I am the kind of person who experiences emotional stress very infrequently. Notwithstanding, my heart rate and level of sweating initially increase just by thinking about opening Word on my Mac. I hate Word.

Think of Word as a person: He takes time to arrive when you need him so urgently. He likes when he can correct you—too often misleadingly. He promises you the greatest and most beautiful things (graphics and tables) but delivers nothing more than desperation. He says he will remember though he does not care about you (and your painfully achieved tables).

Would you stay in such a friendship for more than a hardly regretted one-night stand?

For all these reasons, I switched to Markdown for blogging as well as private writing and LaTeX for scientific writing. Both are essentially plain-text languages that integrate text with style and layout.

For example, boldfacing this exact "For example" required to enclose it by two stars:

**For example**

In Word this would have taken me two additional steps, which add four more seconds.

OK, that's about no time.

However, what if you have to repeat this trivial task a thousand times. That results in 30 minutes of your finite life. So for someone who, like me, writes a lot, this can make the difference between an evening enjoying your productive self while watching Netflix and pulling another all-nighter.

Now, what about scientific writing which is overwhelming enough by itself?

As it turns out, writing a comparable manuscript using Word and LaTeX took me roughly the same time. Nonetheless, I needed to allocate a lot more of my limited attention to style and proper referencing while working with Word, whereas with LaTeX I could do more revisions in the same time without forfeiting either style or proper referencing.

In fact, research supports my hypotheses that working with LaTeX instead of Word reduces emotional stress and increases contentment.

Especially if you have to write math equations or use lots of references, you should consider switching to LaTeX.


LaTeX Overleaf



tl;dr: LaTeX is hard to learn, but it's worth it, and the internet is full of tutorials. In case you decide to skip that advice, you should not skip trying Markdown.