# Latex, tex, and miktex

1. Jun 25, 2008

### ehrenfest

I downloaded the TeXnic center and miktex and I have used them to produce very beautiful mathematical typesetting but I have never really understood how they are related. Can someone please explain what is the difference between latex and miktex, how they work together, whether I really need both, etc perhaps with an analogy to some other common software?

Also, I have read several answers to this questions and I have never understood them at all: What is the difference between latex and tex?

2. Jun 25, 2008

### f95toli

Miktex is just an implementation of Latex that runs on Windows.
Latex= The name of the "language"
Miktex=One of the software packages you can use to produce documents using that language.

Latex is actually a specific "dialect" of TeX (the "La" comes from the name of the guy who developed it, I think his name is Lambert(?)) which is why you occasionally see references to other type of TeX (although they are rare nowadays)

3. Jun 26, 2008

### ehrenfest

OK. Thanks that was helpful. I realized I kind of botched my question. It should have been:

Can someone please explain what is the difference between texnic center and miktex, how they work together, whether I really need both, etc perhaps with an analogy to some other common software?

4. Jun 26, 2008

### Hootenanny

Staff Emeritus
Texnic Center is the composer, which is were you write the mark-up code. Another example of a composer would be Notepad for creating HTML documents.

MikeTex compiles the latex mark-up and generates a document.

And yes, you need both a composer and a compiler to generate a latex document. However, you needn't use Texnic Center: you can write latex mark-up in Notepad or any other text editor.

5. Jun 26, 2008

### shoehorn

Miktex is a collection of TeX and LaTeX software which is intended to be used on computers running Windows.

TeXnicCenter is, essentially, a text editor. All TeX/LaTeX documents are, at heart, simply text files so when one wants to write TeX/LaTeX documents one needs some sort of text editor. One could, for example, use something like notepad.exe to do this. However, whereas notepad.exe is designed to be a general purpose -- and quite feature-poor -- text editor, TeXnicCenter is designed specifically for the purpose of writing TeX/LaTeX documents. As such, it contains things that are particularly useful in this context: syntax highlighting, spellchecking, convenient shortcuts to convert the raw text into DVI, PS, or PDF files, and a little window to notify you of any errors in your TeX source file.

6. Jun 26, 2008

### ehrenfest

I see. Thanks.