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Free LaTeX packages

  1. Jan 25, 2008 #1

    Is there a way of using this program or a similar one to write in microsoft word, or is it only available online? I'm just interested as I have heard people taking notes on their laptops using it.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2008 #2


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    Theres lots of free LaTeX packages online. http://miktex.org/About.aspx" [Broken] is one for example.

    I use http://www.tug.org/protext/" [Broken] which is a package of a few different LaTeX applications.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  4. Jan 25, 2008 #3
    Kurdt, yes it was you who I heard talking about how you used it. I really just need one for simple mathematical symbols and basic equations. Am I correct in saying MiKTeX would be best for me?
  5. Jan 25, 2008 #4


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    Well it depends specifically on your needs. Like I say there are lots of free latex programs out there. I don't know them all. Maybe you could wait for a few more suggestions or have a search yourself and see what you like. Quite often your institution will suggest a package as well.
  6. Jan 25, 2008 #5
    I've downloaded MiKTeX but don't know how to start it up...
  7. Jan 25, 2008 #6
    You don't "Start up" mikTex like you would start up Word for instance.

    There are two aspects of LaTeX writing. One is the packages (i.e. miktex), that allow for the plain text coding, to be compiled into beautifull documents, But in order to do that, you will need an editor. There are many options, some are free, some aren't, you may even use the notepad in windows and the command promt, but thats only if you are hardcore.

    Personally, I prefere WinEdt as my editor. It has a great GUI and good debugging. TeXnic center is also popular. Google around and find one that suits you :)
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
  8. Jan 25, 2008 #7
    Anyone run any kind of Latex on OS X?
  9. Jan 26, 2008 #8


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    Mayday, get Miktex

    then you dowload texmaker, an IDE for TeX files.

    Then use these two references as start, and if you need more, ask here or find a pure latex-forum (there are plenty of those) and/or get more tutorials :)



    Good luck
  10. Jan 26, 2008 #9
    Hello Mayday,

    for an introduction on how to install Latex for windows see my post #3 in this thread.
  11. Jan 26, 2008 #10
    So, can miktex run out of ms word? Or do you have to use miktex itself as the document?

    I am not sure if I am wording that correctly. What I mean is, can I open an MS Word document, start typing a report, and then when it comes time to put in the mathematics use miktex?

    I.e., will these files save as .doc or some other whacky extension that nobody but myself can open.
  12. Jan 26, 2008 #11


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    nope you do all in LaTeX and saves as .pdf or .ps (so you never have a problem when swiching between different OS)

    LaTeX is surperior Word in everything :P

    LaTeX is about "programming" your text, it is not "what you see is what you get".
  13. Jan 26, 2008 #12
    So does it operate like PF threads? That is, I can write regular old text and then use Tex commands for the maths? Are the tex codes the same as here at PF? In Miktex that is.

    And you say it works on OS X? Like if I downloaded http://miktex.org/About.aspx" [Broken] to my macbook I should be all set?

    Thanks for the advice by the way! Latex does rock.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  14. Jan 26, 2008 #13


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    you dowload the correct package for your mac and an editor for mac, then all files (pdf and ps) and code (tex files) that you create you can send to anyone, just like Java for instance.

    I dont think miktex have packages for machintosh. And I am not an expert on machintosh, try this forum: http://www.latex-community.org/
    Same for texmaker, better ask someone how uses latex on mach, I only use it on Windowns and linux =)

    This is some parts of one of my real .tex files:


    \usepackage{fancyhdr} %Formating headers
    \renewcommand{\sectionmark}[1]{\markright{\thesection\ #1}}




    In this laboration excited states of $ ^{166}$Er were studied. These were obtained from $ \beta ^- $decay of $^{166m}$Ho by using the $ \gamma \gamma $- coincidence technique. With this technique, finding the $ \gamma $-rays belong to the same cascade is possible. The relative energy states were obtained and a level scheme was constructed. To this scheme, nuclear spin and parity were adressed by comparing the energy levels with those predicted by a peculiar nuclear model. Also the electronics and data collecting system for this experiment were reviewed and studied. Results obtained can be seen on page 8.
    Typesetting in \LaTeX , of course.


    This laboration was a part of the Nuclear Physics curriculum during the fall semester of 2007. The purpose of the laboration was to learn about gamma-ray spectroscopy and the collective model o



    one. Using $\gamma \gamma$-coincidences one can also see the weak transition, and constructing a detailed level scheme of the nucleus.

    \subfigure[Decay branches]
    \subfigure[Strong and weak peak]
    \caption{This figure shows the concept of decay branches and how a strong peak can cloak a weaker.}

    \subsection{The Rotational Model}

    In an even-even nucleus such as $^{166}$Er, th



    eigenvalue equation:

    E_{J,K} = \frac{\hbar ^2}{2\mathscr{I}}J(J+1) + K^2(\frac{\hbar ^2}{2\mathscr{I_3}}-\frac{\hbar ^2}{2\mathscr{I}}).

    where $\mathscr{I}_x $ is the moment of inert



    It is bit tricky in the beginning, especally getting pictures work smoth. But once you get over that, you'll be addicted to LaTeX :D
  15. Jan 26, 2008 #14
    Cool! I'll start a new thread instead hijacking this one a longer! Thanks MG!
  16. Jan 26, 2008 #15


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    Another good thing when you're a beginner is that there are lots of templates available online for all sorts of document types. Studying these and seeing what they put out is a great way to learn.
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