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Homework Help: LaTex is supposedly very good in producing lab reports

  1. Sep 15, 2004 #1
    I have heard of something called LaTex which is supposedly very good in producing lab reports etc. I was told that it is available for free somewhere on the internet but after hours of looking I have been unsuccessful in finding it. I would like to know where I could download this free version of the software and how easy is it to use LaTex since I know very little about programming i.e. elementary Fortran and Visual Basic.


    thanks,James
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2004 #2
  4. Sep 15, 2004 #3

    chroot

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    James,

    Which OS are you using? Windows? If so, download a copy of MikTeX. Bear in mind that these programs have a fairly steep learning curve, so feel free to ask questions. You probably will have a hard time figuring it all out on your own.

    - Warren
     
  5. Sep 15, 2004 #4

    Dr Transport

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    www.tug.org has a link to most of the commercial and non-commercial versions along with many packages to use as templates. I would recommend Kile if you are using Linux, best LateX Gui I have seen.
     
  6. Sep 16, 2004 #5
    I; ve downloaded the miktex setup wizard and it has installed miktex on the system(Windows)
     
  7. Sep 16, 2004 #6
    Hi

    This is a totally different question regarding an application of LaTeX, but I thought I'd post it here...

    Is anyone aware of a program which can convert small latex files to gif/jpg/png/other web-acceptable image formats? Actually somewhat like PF's LaTeX backend?

    Thanks and cheers
    vivek
     
  8. Sep 16, 2004 #7

    NateTG

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    Most any dvi viewer should do that. There's also dvi2ps and dvi2pdf on the linux side.
     
  9. Sep 16, 2004 #8
    I have downloaded the miktex program as said above but how do I open latex? Do I need to install that package? There are about 5 different packages that start with latex. Do I install all? All I want is to be able to use it to prepare some reports. Any help would be really great since I am new to this .
     
  10. Sep 16, 2004 #9

    chroot

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    You'll probably need to run latex from a command line. Write up your LaTeX file with a text editor. Then open a DOS prompt, change into the directory where your file resides, and run "pdflatex <myfile.tex>" to turn your latex directly into a pdf file. If you need help writing a LaTeX file, let us know.

    - Warren
     
  11. Sep 16, 2004 #10

    chroot

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    PF uses a combination of three programs: latex, dvi2ps, and pstoimg. Latex converts input to dvi, dvi2ps converts that to postscript, and finally pstoimg renders the postscript to an image.

    - Warren
     
  12. Sep 16, 2004 #11
    When you say text editor????? Do you mean Word? or Notepad?? Those are the only two I know of !!!!! MikTex does not give me some default text editor nor does it seem to provide any Latex text editor so where should I get an editor if I don't already have one?

    Then open a DOS prompt, change into the directory where your file resides, and run "pdflatex <myfile.tex>" .....I have XP so I guess it would have to be the Command Prompt right? The directory in which my file is would be C:/ right?

    When you say run "pdflatex <myfile.tex>" do you mean Start ---> Run and enter the thing?

    James
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2004
  13. Sep 16, 2004 #12

    chroot

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    Notepad is a fine text editor. I would not use Word, because it may be a pain to make Word save in plain text format. Personally, I use an editor called TextPad: www.textpad.com

    To open a command prompt, go to Start, hit Run, type "command" and hit enter.

    I don't know where you save your files. Making a directory under C: is probably a fine idea.

    In the command prompt, type "pdflatex myfile.tex", where myfile.tex is just a sample file name. Yours will probably be different.

    - Warren
     
  14. Sep 16, 2004 #13
    Thanks....trying it right now.
     
  15. Sep 16, 2004 #14
    One thing....when I save it in notepad, it saves it as a .txt file.
     
  16. Sep 16, 2004 #15

    chroot

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    I don't think latex really cares about the endings of your filenames, but you might want to rename it to end in .tex just in case.

    - Warren
     
  17. Sep 16, 2004 #16
    ok It said I can't find the file myfile.tex...........I labelled it markus.tex
     
  18. Sep 16, 2004 #17
    How do I get it to the C: prompt? I type C:\ but it says that it is not recpgnized as an internal or external command
     
  19. Sep 16, 2004 #18

    chroot

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    Put your file, markus.tex, in a directory like c:\tex.

    In the command prompt, type "cd c:\tex" then type "pdflatex markus.tex"

    - Warren
     
  20. Sep 16, 2004 #19
    Surely Windows must have a GUI implementation that hides this from the user? Why not use one of those if your not comfortable with working on a command-line?
     
  21. Sep 16, 2004 #20

    chroot

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    Dr-NiKoN,

    I'm not so sure a GUI interface exists for Windows; nor am I sure that such a GUI would really be easier than just typing 'pdflatex'. If you know of one, please give us more information. If not, please don't assume there is one.

    I suppose you could put the commands in a batch file, which you could then double-click.

    - Warren
     
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