Official LaTeX project website difficult

1. Jun 27, 2005

Nusc

I don't understand why the official LaTeX project website has to make things unecessarily difficult.

http://www.latex-project.org/ftp.html

All I would like to do is download the required programs to install LaTeX. But instead they write all this garbage.

Is there anyone out there willing to help me install this program?

Thanks

2. Jun 27, 2005

robphy

LaTeX is essentially a macro package for TeX.
What you probably want are the implementations in a TeX distribution, as listed midway down that page:
http://www.tug.org/texlive/
http://www.tug.org/teTeX/
http://www.rna.nl/tex.html [Broken]
http://www.fptex.org/ [Broken]
http://www.tug.org/protext/

On Windows, I use http://www.miktex.org/. Start here: http://www.miktex.org/setup.html [Broken]
Alternatively, you can install tetex as part of http://www.cygwin.com/ , if you prefer to work with X and a unix-like environment under Windows.

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
3. Jun 27, 2005

Nusc

I have no idea what you're talking about but I will use miktex.

I am currently updating MiKTeX, what should I do next?

Thanks

Last edited: Jun 27, 2005
4. Jun 27, 2005

robphy

You can think of it like this.
TeX is the typesetting package.. the main software package.
LaTeX is an optional add-on (a "plugin") that makes some tedious tasks easier.

MikTeX is easy to setup, maintain, and upgrade ... and I'm lazy... I've been using it comfortably for a while (since an early version).

http://math.la.asu.edu/boji/wintex.html [Broken] (step by step)
When the install is complete, you should be ready to go.

Here are some tutorials to get you started
http://www.miktex.org/manual/localguide.html [Broken]
http://www-h.eng.cam.ac.uk/help/tpl/textprocessing/

You can also look over the examples of math equations here:
click on the equation to see the underlying LaTeX code in a popup window.

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
5. Jul 7, 2005

chronon

I too found the structure of TeX distributions confusing to start with. Part of the problem is that there's no obvious program to run. Its useful to have a tex shell such as that at http://www.projectory.de/texshell/ . This is configured to work with the MikTeX distribution.

6. Jul 7, 2005

robphy

First, here's the MiKTeX FAQ on this:
http://www.miktex.org/faq/basics.html [Broken]

A TeX/LaTeX .tex file a plain-text file, which can be composed in any editor [even Notepad!].
Certainly, some editors are nicer than others... and some editors have features that are useful for composing TeX/LaTeX.

The program to run (on the command line) is called "latex":
Code (Text):
latex myfile.tex
(If you don't use the LaTeX package, you can use the more primitive "tex" command.) The output of "tex" or "latex" is a .dvi file, which can be viewed with "yap" on MikTeX, which can be started by double-clicking on myfile.dvi .

When ready to distribute to a wide audience, you probably want to run, for example, "dvips" or "dvipdf".
Code (Text):
dvips myfile.dvi
The output is a postscript .ps or acrobat .pdf file.

These commands (except for "yap") are standard for practically any properly-configured LaTeX distribution... on any platform.

Some text editors allow these "command line programs" to be invoked from within the editor. TeXShell happens to be one such editor, which also has some useful TeX/LaTeX features (like the symbol buttons and the highlighting). However, I have my own favorite general-purpose editors [which support highlighting and many other features] which I prefer to use.

For a beginner, a properly-configured-for-MikTeX editor, like TeXShell, is certainly useful. A more sophisticated editor is TeXnic, as mentioned in the above URL.

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
7. Aug 31, 2005

aranyakam

There is an excellent LaTeX document editor + userfriendly interface to MikTeX called "WinEdt"