Home installation of (La)TeX

Installing (La)TeX yourself [1]

When you install (La)TeX yourself, you should realize that the editor (TeXstudio, TeXnicCenter, TeXworks) is the least important part of the installation. The principal part is the engine which converts your LaTeX source into pdf. You need to install:

(La)TeX engine

You can find the net installer install-tl-windows.exe or install-tl.zip at http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet/. Or you can opt for MikTeX. Both distributions include the TeXworks editor. Either way, it is probably best to first uninstall other TeX installations.

Other platforms: Unix/Linux users can download install-tl-unx.tar.gz instead. Linux users who do not require the latest and greatest can simply install the TeX Live packages from their distribution. There is also a special Mac edition of TeX Live.

Warning. Do not try to install TeX while in class. A full install is very big and takes a long time.


TeXworks (and TeXshop): TeXworks is included in both TeX Live and MikTeX. For other platforms, or for the latest version, see http://www.tug.org/texworks/. The inspiration for TeXworks is TeXshop at http://www.uoregon.edu/koch/texshop/, which is Mac-only.

TeXstudio (and TexMaker): TeXstudio is available at http://www.texstudio.org/ . TeXstudio is cross-platform. It is a fork of TexMaker at http://xm1math.net/texmaker/, which is also cross-platform.

TeXnicCenter: available at http://texniccenter.org/. TeXnicCenter is only available for Windows. It works best in combination with MikTeX.[2].

Note. Make sure TeX (either TeX Live or MikTeX) is already installed before you run these editors for the first time, to give them a chance to configure themselves properly.

Note. Some general-purpose editors also support (La)TeX. You can even create TeX files with Notepad and run TeX from the command-line.


Download the bibliography manager JabRef from http://www.jabref.org/. It requires Java to run. On the Mac, an alternative is BibDesk.

SumatraPDF, a very lightweight pdf viewer, is available at http://blog.kowalczyk.info/software/sumatrapdf/free-pdf-reader.html. Especially recommended for TeXnicCenter, which does not have a built-in pdf viewer of its own.

The GUI eps/pdf/PostScript converter Epspdftk. The command-line program epspdf and the GUI component epspdftk are already part of TeX Live. However, the latter requires a Tcl/Tk installation. In its absence, or if you don't even know what Tcl/Tk is, you can get a packaged standalone version of epspdftk with everything needed at http://mirror.ctan.org/support/epspdf-setup/.

House style

Visit the house style page to learn how to install the house style classfiles.

1. I refer to LaTeX rather than TeX because the term is presumably more familiar than TeX itself. Apologies to users of ConTeXt and Plain TeX.

2. TeXnicCenter configures itself nicely for MikTeX if it finds it. Otherwise, users have to answer a series of questions about the location of TeX and associated viewers. To avoid this nuisance, the RUG TeX Live installation includes a script to create a TeXnicCenter configuration similar to what TeXnicCenter creates automatically for MikTeX.


RuG TeX pages last revised on December 8 2016