Tools I used to work with LaTeX

In this post I will introduce some tools that made my life easier when working with LaTeX documents: the Texmaker editor and the Calc2Latex macro for OpenOffice’s Calc.

LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation. LaTeX is the de facto standard for the communication and publication of scientific documents. And it is free software!

However, writing complex documents with LaTeX can be a bit tiring, because it is like writing source code of a webpage for example. You think about the content and write tags to specify the format. Later you must compile the document to obtain a printed result, for example a PDF or an HTML file.

You can use a plain text editor to write your LaTeX documents, but I prefer to use Texmaker. Texmaker is a free, modern and cross-platform LaTeX editor that integrates many tools needed to develop documents with LaTeX, in just one application.
Texmaker includes unicode support, spell checking and a built-in pdf viewer with synctex support. It is released under the GPL license. You can know more about it in its website or better, install it from the standard repositories of your linux distro and give it a try.

If you prefer another tool let me know! I tried also TexWorks but I did not like it very much, Texmaker looks more complete.

The other tool that simplified my work with LaTex tables specially is Calc2Latex.

Calc2LaTeX is an OpenOffice.org Calc (Spreadsheet) macro for converting tables. It makes making tables on LaTeX very easy.

This extension will allow you to select a region in a spreadsheet, and generate a LaTeX tabular format of the spreadsheet.

It supports many types of formatting: Embedding the tabular environment in a table float, Caption on top or bottom, Label, Placement options, Include formatting (bold, italic), Escape special characters (#, $, %, &, _, {, }) , Output to a results window or to a file, and multicolumn merged cells.

I did not try all of them but for just for avoid writing all the columns and row separators of the table in the editor it is worthwhile! You just write or paste the table in Calc, select the cells, go to Macro >> Calc2Latex >> Main, and select the output formatting. Run, paste the LaTeX code in your LaTeX editor and finish the formatting.

Enjoy!

About larjona

My name is Laura Arjona, I am a libre software user and fan of the free culture. If you want to contact me you can write an email to larjona [at] larjona [dot] net I am @larjona at identi.ca in the Pump.io social network. --- Me llamo Laura Arjona, soy usuaria de software libre y fan de la cultura libre. Si quieres contactar conmigo puedes escribir a larjona [en] larjona [punto] net Soy @larjona en el servidor identi.ca, de la red social Pump.io.
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