LaTeX is a great tool.

I’ve recently used it to write my master’s memoir (accessible here). I used Tikz to draw simple diagrams. They are really simple, yet I do not know of any other tool that I could use to produce these diagrams. In their first implementation, those diagrams integrated rather tightly text and figures. I said it before, and I say it again : I am firmly convinced that Tufte is right about integrating visual evidence with text. The Old Masters like da Vinci and Galileo did it. That was normal at the time: text was written with the support of visual evidence. They used ink.

We use computers. That makes the idea of laying down text and visual evidence together more difficult. We are used to separate it. One page for text, one page for figures. Sometimes the text describes something that is not even seeable by the reader, because the corresponding figure is on the next page.

LaTeX and Tikz allow us to do that much more naturally. It really is simple to integrate text, maths, figures, drawing, photos and diagrams together. Plus it is free. It is really moldable, you can lead LaTeX to draw anything you want. Search on Google, you will see some great examples of Phd Thesis written in LaTeX with great figures and diagrams. Nobody can do it inside Microsoft Word. Maybe it could be done inside Adobe InDesign, but I have no experience with it.

Homologous Recombination During Natural Transformation