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Installing Latex on Windows

Topics covered on this webpage (no slides):

  • Installing MiKTex – the TeX implementation.
  • Installing TeXnicCenter – an Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

This page will link the reader to MiKTeX and TeXnicCenter. To “compile” a document, one must have a LATEX implementation installer on her computer. MiKTeX is a popular implementation of LATEX for Windows. I recommend that the reader uses this program.

A LATEX document can be edited with any ASCII text editor, which is any text editor such as Wordpad, Notepad, or Microsoft Word–although it is rather cumbersome. One can use an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to create a document. An IDE is a fancy way of describing a program that allows the user to type, compile, and have a GUI interface with the document. As the reader will see in Lecture 2.3, compiling a document usually requires two programs to be open: the editor and a DOS window. An IDE makes it convienant to compile a document with a single program.

It also allows the author to have icons to insert functions. While this may seem to be antithetical to the essence of LATEX, it is rather convienant for those commands or mathematical operators we seldomly use. Furthermore, it is still quicker to simply learn the commands and type them instead of using the icons.

Below points the reader to the webpage to install MiKTeX and TeXnicCenter. The reader must install a LATEX implementation–such as MiKTeX–to continue with the tutorial. TeXnicCenter, or any IDE, is optional, but recommended. The reader may continue the tutorial using Notepad or Wordpad as their editor.

MiKTeX
MiKTeX is a popular implementation of the LATEX program. It manages the multiple files that LATEX uses to create a program. MiKTeX has several useful features, such as autoinstalling packages (covered in lecture 2.1.1).

To install MiKTeX, follow the instructions below:

  • Go to CTAN’s webpage on MiKTeX installation.
  • When installing, use the “small” package set.

TeXnicCenter
Whereas MiKTeX (or a similar program) is necessary, TeXnicCenter is not required. A LATEX document can be edited with any text editor (Notepad, Wordpad preferrably) with ending the file name with .tex. However, unlike a text editor, TeXnicCenter is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) which allows you to edit a document and generate its output. It also has some visual buttons for when you cannot remember LATEX commands. NOTE: MiKTeX should be installed prior to installing TeXnicCenter.

To install TeXnicCenter, follow the instructions below:

  • Go to the download page and select a server.
  • Double-click on installation file.
  • Use MiKTeX as your local repository.
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