Installation on windows

The easiest way to get LaTeX working in Windows seems to be the MikTeX system. MikTeX is completely free. If you're using LaTeX for the first time ask someone for an example file to start from, it is much easier to edit and learn from a file that already works than starting from scratch!

As for editing the LaTeX files, you can use whatever you like and there are a whole bevvy of editors that are suitable, even Word if you save as text files. Many previous and current PhD students have had a lot of success using WinEdt for editing their files. WinEdt is available as shareware on a 30-day trial, after which you need to register it (a mere $30 for the student licence, at the time of writing). For a foolproof installation of both these packages, read on.

  1. Go to the MikTeX website and download the latest stable release (2.1 as of July 2002). The link on the website will give you the setup wizard, a small program which asks you a few questions then downloads the packages, which can be up to 110 Mb, so make sure you've got 20 minutes to spare.
  2. If you need more help, there are more detailed MikTeX installation instructions available. Your hardest choice will probably be whether to pick a small, large or total installation, which really only depends on how much disk space you have free.
    Once installation finishes, proceed to installing WinEdt.
  3. Download WinEdt from here

Further information

  • If you need to write equations, you'll need the amsmath package. You can find information about using it here
  • For some BibTex information and links have a look here 
  • Introduction and basic LaTeX guide can be found here
  • The most up-to-date information and downloads can be found on the LaTeX Project Homepage
  • A useful website for help with latex documents can be found here 
  • A useful guide to LaTeX is 'The Not so Short Introduction to LaTeX', often referred to as lshort. Searching 'lshort' on the internet is the best way to find a pdf of this or download from here