I’ve been flooding my feed with thesis related stuff, for at the moment my life just revolves finishing the whole thing. (Anyway, this blog’s header tells of my chronicles of one mishap at a time, and lately I’ve been having heaps of them.)
My fucked up EndNote Library. It has been corrupted. Argh. Good thing I have submitted my drafts already, and I still have some time before another round of edits. OH DEAR LORD.
Some thoughts about EndNote:
When your references reach 200+ EndNote becomes fiddly. TAKE CARE. Back up like crazy. 
Use unformatted citations when adding references in your Word document—it’s less fiddly that way. Only with the file you send out do you change to formatted citations. Add citations through the EndNote tab in Word—it’s annoying, but it saves you the heart attack.
NEVER OPEN AN ENDNOTE LIBRARY BY DOUBLE-CLICKING IT. It’s easier but it becomes fiddly when you have 200+ references sitting in there. JUST DO NOT. Open EndNote first then open the library of interest from there. MAKE IT A DAMN HABIT.
NEVER MOVE LIBRARIES AS IS. JUST DON’T EVEN TRY. EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU’VE COPIED ALL THE CONTENTS IN THE .DATA FOLDER. JUST DO NOT. Compress the library you want to back up in the location you want to store it as back-up.
Do not use your main library when creating your drafts. Create a new one, exclusively for your documents sans the attachments. Add the references you need without the attachments from your main library when you need them. This is to prevent fucking up your main library.
Never have EndNote libraries having the same name in different locations—EndNote becomes confused.
Do not add citations from multiple libraries. Again, EndNote can handle that, but it has the tendency to get confused. So add them all in one library for use in your drafts, without the attachments. It’s fussy, but better than near heart attack episodes.
When attaching files in EndNote use short names. When you compress the library, you wouldn’t end up with long address names. Make a sort of code system or naming system and stick to it. It saves you the trouble when compressing your EndNote library. Trust me—I’ve had multiple heart attacks because of EndNote.
Print your stuff. So when your files get corrupted you have a hard copy. AND PRINT THE DATE.
Perchance I can write the next user manual for the next release of EndNote. HEHE.

I’ve been flooding my feed with thesis related stuff, for at the moment my life just revolves finishing the whole thing. (Anyway, this blog’s header tells of my chronicles of one mishap at a time, and lately I’ve been having heaps of them.)

My fucked up EndNote Library. It has been corrupted. Argh. Good thing I have submitted my drafts already, and I still have some time before another round of edits. OH DEAR LORD.

Some thoughts about EndNote:

  1. When your references reach 200+ EndNote becomes fiddly. TAKE CARE. Back up like crazy. 
  2. Use unformatted citations when adding references in your Word document—it’s less fiddly that way. Only with the file you send out do you change to formatted citations. Add citations through the EndNote tab in Word—it’s annoying, but it saves you the heart attack.
  3. NEVER OPEN AN ENDNOTE LIBRARY BY DOUBLE-CLICKING IT. It’s easier but it becomes fiddly when you have 200+ references sitting in there. JUST DO NOT. Open EndNote first then open the library of interest from there. MAKE IT A DAMN HABIT.
  4. NEVER MOVE LIBRARIES AS IS. JUST DON’T EVEN TRY. EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU’VE COPIED ALL THE CONTENTS IN THE .DATA FOLDER. JUST DO NOT. Compress the library you want to back up in the location you want to store it as back-up.
  5. Do not use your main library when creating your drafts. Create a new one, exclusively for your documents sans the attachments. Add the references you need without the attachments from your main library when you need them. This is to prevent fucking up your main library.
  6. Never have EndNote libraries having the same name in different locations—EndNote becomes confused.
  7. Do not add citations from multiple libraries. Again, EndNote can handle that, but it has the tendency to get confused. So add them all in one library for use in your drafts, without the attachments. It’s fussy, but better than near heart attack episodes.
  8. When attaching files in EndNote use short names. When you compress the library, you wouldn’t end up with long address names. Make a sort of code system or naming system and stick to it. It saves you the trouble when compressing your EndNote library. Trust me—I’ve had multiple heart attacks because of EndNote.
  9. Print your stuff. So when your files get corrupted you have a hard copy. AND PRINT THE DATE.

