Wednesday, March 28, 2012

LaTeX and the People Who Typeset for the Journals

One of the things that initially attracted me to LaTeX was the allegation that the people who typeset for journals would be able to use my .tex file to do an above-average job of typesetting my papers in a below-average amount of time. But I have found that the people who typeset for the journals I publish in do not want my .tex files. They want word files. When I send them seductively-worded emails offering them my gorgeous and easy-to-typeset .tex file, they tell me that they'd prefer a .doc or a rich text. This is inconvenient.

So I have two questions. 1. Which journals will accept .tex files for typesetting? and 2. Is there a simple/easy/time-unconsuming way to transform a .tex file into a file MS Word can read? Because I wind up just copy-and-pasting the paper from the PDF into a new Word document a paragraph or two at a time, inserting the footnotes by hand, and trying to spot all the places where LaTeX has made a ligature character that Word doesn't recognize. Obviously this is not my most serious problem, but it would still be nice to find a better way.

--Mr. Zero

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Phil Studies accepts a tex file (one generated with their in-house style guide, available for download).

I've found that hitting 'copy-all' and pasting into Word does a pretty good job of getting most of it right - it takes me maybe an hour to fix all the mistakes... So it's not that big a deal to me.

Anonymous said...

someone write a GUI for John MacFarlane's pandoc! http://johnmacfarlane.net/pandoc/

Anonymous said...

I've got a MacBook Pro, and use a utility called latex2rtf to export *.tex documents to *.rtf documents. It takes some UNIX jujitsu to install and to use, but I've not had much problems otherwise

Tuomas said...

The Australasian Journal of Logic (http://philosophy.unimelb.edu.au/ajl/) will take your tex files.

Anonymous said...

Philosophers' Imprint and Phil Quarterly will take .tex files.

Anonymous said...

Every logic and philosophy of science journal. Also, any journal in any technical field outside of philosophy.

Anonymous said...

I use this site: http://www.sciweavers.org/convert-latex-to-rtf

Anonymous said...

"Phil Studies accepts a tex file (one generated with their in-house style guide, available for download)."

Where might one find this?

Anonymous said...

PQ may take tex files, but in my experience, they don't simply typeset it. When I got back an initial preprint, some bizarre (new) typos appeared in what I can only assume is a retype of some parts of the manuscript. (I don't use any non-standard macros.)

Anonymous said...

This is the problem (or one of them) that made me go back to word from latex, at least when not doing logic.

But pandoc is the answer!

Anonymous said...

If you need to copy everything to Word anyway, why not create the whole thing in Word from the start?

Anonymous said...

I will never understand some people's Latex fetishes. It's nerdy, complicated, and ugly.

(Well, considering that those adjectives apply to most of the people I know with Latex fetishes, maybe I do understand.)

David Sanson said...

This is why I write in pandoc's extended markdown instead of LaTeX. Then it's just a matter of

$ pandoc -o file.docx

instead of

$ pandoc -o file.pdf

and you're good to go.

@anonymous7:38: not sure what you want from a GUI for pandoc. Do you have something like LyX in mind? Doesn't that seem like overkill?

There are bundles for emacs, vim, and TextMate. I have a small collection of OS X droplets and system services for simple conversions: https://github.com/dsanson/Pandoc-Droplets-and-Services.

Mr. Zero said...

I don't want to use Word because I hate it. Is that weird?

I don't mind the way the LaTeX editor looks. I'm used to it, and I'm used to the commands, so when I look at it I can easily see what's going on. There was kind of a steep learning curve, but it didn't take long to get the hang of it. (I've written a couple of posts about this; once a couple of years ago when I first switched, and once about a year after that.) And the documents it makes are highly readable and look awesome. And it makes your bibliography and formats your references for you. And if you think nerdiness is a strike against this, you might be in the wrong line of work. Just kidding. No, I'm not. Yes, I am. No, I'm not. And none of the free Word clones are any better than Word. They're worse.

I haven't tried Lyx though. Maybe I will.

Anonymous said...

Lyx is not worth trying if you already have the hang of working directly on a .tex file in a suitable editor. It is a nice stepping stone from working in something like word, but not worth going back to.

It seems that the advantages of LaTeX are a bit undermined by people's resistance to change. I wrote my dissertation as a .tex file. Our grad college, however, only supports their word template. Ideally, it would be way easy for them to format .tex files but that requires somebody up there to learn something, a suggestion they found offensive. I suspect that this is the case with many journals.

It would be much easier if they would just post a style file so that you can instantly format your paper to their specs, but the editors don't want to learn something new or they fear that authors won't want to learn something new. It is funny how offended some people get by the suggestion that learning something new might be well worth the while. They are going to hate it when nerds rule the world.

Anonymous said...

@David Sanson

I want to not have to go into terminal and type that command line instruction. I want to drag and drop, press a button, and get what I want.

Anonymous said...

@David Sanson

Basically, I want what your droplets do, except from latex to doc directly, and works in Lion or above. (Your droplets appear to be written for the classic environment?)

Anonymous said...

If you have OpenOffice, you can use Pandoc and just type:

pandoc -o file.odt file.tex

Then it's straightforward to save the .odt file as a .doc file in OpenOffice. The one downside is that it won't generate your bibliography or insert the references. If someone knows of a way to do that, I'd be interested to hear.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for LaTeX2RTF, which is also available for Windows.

Anonymous said...

tex4ht will convert LaTeX sources to odt, which you can save as a doc file in OpenOffice/LibreOffice. But it's a bit difficult to set up and use.

I always write in LaTeX, and submit a PDF. I convert it into doc only if and when the paper is accepted for publication. A few times editors were happy to take tex; most often, they want a doc.

In that case, I often prefer a copy-and-paste paragraph by paragraph. It's time-consuming, but it's a great way to catch typos and make minor changes. This is something you should do even if you use Word, since you won't catch some typos by just reading through a printout.

The only journal that I know of that wants a doc file at initial submission is Philosophy and Public Affairs. But of course it is perhaps the least author-friendly journal out there anyway (unless you're one of their friends)...

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the people writing you that they prefer word are just wrong. Many publishers have a policy to accept LaTeX that individual journals do not know about. They also want it in their templates though:

http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authorsview.authors/elsarticle#intro

http://www.springer.com/cda/content/document/cda_downloaddocument/LaTeX.zip?SGWID=0-0-45-468198-0

http://www.oxfordjournals.org/for_authors/latex.html

http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-301843.html

Carl M. said...

I haven't been able to get into LaTeX, but I do write in "Markdown" which is a lightweight formatting syntax. For example, underbar means _italics_ and double star is **bold**. I then use various command line utilities to convert it to PDF if I need to print it or Word if I need to email it to a journal.

Anonymous said...

Synthese will take your TeX files.