"If you approach LyX from the standpoint of including
it in with all of the other word processors, you would be a bit
mistaken. It is more of a document processor--less focused on the
words than the structure of the document itself.. Applications
within this family include the old Arbortext Publisher of my
misbegotten youth, Docbook, and Interleaf, to name a very few.
For those of you who are not clear what a document processor is,
I'll try to give you the nickel tour. When you put a document
together in a word processor, like KOffice or OpenOffice, you will
typically type in the text and then go back and add attributes to
that text as you need them, like making emphasized words italic or
first-level headings 18-pt Helvetica in blue. When all is said and
done, the document will look very close to how it will look on the
When you put a document together in LyX, then you will typically
type in the text and then go back and assign styles to that text as
you need them, like giving emphasized words an Emphasis style or
first-level headings a Heading 1 style. The Emphasis style could be
italic and the Heading 1 style 18-pt blue Helvetica and when all is
said and done, the document will look very close to how it will
look on the printed page.
So, you may ask, what's the difference?
The difference is this: in word processor documents, there is no
meaning attached to the attributes that are assigned. Meaning is
inferred by the human reader. In document processor documents,
meaning is directly assigned to text by style elements, not matter
what the physical attributes of those styles may be."