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Approved LaTeX compiler?

Navy_Pete

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As per the title, does anyone know if there is an approved LaTeX word proessing package for the DWAN?

Just spent most of my afternoon fighting Word to do some basic formatting (for the 4th time) on a shared document and ready to watch the world (figuratively) burn.

Could have done the same thing very simply in older versions of word, but it's fairly useless for the standard layout we use with numbered paras and headings. Feels really amateur hour to issue an RFP with 10 sections all formatted differently, where we could use a simple WYSIWYG text editor, drop all the sections into a single document and compile everything using a common template.

After using it for my thesis I'm a convert, but just would make things so much easier.
 

dapaterson

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Or build each section, then roll each one into a consolidated document in Foxit - it imports most formats and blerts out a PDF.
 

dimsum

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And once you're done that, send it to me so I can do the same :sneaky:
 

SupersonicMax

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As per the title, does anyone know if there is an approved LaTeX word proessing package for the DWAN?

Just spent most of my afternoon fighting Word to do some basic formatting (for the 4th time) on a shared document and ready to watch the world (figuratively) burn.

Could have done the same thing very simply in older versions of word, but it's fairly useless for the standard layout we use with numbered paras and headings. Feels really amateur hour to issue an RFP with 10 sections all formatted differently, where we could use a simple WYSIWYG text editor, drop all the sections into a single document and compile everything using a common template.

After using it for my thesis I'm a convert, but just would make things so much easier.
There are easy ways to use headings to do what you want. Your shop doesn’t have templates?

Alternatively, you can paste special and select “plain text” and it’ll conform itself to the current formatting.
 

Navy_Pete

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Yes, there are ways to use headings, but doesn't necessarily work with things like TOCs and other cross references.

Also doesn't stop the conflict with various styles, multiple documents being compiled together etc, plus all the autoformatting/style that never seems to fully turn off.

LaTeX allows you to set global formatting, process a bunch of separate files as inputs, and output them all to the same formatting template. You can take the same document and output it in totally different formats with a few clicks. Alternately it makes sure the entire compiled document is identical. So when you take 10 different documents put together by 5 different people, you don't have to do anything really to create a coherent final document.

It's a bit of learning curve but once you get it done, you can set up templates that autogenerate all kinds of things. I used to have a leave request memo where the only text I put in was the line for why I was doing the request along with the dates. Took longer to print then create. You can do the same with minute sheets and similar routine paperwork and once it's set up, a lot faster than editing a word doc template with less issues than the pdf forms. But specifically would like it for doing things like RFPs that are generally a team effort.

Anyway, if anyone happens to know of a solution available on the DWAN I'd appreciate it.
 

dimsum

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Memos to request leave are stupid. (Not the drafter, the requirement to submit them).
The one time I had to do that was because the leave would have been over a year in advance. That's it.

Do some people do it normally? If so, why?
 

dangerboy

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The one time I had to do that was because the leave would have been over a year in advance. That's it.

Do some people do it normally? If so, why?
I have seen it when a unit has fixed leave dates and people are requesting leave outside those dates.
 

Navy_Pete

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Memos to request leave are stupid. (Not the drafter, the requirement to submit them).
I agree, it was back when I was a new SLt (maybe 15 years ago now). Think it was mostly to get us to practice paperwork, so I learned to use LaTeX instead and just forced the formatting to meet the standard margins etc. Found the pdf would much more reliably print the margins etc correctly than a word template, so I didn't have to resubmit a memo because of a 1.125" margin or something stupid.

Never saw it in a normal unit but was the standard at the school at the time.
 

Navy_Pete

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Haha that's what happens when you let engineers and scientists do things on their own; sounds fun at first glance but in reality is pretty nerdy.

It's also pronouced 'tech' for some reason, I don't know why. the 'La' was added on to the original TeX because someone added on a bunch of front end bits to make the back end typesetting commands in TeX more functional and user friendly.

For science or engineering it makes things like formulas and equations really easy, but can also drag/drop the bibliography in a standard format (bibTeX) and it will do it all for you. Changing a bibliography from Chicago style to APA or whatever is as easy as changing a single spot in the code and re-compiling (ie push a button and wait a minute).

So if you want to change the bibliography format to something different you just change a single switch and it does it for you. You can write an article but output it for 5 different journals in their standard formats with a few clicks. Most scientific journals provide the relevant LaTeX code, so you can just drop it in the front end of your document, compile it to that template and submit it. Saves a lot of effort on formatting as an author and for the journal, so you can focus on the content instead.

Takes a bit to learn, but for certain applications it saves massive amounts of time and effort.
 
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