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MiKTeX is an implementation of TeX and related programs for Windows. TeX is a typesetting system that has been designed especially for editing scientific texts. One of its main advantages is that it allows you to easily include mathematical formulas. MiKTeX offers a complete set of utilities and macro packages that allow you to actually use TeX. One of these included sets is LaTeX. This is the most common set of macros for TeX and works like a programming language. A useful editor for typing your documents in LaTeX is Winedt since it is especially designed for this purpose and allows you to compile your documents, convert them in postscript or PDF format, etc.
An alternative to typing your documents in LaTeX is to use Scientific Workplace. This is a word processor (like Word) that converts your normal text into a LaTeX document. It is easy to use but restricts your possibilities in editing your text compared to writing directly in LaTeX.
Since typing in LaTeX is very complex we cannot give a real introduction. Please refer to the documentation on the Web or the sites listed below. In any case, the first thing you have to do is to start Winedt. Open a new document and save it as a TeX document (File/Save as...). As an absolute minimum you have to write
Now you can type your text. Write something, e.g., "Good morning."
After your text you have to type
On the upper toolbar you find a variety of buttons at the upper right. Click on the button labeled 'Latex'. After this, click on the button 'DVI'. That shows you what the document looks like. To convert your document in a PDF file you have to click on the button 'dvi->PDF'. Analogously you can convert your document to a postscript file. To open the Acrobat Reader click on the button with the Acrobat logo. This automatically opens your PDF file that you have just created.
There are numerous commands to create headings, special formats, etc. It will take you some time to get used to writing in LaTeX. In order to get a first impression download article.tex that might help you in writing a journal article. It provides you with some elementary commands that you may need but there are a lot more commands. Just open it in Winedt.
There are a lot of sources on the Internet and books that provide help for these programs. The following links might be useful to you:
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- How do I get MiKTeX for my personal computer?
MiKTeX is freely available and can be downloaded from http://www.miktex.org/2.5/. On this site you find also documentation and installation instructions.
- How do I get Winedt for my personal computer?
You can download Winedt from http://www.winedt.com/. The Institute has a licence for the version 5.3. Contact your Site Office for the registration code.
- How do I install new packages?
MiKTeX includes a package manager that downloads and installs automatically the desired packages. Just click on Start/Programs/MiKTeX/MiKTeX Package Manager. In case this does not work you can find packages on, e.g., http://www.dante.de/. Once you have downloaded a style package you have to proceed as follows:
Save the file in C:APPS exmf exlatex.
Go to Start/Programs/MiKTeX/MiKTeX Options
Click on the button 'Refresh Now' under 'File name database'.