I really don’t understand why most people in the Humanities insist on using Microsoft Word to write their material. Universities habituate their undergraduate humanities students to Word and they really ought to stop it. I recently got a shock to my anti-Word stance when I wrote an article and was looking to submit it to a journal that only takes MS Word format articles. The journal also had a really nasty custom citation format, which complicated it even further.
My bf introduced me to markdown, and I saw that others had used it for theirthesis or papers, and that it was possible to add citations and everything else academics needed, with the help of pandoc. It basically uses the power of LaTex to create your document, but you get to concentrate on writing, in a simple text editor. It looked clean and tidy, and appealed to the procrastinating, typography-loving, tools-and-gadgets geek in me. Or maybe I’m just an academic hipster.
As a newly-minted PhD student, I was talking with a friend about writing papers. “Use LaTeX”, he said. I thought he meant the rubbery material commonly found in lab gloves. But apparently not. LaTeX (pronounced “lay-tech”) is typesetting software that he used for writing papers.