Perchance I can write the next user manual for the next release of EndNote. HEHE.

Working with Word and LaTeX

Some observations whilst working with Word and with LaTeX.

This is not a LaTeX vs Word post.

Lately, I’ve been LaTeX-ing everything that I’ve been doing from the drafts that I’ve been sending back and forth to my supervisors down to the slide presentations that I do for my tutorial classes, and here are some of the observations that I have encountered whilst working with the two. I’m a recent convert to LaTeX—the complete ins and outs of the whole thing isn’t still quite clear to me as yet, though there are a number of online resources out there that help me whenever I struggle with certain issues—the reason for which was my references were wiped out whilst trying to finish my proposal, and I nearly had a heart attack because of it. Hence the search for a more stable solution.

I’m using Word 2013 together with EndNote 7 to organise my references. EndNote is at best fiddly when you have 200+ references sitting there and you try to use it in a Word document. Don’t try it. What I did after the initial heart attack was create a new EndNote library sans the attachment files, so the only references that show up there are the ones I put in my paper. It’s troublesome, since every time I have a new reference to insert I had to copy it from my main library, and only then I shall insert it to the Word file. Also, because of the heart attack it gave me, I always insert references using unformatted citations. And I have to convert and reconvert every time I send and edit the documents to my supervisors. Fiddly and frustrating though it may be, I cannot completely ditch Word since my supervisors have to print out the PDFs every time I send it to them, and they do like the track changes thingy in Word.

I’ve then decided to use Word, with my drafts, and transfer the stuff with finality to LaTeX. The thing I like about LaTeX is that it is pretty straightforward. Your hands wouldn’t have to leave the keyboard, and you can edit stuff by just typing whatever it is that you want. Since my paper has numerous equations, it is also a plus to use LaTeX. With Word, I have to use MathType. Before, I get frustrated even with MathType around since I have to punch and click buttons to enable the formatting. But lately, I’ve discovered the Toggle TeX option in the MathType tab in Word. So now, I just type in the math LaTeX codes and highlight the stuff, press the button or do Alt-\ and voila, no more MathType equation editor popping out of the screen. At times it’s not able to read some of the LaTeX codes so I still have to edit them in the equation editor but, these are just minor issues.

LaTeX is also very handy with the cross-referencing. You just type them, and they update by themselves—figures, tables, equations, what have you—so you really wouldn’t have to worry about the figure number in a certain chapter if it’s updated or what. Word also has that capability though I hate to use the mouse and press the insert caption thingy under the references tab.

Some of the things that I had to finagle though with LaTeX are the tables, and shapes. I’m still trying to figure out the numerous table environments and which works best with what kind of table. With Word, it is pretty straightforward I daresay. I also struggle with some of the figures which can be easily done in Powerpoint, and or the add shapes feature in Word. (Update: 08 09 2014; After fiddling with LaTeX over the weekend, I reckon, I kinda like tables in LaTeX better. I had my fellow postgrad ask me whether there is a way to fix the tables in Word—his supervisor wanted a certain format, and so what he was doing was copy the table and then erase the contents and add the ones he needs for a new table—and it dawned on me, had it been LaTeX, yes there’s a way to fix tables. And also, I tried reading through the TikZ documentation, and figures as in freehand drawings in LaTeX are not that fiddly as I thought them to be.)

But one thing I love about LaTeX is the absence of that infernal blank page at the end of a document or chapter. I always struggle with that when using Word. And the file size. (Okay, make that two. Two things I like about LaTeX.) Word has a larger file size originally, and when converted to a PDF, has an even larger size. With LaTeX, the converted PDF file is generally smaller.

And oh, it looks more professional as well. LaTeX I mean.