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I have broken my dominant hand, leaving me unable to write. Thus far, I have been using LaTeX, but have been disappointed by how long it takes to display matrices, format, etc. Does anyone know of a linear algebra specific typesetting software?

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    $\begingroup$ Are you aware of \begin{pmatrix} and such? (I've tortured myself far too long with \left( \begin{array}{ccc...c} .) $\endgroup$ – darij grinberg Sep 19 at 1:12
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    $\begingroup$ Personally I use LyX, which is a front end to LaTeX. Writing equations is bullet fast. $\endgroup$ – lcv Sep 19 at 2:18
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    $\begingroup$ Microsoft Word has developed a great system for typing math: blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/murrays/2016/11/30/… . For example, this will give 2x2 matrix: \matrix(a & b @ c & d) $\endgroup$ – Rasmus Larsen Sep 19 at 10:18
  • $\begingroup$ How are you at using a mouse with your non-dominant hand? How are you at typing with it? This may affect your choice of tools. (example: I usually use my mouse with my off-hand so point+clicking suffers no penalty if I can't use my dominant hand; I can type reasonably well one-handed, but only slowly with my off-hand). I'd be better off with a point+click interface if I had to work left-handed, which might be a dedicated LaTeX editor $\endgroup$ – Chris H Sep 19 at 14:32
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I have published nearly $2500$ pages of books, scholarly papers, manuals, etc., in $\mathrm{\LaTeX}$ (and many many more in memos, internal notes, class notes, etc.). (This doesn't count the current $420$ pages of my next book, entirely in $\mathrm{\LaTeX}$.) $\mathrm{\LaTeX}$ is by far better than any other typesetting software for technical publishing. That is why it is the preferred, or one of the preferred, default standards for the American Mathematical Society, IEEE, and as far as I know every technical society. One trick, though, is to use Mathematica and its user-friendly templates, for instance for matrices, vectors, and such. Then convert it to $\mathrm{\LaTeX}$ source by TeXForm[...]. But I recommend just getting fluent in $\mathrm{\LaTeX}$. It will also help with MathJax on this site.

Three "bonus benefits" are

  1. It is portable: you can email your $\mathrm{\LaTeX}$ source to a co-author who uses a different operating system, different computer, even different paper size, and you can easily collaborate.
  2. It is free. There are lots of free versions available.
  3. It is beautiful... the type, the layout, is so lovely and clear.

I like the following analogy. If you just need to drive across town to shop, a simple car (automatic, inexpensive, easy to learn) will suffice. But if you're a power driver and need to go fast and take lots of sharp corners and hills, get a Ferrari. True, it takes more time to learn, but if you want to do a lot, it is better.

Same thing with other simple typesetting compared to $\mathrm{\LaTeX}$.

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    $\begingroup$ As someone who lives in a very hilly area, I've seem quite a few luxury cars - including Ferraris! - getting stuck 'cause they are too low on the ground to be able to actually start climbing the hill. Not sure if that's the best example =P $\endgroup$ – T. Sar Sep 19 at 11:49
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, but how does this answer the question? You recommend "just getting fluent in LaTeX" to OP, who broke their dominant hand and say that LaTeX takes too long to type. (I would have been fine with an answer recommending to use some shortening macros, but as-is, I feel like this is more a LaTeX ad than a solution for OP.) $\endgroup$ – ComFreek Sep 19 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ I suggested Mathematica as a quick intermediary for linear algebra. $\endgroup$ – David G. Stork Sep 19 at 13:53
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    $\begingroup$ Your answer is good, except the Ferrari analogy. A Ferrari is a highly specialized and impractical car for almost any situation. In fact, I see no reason why a car analogy should be in your answer at all, as cars and typesetting systems really have no attributes in common. OP might well be faster in getting to their goal using a less intricate system. Also, you're misled at what a Ferrari is actually good at -- sharp corners and hills aren't among these things. $\endgroup$ – Felix Dombek Sep 19 at 16:15

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