I have a confession to make that will no doubt shock and/or disappoint some of you: the vast majority of my computing-education publications have been produced using Word. Yes, I know Latex and have used it since graduate school way back in the 1990s. But many of my co-authors in computing education aren’t familiar with it, so I switched to Word when I started working in that area. And as much as I acknowledge that Latex would have made some things easier (references, for one), I didn’t have sufficient motivation to change and force my co-authors to change with me.
Then came the revisions to the ACM templates earlier this year. The Word version of the template is so much more painful than the previous template (I’m looking at you macros and fonts that have to be installed) that I gave up and switched to Latex. It helps significantly that ACM has an agreement with Overleaf, which is an online Latex tool that is incredibly easy to use. (Check it out now if you’ve never used it. You won’t regret it.) The ACM templates can be immediately downloaded into Overleaf, and the resulting documents are quick to edit and view. For the first time in what seems like forever the final version of my conference paper was accepted by Sheridan in the first round, which made the pain of switching the Word draft into Latex almost worth it.
Thanks to my sweetie for putting up with my complaints during the 24 hours it took me to make the switch. And thanks to ACM for the incentive to change.