I come from a Computer Science background and i'm used to write my reports/documents in LaTeX. They look great and things like Hyphenation and kerning (using microspace package) are automatically treated. It looks way better than WYSIWYG editors like Word. I asked a Designer if he knew LaTeX and he didn't even heard about it.

What do you designers use if you want to produce professional quality reports, with minimum effort? I mean, for instance if you need to write a quick yet professional presentation letter. Smallest Effort possible.

2 Answers 2


I love LaTeX. That said, I've had great success using InDesign for professional quality typesetting with minimal effort. This is especially the case when I'm working with others since -- as you've noticed -- designers with LaTeX skills are approaching unicorn territory.

If you've never used InDesign before it might not immediately qualify for your criteria of smallest effort possible due to the initial learning curve. But I think the time investment is worth it, and once you're up to speed you can use presets and templates to knock out new documents very quickly.

EDIT: I just discovered the Fly LaTeX project, an open-source collaborative environment. This could be a great way to work on documents with designers who are new to LaTeX; the collaborative aspect should help others quickly pick up the basics. Haven't tried it yet, but I will very soon!


  • If I could, I would give this multiple votes!
    – Yisela
    Mar 18, 2013 at 22:59
  • 1
    "designers with LaTeX skills are approaching unicorn territory" ... If it wouldn't have been a good answer allready, you'd have had my upvote for that sentence alone.
    – leugim
    Mar 19, 2013 at 4:47

You can try Patoline. It is quite new project with similar aim as (La)TeX, and it tries to overcome some LaTeX limitations by using the power and memory that current computers do have. In my humble opinion, the project is still in the "development" or "alpha/beta" phase, but it is quite usable. The problem is that only time will show whether the project "survives" and develops into a fully working tool for wide variety of users, or whether some nasty limitations arise that make the project get abandoned.

I won't describe the project more in detail, since this is done on it's webpage: http://www.patoline.com/

(Disclaimer: I don't use it, I'm a LaTeX guy myself.)

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