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LaTeX characteristics being adopted by Microsoft Word 2010

I have used LaTeX fairly extensively in my academic work for producing research papers, CVs, reports and so on. I have always felt that the final document produced by LaTeX justifies the steeper learning curve and somewhat obsolete method of document production. In a nutshell, documents produced using LaTeX look good. The page at [Dario Taraborelli: The Beauty of LaTeX] explains some of the reasons this is so.

But Microsoft Office 2010 has, finally, added some typesetting features to it’s Word application, even though they are turned off by default. Calibri and Cambria are excellent expert fonts – at par with Libertine or Hoefler, perhaps. Kerning is now supported, as are ligatures. Glyph variants can now be selected manually, even if it is still rather cumbersome. Line breaks and paragraphing is still not intelligent, though. And true small caps are not offered either. Font transparency can only be achieved using the trick of textboxes.

Nevertheless, it is a step ahead, like so many others. Text styling offered by Microsoft Word 2010 is almost at par with LaTeX. Large documents are now less prone to problems. Direct PDF output is also now a Word feature.

Unless LaTeX offers ease of use and greater features, I can see even fewer people who will want to move to LaTeX’s niche world.

  1. 23 January 2011 at 1:28 AM


    How do you turn the typesetting features on in Microsoft Word 2010?

    Thank you.

    • Muhammad Fahd Waseem
      5 February 2011 at 4:20 PM

      Select the text, right click. Font… Advanced tab. There, you can find the options for kerning and ligatures, if your font supports them.

  2. Hermann Klinke
    9 February 2012 at 8:02 PM

    If you want to enter lots of math efficiently in Office 2010 you might want to try my shorthand notation that can be downloaded here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/murrays/archive/2011/11/21/klinke-s-streamlined-math-input-notation.aspx

    Download the documentation file to see the up-to-date tutorial and documentation on my notation.

    • Jannie Gerber
      15 April 2017 at 7:35 PM

      The files to download is no longer on dropbox!?

  3. Aisha
    27 December 2012 at 10:15 AM

    Awww !! Thank you soo much!! It was such a relief to find that I can typeset in word 2010 !!

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