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For example, equations containing benzene ring and such?

How do professional books get their equations right?

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Which version of Word are you using? – James May 18 '11 at 10:51
@slhck: Thanks a lot for the wonderful answer. People like you pull people like me to StackExchange sites. However, if there is an easier solution (for some non-technical folks in the team), even if costs some money, I can look there too. @James: 2007 – virtualmic May 18 '11 at 16:03
Not a thing :) If you're willing to spend some money, you can get around having to write equations manually and take a look at MathType which I find quite useful. Also there's a WYSIWYG TeX editor called LyX that you might want to check out! – slhck May 20 '11 at 7:37
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Most equations in professional books are set using (variants of) TeX, which was specifically written for authors of scientific books:

TeX is one popular means by which to typeset complex mathematical formulae; it has been noted as one of the most sophisticated digital typographical systems in the world.3 TeX is popular in academia, especially in mathematics, computer science, economics, engineering, physics, statistics, and quantitative psychology

Writing scientific literature in MS Word can get you frustrated within minutes, at least when you have more than a few graphics and bibliography entries.

The equation typesetting is one of the best known features of TeX, and you can use its syntax almost everywhere where equations are used, also for example on our Mathematics.StackExchange site. Its advantage is that it just looks beautiful in 99% of all cases.

Benzene rings and other chemical structures aren't that easy to typeset in TeX, as it's targeted towards "classical" mathematic, and such chemical formulae involve a bit of "fiddling around" to say the least. Not to say it's not possible - I guess anything's possible in TeX given enough monkeys and typewriters.

I've seen many books, at least from my Computer Science perspecive, where authors would typeset in LaTeX and create their graphics using software like OmniGraffle, which helps by allowing items to be linked and aligned to a grid and then exported as vector graphics.

There are also standalone TeX equation editors and, at least for OS X, software like LaTeXit, in which you can enter a formula and it outputs beautiful PDF snippets of that.

To get you started, take a look at the TeX Users Group website.

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