Re: hwg-basics-digest V1 #855

by "Ted Temer" <temer(at)>

 Date:  Fri, 20 Apr 2001 12:14:35 -0700
 To:  "HWGBASICS" <hwg-basics(at)>
 References:  localhost
  todo: View Thread, Original
Raj--and others:

First off, this is a pretty off topic subject to be spending a lot of time
on a HTML list. And to top it off, I fail to see the point. We are basically
talking about two different things.

You must remember:

1. The publishing world, just like the web world, is in a high state of
constant flux, driven primarily by the influx of computers.

2. Within the broad subject of publishing, there are a dozen different
proprietary examples of hardware, and software. LaTeX is just one such.

But--Move over 500 miles--or even across town to a different business firm
and you may be hard pressed to find anyone who ever "heard" of the equipment
your firm, (or school), considers "standard".

It is ever thus in most walks of life. The "mass market" often lowers what
many of us would consider the minimum standard for either convenience or
price. Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov were composers. Now any idiot
with a git fiddle can make a noise and the masses consider it music.

Certainly it is true that in the highly specialized and unique area of the
broad "printed" world, there are people typing into specialized machines and
using every form of setting type and / or character / word / sentence /
paragraph modification that has ever been devised by mankind. They do it
with skill and enviable artistic talent.

But by the same token, they must in turn, realize that more and more
business people are turning to computer, (read desktop), driven solutions to
their printing needs. Manuscripts and books are SELDOM typed directly into
high end typesetters anymore. Most--these days--are first authored by
someone using a computer. And quite often, the software of choice is MS

So--at least a few "high end" typesetters are now importing Word, (.doc),
files rather than typing from a hard copy. They may modify the text in all
sorts of ways--but in many cases--it started out as a Word file. And that's
all I was ever saying. Remember--I said Word DID NOT put typesetters out of

I still--admittedly without much success--submit novels to publishers and /
or agents. A few years ago, they wanted printed manuscripts--now most want
.doc files either on a disk or e-mailed as an attachment. Things change. But
this is just one more example of MS Word's inroads into the publishing

One lady pointed out the shortcoming of Times New Roman and mentioned with
pride, her ability as a "real" typesetter to select a more suitable font.

I applaud that ability but in turn--ask her to remember that in many areas
of the modern business world, using a unique font is no asset. Especially
when a branch office somewhere has to have something printed locally and
they are "locked" in to a font that the local printers never heard of.

So again--we are talking about two different worlds here. And I share the
concerns of those feeling threatened. I have had to learn several languages
over the years myself as things change. Shucks--just when I was starting to
think I actually knew a little about PostScript, it in turn, started giving
way to printers and image setters who no longer required it. At present PDF
seems to be the "in" thing but more and more page layout software is being
brought out that could care less about either one. [sigh]

I suggest we drop this and get back to giving poor Fuzzy a bad time.

Best wishes everyone
Ted Temer
Temercraft Designs Redding, CA

> > In a similar vein, Microsoft Word certainly did NOT put many typesetters
> > of work. It is just that now--the typesetters are using Word themselves
> > greatly enhance their productivity.
> So then, am I the only person on the list to use LaTeX for these
> purposes?  I'm no professional (heck, I'm still a [final year] student)
> isn't LaTeX is a real typesetting language?  Personally, I think that it
> produces much better results than MS Word (albeit with some extra
> effort needed) and it's sectioning and automatic layout capabilities alone
> make it worth its weight in gold for writing dissertations with :o) (I
> know -- I've just finished mine about 6 hours ago!).
> Raj.
> --
> __        __
> |   | |   |   Raj Bhaskar, University of Glasgow
> |_ / |_ /    E-Mail: raj(at)
> |   \ |   \   Home Page:
> |    \ |__/
> Tourist, Rincewind decided, meant 'idiot'.
>       -- (Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic)

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