LaTeX in google docs – a new hope?

This is quite nice. Despite some gloomy forecasts for LaTeX (along the lines “new kids just want power point and word”, ref. below), wikipedia has been using it as the basis for its mathematical language. Now, along comes the powerfull google corporation. In google docs, formulas are also inserted in LaTeX (the documentation is not too abundant on this, btw). Just make a new document, then insert, then formula.

An interesting feature, specially for newbies, is that formulas are updated as you type them. Also, you can cut and paste from existing TeX files (or from the wikipedia) straight into the formula, and it will show ok. (But: they should not be too long, and can not include new commands.)

Notice also, you can create and update your docs from any computer, under any OS. No need to install any LaTeX distro or anything. This makes the feature great for documents under development, specially by several authors. When the final result is reaching completion it still probably makes sense to export the whole file to create a LaTeX document.

The Ref.

I somehow gathered this pesimistic point of view from an interview with Jim Hefferon in TUG. For instance:

JH: The Math faculty use TeX, and another person or two. But the use is declining, that I can see. I don’t think students would encounter it at all.

Clearly, my impression is not well researched. Moreover, TeX never was used that much by undergrad students, afaik. It used to be one of the pearls waiting for postgrads. So, the future of TeX and LaTeX could be bright after all.

One thought on “LaTeX in google docs – a new hope?

  1. Pingback: New LaTeX directions « Daniel Duque Campayo

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