Do you use the emulateapj style file when submitting to astro-ph or circulating drafts to your co-authors? Or do you find it to be a nuisance?
I have been informally asking this question at conferences (and otherwise) for a few months now and have encountered a mixed response. A plurality seems to prefer papers in ApJ format, with the main reasons being saving paper and easier reading due to not having to flip pages (or scroll down) to the figures. This was especially true in the case of lengthier papers; astronomers (who participated in my poll) were significantly less likely to print a long paper that is in manuscript format (either double-spaced or single-spaced).
People who read mostly on their laptops/iPads tended not to care either way as they could zoom in and out when needed. However, as most PDF readers don’t provide the “Back” function, their lives were simplified when the figures and small tables were embedded in the text.
When reading drafts of papers on which they are a co-author, more people seemed to prefer manuscript format: it is much easier to mark up. There were many who did not care.
Proponents of emulatepj also liked to argue that journal-formatted papers also look more professional and were the worth the time investment. My own experience was about a 2–3 hour learning period for my first paper, which was 20+ pages, and very little for subsequent papers. In other words, I am claiming that if you know LaTeX, switching to emulateapj is rather easy (thanks to Alexey Vikhlinin at the CfA) and well worth the trouble.
I happen to be among the group that prints papers that they want to digest. Reading on the computer screen still tends to be for perusal. So I am fine with killing some finite number of trees, but I do not want to print 30+ pages of a single paper. That is especially true if the paper is in manuscript format. I like to think I should read it on the computer or once the journal version is available. (Unfortunately, neither happens as often as I would like.)
It is safe to assume that long papers in emulateapj format are also less likely to be read. My own magical cutoff seems to be 15–20 pages in journal format, above which I either skim a lot or read only if particularly relevant.
This poll has been pretty unscientific; my own biases might have determined which responses I remembered. So my (informal) survey continues here, in a more scientific manner: What do you do when you submit to astro-ph? As a reader, does the tiny font size of the ApJ format make it harder to read the paper or do you appreciate the time the author invested into formatting the paper?