A LaTeX setup for the Windows platform

February 18, 2009 § Leave a comment

A simple workflow for a fairly standard LaTeX setup for the Windows platform. YMMV.

  1. Download the MikTex setup exe
  2. Get the whole package directory from a nearby server using Internet Explorer or using the MikTex installer
  3. Install MikTex by pointing to the local copy of packages. Install as “Administrator” and install for all users.
  4. Install the Sumatra PDF viewer. This is required because Acrobat reader locks  a PDF file in use.
  5. Install TexnicCenter, a highly capable IDE for LaTeX. Change the PDF build profile to use XeLaTeX instead of PdfLaTeX.  XeLaTeX is the unicode and works better for multi-language input.
  6. Enable complex language input in Windows. In XP, go to Control Panel -> Regional and Languages (You will need your XP install disk for this).
  7. To add version control support using bazaar for Windows and version control script for LaTex, install gawk for Windows.
  8. Install gnu-gawk for Windows.
  9. The vc.bat file and the corresponding bzr awk script for Windows should be copied in the directory of each document. After each bzr commit, run the vc. bat file. This updates the vc.tex file (include it in your LaTeX document via \input{vc} )
  10. Bibliography management is handled by JabRef (a Java application).

Additional Notes:

  1. ipe is a very good tool for vectorized illustrations and figures. It has a modern UI and is quite easy to use.
  2. A good way to manage the document workflow in TexnicCenter is to start with a simple new document in a desired directory and convert it into a project with “Project->Create with active file as main file” from the menu. Multi-file projects will then show up in a file/structure explorer with hotlinks.
  3. Use polyglossia instead of babel for multi-language localizations in  LaTeX documents.
  4. Nicola Talbot’s “LaTeX for complete novices” is a no-frills tutorial which gets you started immediately.  For writing a PhD thesis, follow this up with “Using LaTeX to write a PhD thesis”.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

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