Tag Archives: Word

Getting the Default LaTeX Look in Word 2007

LaTeX has a very recognizable “default” look. If you routinely read working papers, you almost certainly have come across quite a few of them. You could very well be a seasoned LaTeX user youself.

Now, for one reason or another, sometimes you just need to use Word, and getting Word output to look like LaTeX is no easy task. Why might you want to make a Word document look like LaTeX? There are many motivations–perhaps you prefer the neat styling, or perhaps you do not want readers with big LaTeX-ego to discover that you used Word.

Here’s how I do it personally.

  1. First you need the “LaTeX font”. Half of the LaTeX looks comes from the font. LaTeX uses Computer Modern by default. While there is a Word compatible port of the font, it lacks many characters that you would need in a word processor. What you need to use instead is Latin Modern, which is an expansion on the former. You can get OpenType Latin Modern fonts here. Usually it is sufficient to download only lmroman12-regular.otf, lmroman12-bold.otf and lmroman12-italic.otf. After downloading, go to [Control Panel] -> [Fonts]. You can simply drag the fonts into the window that shows up to install them.
  2. Second you need to mimic LaTeX’s default styling. This gives the remaining half of the look, and much more complicated that the first half. It takes a bit of patience to make measurements of LaTeX spacing and translate them into Word. Here is a template. It looks kind of ugly in Word, but comes out great in pdf. The template takes reference to Laudo Ogura‘s LaTeX sample. Definitely take a look at his site if you want to learn LaTeX.

A big plus of Word 2007 is the new build-in equation editor uses a TeX-like syntax, making the transition to and from LaTeX much easier than before. On the other hand, the equation editor is also the biggest problem–you cannot use another font, and the default does not look anywhere like LaTeX’s output.