do not use these tools any more, I happily submitted PDF written in org-mode (then converted to LaTeX) instead of GUI document editor with a close to binary (in readability) file format. It was easy with org mode, but I did not have to do anything complex. Configuring LaTeX for emacs and editing the generated document by hand might not be enjoyable.

I also wrote html directly and this was pretty easy, as html + css looks like to be made to write documents (think of CSS float, perfect to put an image in between text) and this was not actually painful, it is not centering div according to grandparent or JQuery debugging...

Then there's Troff, which is LaTeX counterpart. It has most of what you can expect from LaTeX but have a smaller community.

The popularity of the WWW made html easy to convert to .docx formats, and all the document structure, and maybe even the CSS, is preserved.

You can then write in markdown or anything else, add a .css, and then open it with libreoffice and save it to .docx for submitting it.

Not sure this is as easy with the other two unfortunately...

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