Alan Jacobs

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Update on this post: I still need to be working in a word processing program, because at this (late-ish) stage I’m doing a lot with footnotes, citations, and other apparatus, and Markdown, even MultiMarkdown, doesn’t handle that kind of thing well. But Word I just can’t bear. Two examples just from yesterday:

  • Every time I chose “Paste and Match Style” Word changed the typeface of the sentence before the pasted text from Courier to Calibri. Calibri is not in use anywhere in my document, and is not set as my default. But Word continually changed the typeface of text I hadn’t even selected.
  • I printed out a section of the book for editing, and every single italicized character in the selection printed as a vertical rectangle: “In Pynchon’s novel ▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯ ▯▯▯▯▯▯▯, for instance….” If I opened the same document in Pages or TextEdit it printed just fine.

That way madness lies.

So I had two ways to go: LaTeX or Pages. Since when I send the thing to my editor it has to be as a .docx, and Pages handles export to .docx with slightly greater accuracy than pandoc handles conversation from .tex to .docx, I went with Pages. I am already regretting this. I find Pages far less unpredictable than Word, but I really do hate word processing programs as a genre.