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This page is maintained by the software tutors. For errors and/or amendments please contact the current tutor supporting the program.



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.


Quick start

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:


MiKTeX This is the official site of MiKTeX. It gives a short introduction and contains some links.

Winedt This is the official site of Winedt. Here you can download Winedt. Here you find help and documentation, plug-ins and other useful things for Winedt.


 The official LaTeX homepage.

The Not So Short Introduction to LATEX2e is a very nice introduction to LaTeX. But there is a lot of other documentation around that might suit you as well.

Another nice online introduction is provided by the Harvard Mathematics Department.

For German-speaking users there is a nice and easy on-line introduction called Kochbuch fuer Latex. This is a very useful page that provides forums, documentation, etc. for LaTeX users. It contains also an archive (CTAN) where you can get LaTeX packages and documentation.


Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  1. How do I get MiKTeX for my personal computer?

    MiKTeX is freely available and can be downloaded from On this site you find also documentation and installation instructions.
  2. How do I get Winedt for my personal computer?

    You can download Winedt from The Institute has a licence for the version 5.3. Contact your Site Office for the registration code.
  3. 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., 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'.

Page last updated on 17 August 2017

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