From LaTeX to Indesign - Adobe Indesign

This is a discussion on From LaTeX to Indesign - Adobe Indesign ; Hello, I'm a confirmed user of latex. I teach mathematics that's why I produce my documents with latex, it fits to my needs and tex really produces documents with high typographic quality. The problem is that sometimes I use a ...

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From LaTeX to Indesign

  1. Default From LaTeX to Indesign

    Hello,

    I'm a confirmed user of latex. I teach mathematics that's why I produce my documents with latex, it fits to my needs and tex really produces documents with high typographic quality. The problem is that sometimes I use a lot of time to make some documents because it is hard to program things that would be easy to do with wysiwyg softs.
    Then, I discovered Adobe Indesign. By looking its features on Adobe site I imagine it would be a fantastic tool for me, even for mathematics typsetting.

    I have several questions :

    1/ For math typsetting I found mathmagic, what do you think of this soft ?

    2/ If you are/were a latex user converted to Indesign, can you give me your opinion between these to softs, are you happy to work with Indesign now ?

    3/ A question for confirmed users : the use of tex/latex is simple : you edit a .tex file build with text and tex/latex commands. Then you compile it with the tex engine. In the end, you have a .dvi (that you can convert with drivers if you want) or .pdf file.
    I would like to know if it is possible to do the same with Indesign that is to say : edit a text file (a xml file for example ???) and then compile it with the typographic engine Indesign to build a pdf file.
    This way, it is possible to use Indesign without its wysiwyg interface just like latex users do. Interest? Possibility to have access to powerful Indesign commands and possibility to use its powerful wysiwyg interface to do things that would be difficult to do without (that's what we miss with latex)

    4/ Is it possible to create macro commands with Indesign, just like we do in latex?

    Thank you very much. Maybe my questions are stupid but I don't know this soft at all.

    Arthur

  2. Default Re: From LaTeX to Indesign


    <arthur6@adobeforums.com> wrote in message
    news:59b6b7d4.-1@webcrossing.la2eafNXanI...
    > Hello,
    > I'm a confirmed user of latex. I teach mathematics that's why I produce my
    > documents with latex, it fits to my needs and tex really produces
    > documents with high typographic quality. The problem is that sometimes I
    > use a lot of time to make some documents because it is hard to program
    > things that would be easy to do with wysiwyg softs.
    > Then, I discovered Adobe Indesign. By looking its features on Adobe site I
    > imagine it would be a fantastic tool for me, even for mathematics
    > typsetting.
    > I have several questions :
    > 1/ For math typsetting I found mathmagic, what do you think of this soft ?
    > 2/ If you are/were a latex user converted to Indesign, can you give me
    > your opinion between these to softs, are you happy to work with Indesign
    > now ?
    > 3/ A question for confirmed users : the use of tex/latex is simple : you
    > edit a .tex file build with text and tex/latex commands. Then you compile
    > it with the tex engine. In the end, you have a .dvi (that you can convert
    > with drivers if you want) or .pdf file.
    > I would like to know if it is possible to do the same with Indesign that
    > is to say : edit a text file (a xml file for example ???) and then compile
    > it with the typographic engine Indesign to build a pdf file.
    > This way, it is possible to use Indesign without its wysiwyg interface
    > just like latex users do. Interest? Possibility to have access to powerful
    > Indesign commands and possibility to use its powerful wysiwyg interface to
    > do things that would be difficult to do without (that's what we miss with
    > latex)
    > 4/ Is it possible to create macro commands with Indesign, just like we do
    > in latex?
    > Thank you very much. Maybe my questions are stupid but I don't know this
    > soft at all.
    > Arthur


    Well, we're even because I know very little about Latex and absolutely
    nothing about Mathmagic. So, I can't offer a comparative opinion on the
    software but I can tell you that you're comparing apples and oranges;
    InDesign is full-featured publishing software, argueably the industry
    standard, while Latex is a word processing engine. InDesign is a powerful,
    versatile program for publishing, and you can use scripts and macros. I
    think, as you become more familiar with InDesign, you'll be able to do far
    more with it than Latex or any other publishing or word processing software.
    However, it's got to be a steep learning curve for a brand-newbie, so be
    patient and persistent-- just like teaching math :-)



  3. Default Re: From LaTeX to Indesign

    I can only answer a couple of the questions.

