I used LyX to format my thesis. I started using a set of files made available at the FOGS website. LyX is a “what you see is what you want” interface for Latex. Overall, I had a good experience using this program. There was only one formatting problem in the LyX files online which is now corrected. Other than that I the only things I had to address were errors of my own (too many words in the abstract for example). For sharing, I found it came out looking the nicest to export an HTML file, open it in a browser and then copy pasting it into word. This is a little tedious but I found it was an acceptable trade off given 1) the ease of use 2) how pretty it turned out and 3) the fact that word would have a complete meltdown with this many figures/tables/references. There are plugins for LyX which should allow more direct exporting.
Please let me know if you are able, or unable to use this. If you find and fix bugs please share!
Protip: put this folder in dropbox. Use relative paths to all of you figures (which you have put in the figures folder) as I have done in the example. This way you will should be able to generate the pdf from any computer with LyX and dropbox.