I had used LaTeX for a few documents many years ago, but the interfaces were so daunting that I never felt like writing a TeX document, unless it was a thesis or a assignment submission or some compulsory requirement. Needless to say MS Word happened to my ally , though a painful ally.  Then two things happened in my life simultaneously. One, a chance encounter with a TeX enthusiast , who suggested that I make a conscious decision to avoid MS Word for at least a month and try to use TeX irrespective of the pain that entails a beginner. If my experience was not good, I could always revert to MS Word.

Secondly,  as I started following his advice, I came across a fantastic editor called TeXworks written by Jonathan Kew. Stumbling on to TeXworks was one of the best things to have happened in my life. Why am I going gaga over an editor ? LaTeX has been around for so many decades. There are a ton of editors that do the job of creating a LaTeX document. If you are like me, all those editors appear extremely overwhelming with ton of tool bars, strange symbols, math related popups, and so on. It robs the pleasure of creating a simple LaTeX document. How does TeXworks differ from those out there ? Well TeXworks is  the Google of TeX editors. The interface is amazingly simple. There are no imposing layouts, no side windows, no console windows. It is a plain simple white space where you can type away to glory. Look at a screenshot below.


If you think about it, the interface also makes you remember and write LaTeX syntax. There are no props to hang on to, no buttons to click , no help for syntax.All these one might think are essential for a newbie. But cutting them out of the interface actually makes a new user remember and code the relevant syntax. Soon, the syntax comes automatically and the user focuses completely on the content of the document and doesn’t let formatting interfere with content writing.

Subsequent to these two things - Meeting a TeX enthusiast and stumbling on to TeXworks, I have never gone back to MS word till date. I don’t even remember the last time I opened an MS word document. TeXworks is motivated by TeXshop, the editor on any Mac. TeXshop has been a runaway success in the Mac World. Sadly such an interface was lacking in Windows world.  Thanks to Jonathan Kew, TeXworks  has been created to give the TeXshop experience to other platform users

Some of the core features that make TeXworks such a delight to use are:

  • Workflow centered on PDF

  • Little magnifying glass in the created document

  • Toggle between source and pdf – most useful feature of the lot 

Sometimes I seriously wonder about the reason for not using TeX for all these years.Anyways, Better late than Never!