So on recommendations I have installed LyX. I am actually writing this on LyX now. I just thought I should post my thoughts on this programme.
I am not sure why I had not tried this first, it is mainly a WYSISYG editor that outputs LaTeX source or any other LaTeX-like source code for that matter. So you can type documents up as you would in a normal text editor and then not have to worry about all that LaTeX markup that you need to make it look like it should because there are a myriad of buttons you can use for styling.
I will start first with the interface. It seems very simple to use very straight forward. With the version I am using 1.6.7, I have a choice of two interfaces “Default” and “Classic” I noticed only a few differences between where menu items were placed and the toolbar buttons.
The best thing about this is programme is that you can easily use it to learn a lot more about LaTeX mark up just by being productive, this I like.
The insert command also gives you a drop down of almost everything you would need to insert in a document, from citations to images, labels to index entries unless you’re doing some very custom layouts and so on chances are that LyX will probably have what you need as a simple menu item. Then again I haven’t been using LaTeX long enough to be sure about this.
I don’t think I can give a very comprehensive review as I installed and only started using it this evening, but what I think stands it apart from every other editor I have tried is the version control that comes with it. I am not sure what backend manages this yet as I have not delved deeply into it but my first attempt at an “initial commit” failed. I will have to look into this further.
You can also split your screen between the WYSIWIG view and the source where you see valid LyX/LaTeX source being generated as you put your document together as though it were a full blown word processor.
My first impressions of this is that I love it and it is a strong contender to LaTeXilla, which I installed and have been using till now. I will give this one a try this week and see how it works for me. I have to re-iterate though that the good thing about open source and these things in general is that you don’t have to choose one as you have not shelled out tonnes of money for a license…