The other day I finally got around to installing LaTex on my Windows box after the last major reinstall. There are several different LaTex releases that will run on Windows. They all do pretty much the same thing, but now that I had to do this over again, I realize that the choice might be confusing to some.
If you want to start playing with LaTex on Windows I recommend you download ProText. Why? Because it ships along with everything you need to start working. The following products are included in the ProText package:
- MikTex – one of the more popular LaTex packages for Windows
- GhostScript – a windows release of the ultimate postscript interpreter
- GsView – the windows postscript and dvi viewer which you will need to open some of the Tex generated files
- TeXnicCenter – my favorite LaTex IDE.
It all comes bundled in a single neat package. The installer is a bit funky but don’t be discouraged. You get a self extractable rar archive that will dump bunch of files into a temporary folder of your choice. Inside you will find a setup file. If you run it it will open a PDF document which outlines the installation process step by step. It includes embedded links that launch installers for the products I listed above. It is a bit odd, and unconventional way of installing applications but it is very easy to follow.
Naturally you could get all these things separately, but ProText just makes it easy and convenient. I’m mainly putting this out here for people who might be new to LaTex. Also, I’m documenting this for myself because it took me a little while to remember which one was the nice PDF based bundle that I used last few times.