# [texhax] Using XeTeX to select fonts

David Crosswell davidcrosswell at internode.on.net
Thu Jan 31 03:26:57 CET 2013

```On 31/01/13 11:41, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
> On 2013-01-30 at 09:14:37 -0500, William Adams wrote:
>
>  > On Jan 29, 2013, at 10:22 PM, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
>  >
>  > > I suppose that the author of Lyx assumed that learning LaTeX is
>  > > difficult but in my opinion this assumption is wrong.
>  >
>  > I believe that LyX is attempting to address the difficulty which
>  > most naïve users have w/ matching up semantic tagging w/ visual
>  > appearance --- most people view code as too arcane to bother with.
>
> Sure.  But if they have to use a LaTeX package which isn't supported
> by LyX, they have to insert LaTeX code anyway.  Isn't it easier then
> if they've learned LaTeX at the beginning?
<skip>
/So I'm wondering for whom LyX is beneficial. BTW, a friend of mine
tried to write his bachelor thesis with LyX but gave up quite soon and
created a standard LaTeX file instead. This was amazing because he
always prayed that the LaTeX approach (typing control sequences) is
completely wrong and control sequences should be inserted by GUIs
instead. I was really surprised when I saw that he gave up LyX so early./

I started off with LyX, but gave up on it.
A few things I found annoying was the table layout, for one example,
where it was standard to have doubled vertical columns and \hlines.
This doesn't always suit and I found a very simple programme called
`Gummi' as part of the Gnome desktop, which had the .pdf pane right
alongside the editor pane and printed out what I entered as I entered
it. It was a tremendous help. When you get immediate feedback like that
you can learn very quickly. I'm now using Texmaker, but once I'm on top
of that, I'll be switching to a straight text editor - probably JEdit.
Staging the transition is helpful, but I don't think obfuscating the
code is helpful, which is all LyX does. At least I didn't find it useful
and I'm not all that advanced. LyX definitely didn't work for me. It
seriously delayed me in getting involved for at least three years,
because of the negative mental connotation of `code'. Very glad I took
the leap however and it has been helpful that it has been a series of
small leaps.

The availability of good documentation was the other factor which
assisted enormously.
Once you have the basic grasp of preamble lay-out, it doesn't take much
investigation to discover what other configuration options can be
applied to gain the effects you need if you have accessible documentation.
Kind regards,

David

--
"Res publica non dominetur."

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