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As I travel I sometimes like to jot down notes that maybe, one day will become an article or even a book. At least I can have that as a goal :)

I wish to write simple body text, include images and basic math/physics formulas.

Now I use my Android phone for "everything" and hardly use computers at all for extended periods. If this project develops well I will continue on a computer. While I work on it, it would be good if it was easily publishable on the web.

I am very familiar with HTML and would write the document without using an HTML-editor. But math formulas are not easily included in HTML, I think.

I have heard PDF is good for math formulas, but I know nothing about PDF. I downloaded the app PDF Max. I understood the basics how to make illustrations with text patched here and there. But I must say I didn't understand how plain body text was written, much less mathematical formulas.

PDF Max might be a good option for making the illustrations?

I always use plain text editors for making "documents" in my Android phone, so I may have missed out on the possibilities word processors for the phone may have.

I am not sure about the differences in result produced by word processors in general, compared to PDF-editors.

There is also the "infamous LaTeX that takes longer time to learn than to write the book" ;) I don't know LaTeX.

I don't know how math formulas are usually represented on the web and elsewhere. One way would be to include in-line images made by other software.

I would like to have recommendations for what software(s) to use for writing this document containing body-text + basic math/physics formulas + illustrations.

An extension of the question would be to include videos and other moving images (and hyperlinks). But that would be for web-version only, of course.

Thanks.

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The trick that you can use is to edit your text on your phone in "plain text" using one of the mark up languages that includes support for mathematical mark-up examples include ReStructuredText and markdown, there are cheat sheets galore on the net for both. Saving them to a location that you can access from your computer and using a tool to generate the document in whatever format you need for the final "book" website, whatever.

This section of ReStructuredText:

.. math::

   (a + b)^2 = a^2 + 2ab + b^2

   (a - b)^2 = a^2 - 2ab + b^2

Euler's Identity
----------------

.. math:: e^{i\pi} + 1 = 0

Is quite readable as it stands but when run through the tool, in this case to pdf, you will get something like: enter image description here

Obviously both markdown languages and most of their variants include the capability of adding annotations, links, embedded images, etc.

Available tools:

There are a number of tools that you can use to convert between markdown/restructuredtext and various document formats, including pdf, and/or web sites. (BTW the most common formats for embedding maths in html documents are mathjax, mathjs or svg).

Personally I can recommend using Sphinx which:

  • Is Free, Gratis & Open Source
  • Uses ReStructuredText
  • Has good maths support
  • Can, with its builders associated tools, produce from a single set of source files:
    • Various html formats
    • Various help/man formats
    • EPUB 2 or 3 expermimental eBooks
    • LaTeX for printing
    • pdf documents

Other considerations:

  • Size when editing on mobile devices MD/reST is compact
  • Suitable for version control & review - being plain text most VCSs work well
  • Readable as source, __bold__ is in my opinion easier on the eye than <EM>bold</EM>

Also Look At

It is also worth looking at: pandoc which is a command line utility for converting between various document formats works best from markdowns to other formats Jupyter - lets you create "notebooks" which mix Markdown, (including mathjax), Images, etc, with Python/R/Julia/etc. cells that are executed in place and the results included in the notebook - including any graphs, images, etc, produced by the code which can then be published as static web pages, etc., a great example of this is here:enter image description here. While I cannot currently find a full implementation of Jupyter for running on mobiles the notebook files can be edited in a standard text editor with practice or you can, if online, have a Jupyter instance running on the internet that you can access via your phones web browser. See https://try.jupyter.org/ for a plethora of examples.

  • Thanks. That sounds like a really good suggestion. It is late in my time zone now, but as soon as I can I will explore the options. This area is new to me. – ycc_swe Jun 6 '16 at 17:13
  • Are there any mark-up languages that include illustrations? (Lines, boxes, circles, line width, fill, hatch, colors ... ...) I remember making scientific illustrations in the 80's using the HP-printer mark-up language. – ycc_swe Jun 6 '16 at 17:21
  • There are a number of ways to go - sphinx has a graphviz dot extension which will let you construct diagrams with the dot language - providing you have graphvix installed. Since sphinx is python based there are a number of plotting and diagramming tools that can be used to construct graphs & diagrams and output them to svg format for embedding in the document. – Steve Barnes Jun 6 '16 at 17:26
  • Thanks again. You definitely provide many possible solutions to my question. – ycc_swe Jun 6 '16 at 17:31
  • You might also like to take a look at blockdiag.com/en – Steve Barnes Jun 6 '16 at 17:35

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