I thought I would write a short post to satisfy anyone who has some curiosity like mine. Working on CHI and CSCW papers in the past, I've always used the Word template, but I've now finally had enough torture, and I'm never doing it again. I'm switching to LaTeX.

I've also heard from a few folks that the different templates will render very differently, leaving you with more or less space to write. According to David, there's even substantive differences between versions of Word. So, out of curiously, and also as a learning experience, I moved a recent CSCW Note over to LaTeX. I'm using the LeD editor with the latest CSCW 2010 LaTeX template, and I have this to report about the differences in length as a result of rendering: there are none. Word and LaTeX seem to be about the same, with a few more words on some pages, a few less (fewer?) on others. YMMV, I'm sure. But for me the greatest benefit of LaTeX is going to be the content/presentation separation. I can write a paper in plain text with tags, and just forget about the formatting part, about wrangling multiple columns and cranky headers and everything. Woo hoo!