    3) Currently, in InDesign CS3 you have the ability to export to tagged
    text which can be opened in any text editor. However, it has its
    problems and only works by the story. So if you have multiple stories it
    can be a tedious route.

    With the new version of InDesign (CS4) which should be shipping within
    weeks there has been advertised a new format which is supposed to be
    similar to XML that will allow you to export the whole document and will
    allow it to be edited in a text editor. I have never tried it, but I
    have heard it is very good.

    4) No, but InDesign does support scripting.

  4. Default Re: From LaTeX to Indesign

    1. Simple equations can be done with creative use of tables, for example, a simple "a = 1 over b" as



    +-----+-----+
    | a = | 1 |
    | +-----+
    | | b |
    +-----+------

    An obvious advantage is that it's right there, editable in ID, and you don't have to work with external files. WIth some practice you can even do multiple stacking, insert large brackets, etc. Depending on how much and how difficult the eqs. are, it might be worth effort. Otherwise I stick to using a PDF.
    Usually, an externally created eqn., saved as PDF or EPS, causes no problem at all.

    2. ... apples and oranges. I don't think there are many converts, either way around -- more a hate-hate relationship ;-)

    3. Well, the entire workflow is different. If really REALLY necessary, it is possible to mimick a tex workflow by creating an INX document, which is an XML like doc with InDesign build elements. That can be read by InDesign and is immediately "compiled" to a full document. "Compiled" inbetween quotes because that's not really what it does, or is meant to do ... What tex/latex misses is immediate feedback (although I remember some GUI attempts from the past).

    4. Nope -- not like latex at all. ID has a powerful scripting engine, but everything in latex is "live" per default: for example, you can program a counter and do all kinds of interesting things with these anywhere in your text. Scripting is more like an action replay, and something like a dynamic counter is incredibly difficult.

    You are comparing apples and oranges. It's more interesting to make a list of equivalent functions of the two programs:

    1. They both work with text.
    2. ... (err...)

  5. Default Re: From LaTeX to Indesign

    Thank you very much.
    I have some more simple questions:
    It's about spacing:

    1/In latex when you type two spaces between two words, latex understands these two spaces as one (it removes one): it's really cool. Has Indesign an option to do such a thing ?
    2/I never put a space between a word and ":" Does automaticaly (with an option maybe I suppose) Indesign remove that space if I put one ?

    3/Can I set the space between paragraph automatically ?

    4/When I type text in italic, spaces between words are considered in italic mode too ?

    5/Is it possible (very bad thing) to have spaces with different sizes, shapes (slanted, italic), series ?

    Thank you

  6. Default Re: From LaTeX to Indesign



    5) Yes, see 4.




    How can a space have a shape when it is basically just a distance ?
    It can have a style with each style defining a different distance, but that would not be a shape, would it?

  7. Default Re: From LaTeX to Indesign

    I think that's a yes in the sense that a space carries a font specification, so it's possible to insert a 12 pt Bickham Script Pro space into a line of 9 pt Adobe Garamond Italic.

    Peter

  8. Default Re: From LaTeX to Indesign

    1) You would have to do a find/change

    2) Again, a find/change

    3) Paragraph styles?

    4) Yes, spaces have formatting just as any other character. In general
    spaces in InDesign are the space character within the font. I believe
    this is different from LaTex and similar typesetting programs where a
    space is a character that has no connection to the font used. There are
    some advantages to the way InDesign does it, although I don't think it
    is the better way.

    5) Yes, see 4.

  9. Default Re: From LaTeX to Indesign

    Just a suggestion: Why not download the free trial version of InDesign from the Adobe site and experiment with it for 30 days? It comes with extensive help files. Afterwards, with your experience in latex, YOU may be able to help US with this stuff!

    Also, I've seen mathmagic mentioned in these forums several times. You should be able to do a search on the name to find those discussions.

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