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LaTeX Software and Editors
- MiKTeX - a complete LaTeX system for Windows.
See installation instructions below.
- WinEdt - a text editor (shareware) for
Windows with many useful features for easing the creation of LaTeX documents.
- TeXnicCenter - an open-source editor
and development environment for LaTeX files (Windows). A good alternative for WinEdt.
- JabRef bibliography manager
- Inkscape - an excellent Open Source vector graphics editor. Hint for LaTeX users: save figures as eps, and later convert to pdf. In this way, the bounding box will always be right.
- Dia - another nice Open Source tool for creating block diagrams. Includes handy componet libraries.
- XCircuit - a free drawing
program for creating vector-quality schematic diagrams and other kinds of general
illustrations. Includes component libraries.
XCircuit uses PostScript (.ps and .eps) as its file format for input and output.
Thus files saved by XCircuit are ready to be included in LaTeX documents without
additional export or conversion steps.
Basically XCircuit runs on X Window System. You can probably make it run also
on MS Windows by using an X server, such as Cygwin.
There is also available a native MS Windows version,
which is unfortunately a bit outdated (but quite usable anyway).
- eps2pdf - a tool
for converting EPS images to PDF. Useful with pdfLaTeX.
- GSview - a graphical
Windows application for previewing PostScript (EPS, PS) files. First, install Ghostscript (read
the instructions on the homepage of GSview).
- pstoedit - converts PS and EPS files
to other vector graphics formats. After installing pstoedit you can run it by choosing
"Convert to vector format" from the Edit menu in GSview. Some of the listed formats are available
on a shareware basis and require a license for full functionality.
Adobe PostScript Printer Driver - This driver allows you to print anything
under Windows into a good quality PostScript file. Only for Windows XP
and older versions.
- Image Magick - Software suite to create, edit, and compose bitmap images. It can read, convert and write images in a variety of formats (about 100) including DPX, GIF, JPEG, JPEG-2000, PDF, PhotoCD, PNG, Postscript, SVG, and TIFF.
- LibreOffice Draw
and OpenOffice.org Draw
can be used to draw vector-quality EPS and PDF files.
- TTH - LaTeX to HTML converter.
Installation instructions: Download the TTH zip package. Unzip and copy the exe file into your MiKTeX bin
directory (for example C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.9\miktex\bin).
For instructions on using TTH, see file conversions.
How to Set Up Your System
First you should download and install MiKTeX. Go to the
MiKTeX home page and download the installer of the latest version. MiKTeX provides two kinds of installers:
basic and complete.
Generally the basic version of MiKTeX is enough for most users. It contains only the minimum necessary
files for running LaTeX but MiKTeX is able to automatically download additional packages when they
are needed. When you run LaTeX and some package is missing, you will be asked, if you would like to install
it. This way you can get only those packages that are necessary for you and no disk space is wasted for
packages that are never needed. However, note that an internet connection is needed for the automatic
installation of packages on-the-fly.
The complete version contains almost everything you can ever need when writing LaTeX documents. However, this version takes lots of disk space and the installation can take quite
After setting up MiKTeX you should install WinEdt or TeXnicCenter.
- WinEdt: In most cases WinEdt is able to detect the location of your MiKTeX system. Thus you don't need to change
any settings in WinEdt in order to run LaTeX.
- TeXnicCenter: When you launch TeXnicCenter for the first time, a configuration
wizard will ask you for the location of different executable files. In most cases
the wizard is able to find the files automatically. When you are asked for the directory
where your LaTeX executables are, you should browse for a folder like
C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.9\miktex\bin which contains latex.exe,
pdflatex.exe, bibtex.exe, etc.
Now you could try to compile a basic LaTeX document, such as the one in
our first example.
When you want to use figures in your document, you may need to install some graphics tools.
See the list above. Read also our instructions on creating and converting
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