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Topic: Mathematica nb file => TeX file ?
Replies: 2   Last Post: Apr 17, 2014 5:11 AM

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David Park

Posts: 1,560
Registered: 5/19/07
Re: Mathematica nb file => TeX file ?
Posted: Apr 3, 2014 2:17 AM
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My experience is that one can obtain much superior PDF files by using Adobe
Acrobat Professional directly on a notebook, rather than using the "Save
as..." feature in Mathematica. (At least on Windows.)

The CDF files don't allow the use of third party packages so I find them
extremely limiting. Much research or advanced teaching would probably
involve the deployment of private packages.

It is still my opinion that Mathematica itself ought to be the premier and
widely used medium for technical communication. It has features, which if
properly deployed, are orders of magnitude better than conventional
publication mediums.

The reason that Mathematica documents can be so much better than
conventional documents is because of their memory, ability for very general
active calculations, the ability to provide highly customized dynamic
presentations of data and concepts, and the ability to transmit active
generated knowledge. If a practice of providing all needed calculation
infrastructure and "calculating everything" is pursued then these documents
will have much higher integrity than conventional documents because of the
high degree of self-proofing that occurs. (One can still make errors but it
takes quite a bit more work!) Using basic routines in graphics and dynamic
presentations is a good way to expose problems. Such Mathematica documents
are much more likely to foster collaborations because a reader will have the
tools in his hand to vary, extend and verify.

Unfortunately (at least it seems so to me) WRI has only a hazy vision of
this and are only fitfully stumbling toward its realization. They spend time
on approaches that cannot fully realize the goal, or provide facilities for
transfer to old mediums that are not adequate. One of the problems is their
"top-down with options" approach rather than a bottom-up approach. This
can't help but be biased toward old-style presentations and discourage
experimentation and development of new and better presentations. Why in
graphics isn't everything a graphic primitive? Why can't a user have more
control in what goes around a graphic? I also believe it is a step in the
wrong direction to have Mathematic automatically print suggestions and hints
to the notebook. There are better ways to give access to relevant help -
such as right-click context menus or specialized palettes with menus of
routines and quick individual links to Help. A notebook should start as a
blank sheet of paper on which the writer can write what he wants and not
have somebody come along and add doodles on it.

Workbench documentation capabilities could also be significantly improved.
It has rather languished for a number of years. Significant collaborative
research projects could benefit from an Application format.

Finally, it takes a lot of experience in trying to write significant
documents in Mathematica (a stand-alone Manipulate with a paragraph of text
is not a significant document!) to determine the best forms of interface.

What saddens me is that WRI was getting so close and then seems to have
veered away to a collection of special and poorly integrated applications.
Someday everybody will develop, write, publish and collaborate in
Mathematica. Someday.

David Park

From: Dr. Robert Kragler []

Hallo MathGroup readers,

all the nice features of Mathematica which allows to save even sophisticated
nb files in formats such as CDF and pdf are (unfortunately) irrelevant when
it comes to the point of preparing some documents for conference
proceedings. For example, Springer Verlag always requires that articles are
submitted in (La)TeX format which would require a lot of additional effort
to retype formulas etc.
and copy pictures separately into the TeX document. To my opinion, TeX was a
great achievement in the 80-ies, but 30 years later it seems to me that this
is some kind of stone-age IT.

In the case of producing a pdf file it requires (to my experience) only a
printer driver e.g. such as "pdfFactory" which creates reliable pdf files
from Mathematica notebooks directly. Doing the same with "Save as..." within
Mathematica (V8) produce huge pdf files for which e.g. Adobe Acrobat 8
Professional crashes. Thus, I can highly recommend the software tool
"pdfFactory" for this task.

Now, my question is : does anybody know a software tool, not necessarily a
freeware program, (working in a similar way as a printer driver) to produce
a TeX file directly from a Mathematica nb file (with refined graphics etc.)
? Any recommendations will be appreciated.

R. Kragler

Prof. Dr. Robert Kragler
Hasenweg 5
D-88090 Immenstaad, Germany
Phone : +49 (7545) 2833 or 3500
Email :

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