LaTeX equations in Mellel

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LaTeX equations in Mellel

Postby shades » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:29 pm

I’m posting for someone who has a question, but for some reason cannot set up an account to post.

============
I'm trying to paste some LaTeX equations made with LaTeXiT into a Mellel document and I'm having troubles with inline equations : They aren't properly aligned with the text. I'm getting something like a pasted picture (bottom of picture aligned with the text, which isn't right for an equation).

How am I supposed to make the baseline equations properly aligned with the normal text ? I checked all the preferences (in Mellel and in LaTeXiT), and I don't see any parameters related to equations alignement. There's something very important I don't understand here.

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Rich
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Re: LaTeX equations in Mellel

Postby ahankinson » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:09 am

As far as I understand, LaTeXIt creates an image, which you then insert into Mellel. Mellel doesn't support LaTeX-style ASCII-to-typeset page process.

So any equation you get out of LaTeXIt will be an image, and will act like an image in Mellel. You can try playing around with the Placement and wrapping settings in the Object panel to get it to line up, but there are no specific equation functions in Mellel.
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Re: LaTeX equations in Mellel

Postby rpcameron » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:31 am

Images allow you to adjust the baseline. Double-click on the image, and change the vertical position. Negative values drop the bottom of the image below the text baseline, while positive values adjust the image above the baseline.
— Robert Cameron
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Re: LaTeX equations in Mellel

Postby DylanMuir » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:11 am

Latexit is a little dumb — when it outputs an equation, there is no baseline adjustment information attached which could allow Mellel to automatically align the equation correctly with the text. I played around with several equation typesetting systems for the mac and Mellel, and found only MathType to be convenient. I didn't want to adjust the baseline of every equation manually. MathType outputs equations as PICT (a vector format), with baseline adjustment information attached. Mellel uses this information to align every equation correctly with the surrounding text. I highly recommend it. (Dear Design Science: please send the free copy of MathType to my work address.) :)

You have to be a little careful with line spacing, though. If line spacing is defined in terms of points ("fixed" line spacing), then equations will usually add a large whitespace (a double-line spacing) beneath the line containing the equation. If you double-click on the equation image, then de-select "Adjust fixed line spacing to image", the extra whitespace will disappear.

If you define line spacing in terms of lines in the paragraph style ("non-fixed" line spacing), then the equation will only take up as much room as it needs, but the spacing of the lines in the paragraph will be uneven, which can look a little ugly. In the case of non-fixed line spacing, you can't remove the extra whitespace.

DRM
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Re: LaTeX equations in Mellel

Postby shades » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:53 pm

Thanks for the responses. Here is the person’s response to the above:

================

Yes ! Thanks a lot for your help. The answers have comfirmed my fears, unfortunately.

So I'm now learning full LaTeX edition. I can't stand anymore the WYSIWYG approach, in the case of scientific documents with equations. Too much troubles with alignments, formats, and all the rest. No wonder why about all scientists are actually using LaTeX !

Too bad I now have to code !

================
Rich
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Re: LaTeX equations in Mellel

Postby ahankinson » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:35 am

Well, I'm glad they found some resolution. I suspect LaTeX is what they should have been using from the start.

Personally, I find the trouble of having to align the occasional equation or image to vastly outweigh the need to sift through large amounts of poorly written documentation just to find out which style switch does what. But to each their own, I guess. :)
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Re: LaTeX equations in Mellel

Postby DylanMuir » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:46 am

Ugh, that's a real shame, but (I hope) not the wrong choice.

LaTeX is only the right choice either for collaborative authorship with other latex-using people, or if your papers are so math-heavy that there's no other choice. Even word+equation editor is probably a better choice. Why should you have to compile your documents?! Twice?!!? At least give LyX a try first. Or just get a copy of mathtype -- it's only 60 bucks for an academic. And you can enter the equations into mathtype in straight latex, if you want.

I think moving to latex because you don't want to mess around with alignment (!) or formatting (!!!) is just nuts. Latex is a nightmare that never emerged from 1970's compiler technology.

DRM
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Re: LaTeX equations in Mellel

Postby nicka » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:50 pm

No wonder why about all scientists are actually using LaTeX !


Except that they aren't. I'm pretty sure that most scientists use Word and Powerpoint.

Anyway, if your friend is going to move to LaTeX, it's worth giving some thought to which front-end software to use. Some of these avoid the need to write TeX markup: LyX has been mentioned; Multimarkdown in Scrivener is another.
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Re: LaTeX equations in Mellel

Postby shades » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:15 pm

Thanks, guys. I don’t know the person personally, but just wanted to get him help on Mellel.

He is using TeXShop, LaTeXit, and LaTexian for his work.

I do know that LaTeX is fairly common among mathematicians. As I understand his situation, he has extensive equations, so it may be the best for his work.
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