Not long ago I began writing my Master's thesis, and fortunately took a moment to consider what might be formatting 'best practice' before I got too deep into what will probably be the longest text I've ever written. Of course, most students these days write reports, theses, dissertations, and everything else in Microsoft Word, or (if the student is poor or motivated by hatred toward Microsoft) one of the free clones of the same. But I decided instead to try something I've long been meaning to try: the TeX typesetting system, or to be more precise, the LaTeX language built on top of TeX. I learned some important lessons from this.
To use (tongue only somewhat in cheek) my new favorite metaphor, Microsoft Word is like the Persian Empire: decadent, soft, corrupt, encouraging of mysticism and lazy thinking. Whereas LaTeX is like Sparta: cold, clean, hard, disciplined, rational. And outnumbered 2000 to 1.