Thursday, July 30, 2009

Currently Using

Maybe it would be a good idea for all of us to share what freeware we currently use/endorse. Feel free to post yours in the comment section.

1. TeXnicCenter
2. R through JGR (Jaguar) - I prefer to TinnR just because I like it.
3. JabRef - I can't say enough good things about this citation manager.
4. Zotero Firefox extension - This is a really easy way to get references in BibTex form. It does a great job of recognizing sources on a page full of things. Like an entire page of google scholar results or an search.

Also, I'm sure almost everyone knows you can output references in BibTex format from googlar scholar (under scholar preferences), but if not, I thought it was worth mentioning.


  1. Just like Todd says, JabRef is essential.

    I have tried JGR, but decided to stick with Tinn-R, or even a simply text editor by habit.

    I did also play around with Zotero a while back, but did not get hooked then because I was still an open source software virgin... maybe I should give it a shot again.

    As far as TeXnicCenter goes, this is what most everyone around the department uses following Gustav's lead. I have no complaints about it, but also don't know any other editor.

  2. I'm currently using TeXShop for Mac. I don't think its as user-friendly as TeXnicCenter (which I use at Krannert). There is not a convenient "Math" tab on the toolbar, but there is a more roundabout way of getting special characters and symbols. It also takes a lot longer to compile, but so far I haven't had to compile multiple times before all of my bibliographic citations and figures are properly referenced.

  3. I use Zotero too --- this is impressive stuff. A very useful feature (of the beta version) is that you can sync you bibliographies across machines, store your pdf files, and create collections and subcollections that make easier to handle the references. Another unique feature is that it automatically updates your bibs in MS Word, Write, or as Tod mentioned, easily generates bib files.

  4. * Kile (GUI) for Linux with KDE
    * Texmaker (GUI) for Linux with Gnome
    * Texlive is the distribution of choice on these platforms

    Does anyone know why we are using MikTex when it seems like others prefer Texlive? I have yet to find a reason justifying the use of either one over the other.

  5. Enticed by Mr. Helmers, I have became fond of emacs --- it works for R, for Sweave, for GAMS, for Latex, you name it. Cross-platform, exactly the same thing in unix, osx, and widow. As many of the good things in life is a pain when you first try it, then it becomes addictive.

  6. I forgot to add a link to an ESS (Emacs Speaks Statistics) version that install flawlessly in windows.
    It's native, so no cygwin that is a real turn off. Btw, if you happen to use a computer with restrictions, this thing does not need admin.rights.