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2/28/11
Original Poster
Bas Braams

Most urgent issues for scientific preprints in GDocs

Greetings; here I have assembled what I think are the most urgent issues for using GDocs to typeset a preprint of a scientific article. I'm thinking of applied science, not high-level mathematics, so the demands on the equations editor are modest. I am also expressly thinking of a preprint, not of copy that exactly follows some Journal's guidelines for their printed text.

1. Conversion of the preprint to pdf or to html should not mess up the equations. At present equations come out ugly in some large and fuzzy font.
2. Export to Word should not gratuitously destroy formatting. We are composing a preprint and the text will need final editing in a different system, which will normally be Word. At present subscripts, superscripts and equations all get messed up in the export.
3. One must be able to switch to the roman font inside equations. In applied science the roman font is needed all the time to identify variables. Think of expressions such as T<sub>in</sub>, T<sub>out</sub>. In and out are ordinary words and should appear in the roman font.
4. It must be possible without ridiculous contortions via tables to compose a multi-line equation with well-defined alignment.
5. It should likewise be possible to provide a label to an equation in the most common style; the equation is centered and the label is right-justified.
6. There should be some facility for counters in GDocs that one can use to number equations and references.

I have some other issues with mathematical typesetting, but just refer here to [1] and [2]. Finally, also in equations mode we really need that one-click design to insert special symbols [3].
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