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st: math fonts/symbols

From   Kit Baum <>
Subject   st: math fonts/symbols
Date   Fri, 11 Nov 2005 19:04:45 -0500

Leny suggested MathType to Suzy. Note that M$ Word's Equation Editor is "MathType Lite": Microsoft licenses a light version of MathType as Equation Editor for Word. Both MathType and EE have the same problems with updates: every update of Word and/or MathType makes life more than miserable (believe me, I have a few colleagues who have been badly bitten by this).

The other unsavory feature for those who might contemplate producing a reasonably large document with a fair amount of equations in Word/ EE should ensure that their life insurance covers death by suicide. With such a document, the probability that Word will crash approaches unity. Put enough of those EE / MathType graphic objects into your document, and Word will croak, leaving the file in a corrupted state. Yes, I have seen this happen to colleagues' 60-page papers (some of which had to be retyped from scratch) and, worse yet, to PhD candidates' final dissertation drafts. Thankfully now most of the PhD candidates have seen the light and avoid Word/EE like the plague.

A clarification: in my prior message the example math should be $\hat {y} = \hat{beta}_0 + \hat {\beta}_1$
I had an extra } in the posting. { } are used to surround arguments; i.e. {\bf This is Bold} means just that.

One other very attractive feature of LaTeX for Stata users: since LaTeX is a simple text markup language, like HTML or XML, it can readily be created by Stata ado-files. A number of ado-files give you the option to produce camera-ready tables from Stata output: e.g. Ben Jann's estout, presented in the latest issue of the Stata Journal. No fussing around copying and pasting Stata output to Word or Excel! UCLA's excellent Stata website have many references to Stata tools for LaTeX; findit latex within Stata will display the list.

Kit Baum, Boston College Economics

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