Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

LaTeX for my laptop computer

  1. Apr 11, 2007 #1
    Hi people,

    I am totally crap with computers and I have tried numerous times to install a LaTeX program onto my computer and each time it doesn't seem to work, for whatever reason. There always seems to be extra files to download and I am totally lost as to what I actually need.

    Could someone help me out here? Like I say, I need a fair bit of guidance due to my sheer incompetance.

    I have tried downloading from Miktex.org but whenever I get to the final stages of the installation it suggests a directory for the files to go in, but then it tells me that the directory is not empty?!

    HELP, PLEASE :yuck:
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2007 #2

    Dr Transport

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  4. Apr 11, 2007 #3

    I am following these guidelines: http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/LaTe ... nloads.php

    When I open TeXnicCenter and it asks me for the "full path of the directory where the executables" are located, and I give it C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.5\miktex\bin - it comes up with an error message, even though I haven't changed the original destination when I downloaded MiKTeX.

    Any ideas? I know it's probably very trivial, but you would make me a very happy man if I could finally sort this out...

    Thanks in advance
  5. Apr 11, 2007 #4

    Dr Transport

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'll have to look into it later.....
  6. Apr 11, 2007 #5
    doesn't cygwin have latex built in?
  7. Apr 11, 2007 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    It's an optional package (tetex).

    Even though I have cygwin, and use it extensively, I prefer MiKTeX, with its YAP previewer [which can interact nicely with text editors]. MikTeX will also prompt to find any missing files or packages on the website.
  8. Apr 12, 2007 #7
    You may try PcTeX
  9. Apr 12, 2007 #8


    User Avatar

  10. Apr 12, 2007 #9
    Guys, thanks for the editor suggestions and all, but at the end of the day I can't install MikteX fully because it keeps telling me that the directory isn't empty, and since I have no clue what this means I can't go any further. Someone here must know how I can sort this?
  11. Apr 12, 2007 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Have you looked at http://docs.miktex.org/2.5/manual/installing.html ?

    Admittedly, I've been using MikTeX 2.4.... and I have had no plans to upgrade anytime soon [for fear of breaking my current setup].

    suggests that "If you are doing a fresh installation of MikTeX 2.5, or you can do a re-installation, do so using the installer, but do not install to the default folder. Instead, use one which does not contain spaces: one suggestion is c:\texmf; but it’s up to you."

    (MikTeX 2.4 and earlier used such a directory name.)
  12. Apr 12, 2007 #11
    When TexnicCenter asks you for the path, did you just type "C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.5\miktex\bin" or did you search for the directory, i.e. click until you got to the folder?
  13. Apr 12, 2007 #12
    I did both. I can't understand why this still won't work.
    To be honest I don't really understand what I actually need for this to work.
    I tried downloading proTeX, which I did. It seems that it came with miktex, so when I came to install miktex it asks me to choose the location for the installation directory (it already has miktex in there) but even when I choose the folder myself it tells me the specified directory isn't empty?! What does that even mean, aside from the fact that it's not empty?!

    It would really help if someone just listed down what programs I need to download in what order, then that way I might be able to see what I am doing wrong.

    Again I apologise for my abilities here, and thank you again for your input.
  14. Apr 12, 2007 #13
    Ok, so i typed in c:\texmf as my installation directory, and it seems to be going ahead now...So thanks for that

    I still feel like I have got no idea as to what is going on though.
  15. Apr 12, 2007 #14
    Right, still no closer.

    Is it simply enough to download the MiKTeX Basic system and TeXniccenter?
  16. Apr 12, 2007 #15


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    So, you installed the basic MiKTeX package?
    If so, then you should have the minimal setup to start composing LaTeX in any text editor.

    Once you have composed your first LaTeX file, then you should be able to
    run in a command window [assuming the path is setup correctly] (in the directory where you saved your file) "latex myfile". If that works, then your setup is working. (You should at least see if this works.)

    For something fancier, you might have to setup your favorite text editor or something more like TeXniccenter.
  17. Apr 13, 2007 #16
    When you enter in the full path, are you enclosing it in double quotes, e.g. "C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.5\miktex\bin"? If that doesn't work, you may want to experiment with including a backslash (' \ ') at the end of the path. A final possibility is to enter the path as something like c:\progra~1\miktex~1\miktex\bin
  18. Apr 13, 2007 #17
    I have installed Basic MiKTeX (to the directory c:\texmf).

    Then when I open TeXniccenter it asks me to "enter the full path of the directory, where the executables(latex, tex, etc.) of your TeX distribution are located".

    So when I put in c:\texmf, since I thought MiKTeX was my distribution (and it is located at c:\texmf), I get an error message saying "The application "LaTeX" has not been found in the directory of your TeX-distribution. Please enter the directory where the executable files (tex.exe, latex.exe, etc.) are located, as your distribution's directory".

  19. Apr 13, 2007 #18
    Try: C:\texmf\miktex\bin
    or look in the texmf folder if there is a miktex folder and in the miktex folder click on the bin folder.
  20. Apr 13, 2007 #19
    AT LAST! Thank you everyone for your advice!
  21. Apr 13, 2007 #20
    Oh I am sorry, I didn't see that the problem had been solved on the 2nd page.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: LaTeX for my laptop computer
  1. My Latex Converter (Replies: 8)