Why do many CS students and researchers write their publications with LaTeX although it is much heavier than wkhtmltopdf?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Sorry, but off topic. $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Jul 31 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Buffy If you treat teaching and research as exclusive then yes, but if not then education should include both isn't it? $\endgroup$
    – Rusi
    Jul 31 at 18:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Buffy OTOH Research ≠ Technology for research publication. So you could call it fringe $\endgroup$
    – Rusi
    Aug 1 at 0:57
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @risi the site is about teaching and learning. The question is not. $\endgroup$ Aug 5 at 20:35

3 Answers 3


Journals, conferences want a 'house look' ie fonts, spacing, columns etc.

So they typically mandate Latex ... yes with some latitude. So they may say: For MSWord authoring use xyz, for Latex use abc. The xyz/abc specs being quite detailed.

See for example the IEEE recommended template

PS Count me among the people that suffer Latex but the html,css,JS morass is inarguably worse!


I think this webpage on arXiv might help you get perspective on why LaTeX is valued by the academic and research community.

Then on this arXiv page you find this wording:

Our goal is to store articles in formats that are highly portable and stable over time. Currently, the best choice is TeX/LaTeX.

And when one looks at the mirror image crank website vixra.org, you notice that very few of these authors use LaTeX!

Then of course for computer scientists, LaTeX is the brainchild of the preeminent computer scientist Donald Knuth.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "LaTeX is the brainchild of the preeminent computer scientist Donald Knuth." No it's not. TeX is Knuth's brainchild, but hardly anyone writes in straight TeX anymore. LaTeX is the brainchild of Leslie Lamport, and it's a macro set on top of TeX. And one might argue there is far more wrong with it than with TeX, which is why people patch it left and right and write alternatives to it. $\endgroup$ Nov 5 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ @VictorEijkhout You have a fair point. Credit for LaTeX goes to Leslie Lamport. Here is Knuth on LaTeX, ConTeXt, etc. youtu.be/8HuwiBPLV3A?si=Bmv1sKKHrrZg5e4E $\endgroup$
    – user52817
    Nov 5 at 17:57

In your question, you made the claim that wkhtmltopdf is better than LaTeX.

That is your opinion.

It is analogous to claiming that the color blue is better than the color red.

Likewise, there exist people who say that they enjoy the taste of boiled mashed carrots over the taste of boiled mashed potatoes.

I am not sure that everyone is already familiar with wkhtmltopdf.

wkhtmltopdf is a tool which converts webpages into PDF files. a PDF file is easily printed out on eight and a half by elevent sheets of paper.

There are some computer scientists who do not know how to read or write hyper-text-mark-up-language.

If you do not know how to write hyper-text mark-up language, then you could use LaTeX instead of wkhtmltopdf.

My favorite alternative to LaTeX is stack exchange mark-up language with the MathJax plug-in. You might desire something like BibTex to deal with citations and references.

It is possible to write an academic paper in Libre Office, but TeX pre-dates Libre Office and Microsoft Word.

That is, some people learned how to use TeX, and when they got older, never learned how to use Microsoft Word.

Most academic journals accept papers written in .doc format these days (files encoded using the Microsoft standards).


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