Installing MikTeX and its friends

One of the rare MS Windows installations I've had to work with. Some changes have been made since the installation to reflect changes in names and software.

This can take a short time or a long time, depending on your download speed and how big a LaTeX installation you want.

  1. Install MiKTeX (the engine which does the actual typesetting)
    1. Get MiKTeX from one of its download sites. SourceForge is a good place to go.
    2. Once the download is complete, run the net installer. Since disk space is cheap, and there is always the possibility of wanting an obscure style file while waiting in airport, ask for the full installation. This can take quite a bit of time, so go do something else for a while. (The package downloads as a very large sequence of small, individual files, instead of some monolithic package. Hence, it has to go through all sorts of extra negotiations.)
    3. Run the net installer a second time to actually install MiKTeX. The installation can take a bit of time, as it needs to run through and install the massive number of files downloaded above.
  2. Install GhostScript and GSView (for conversions and graphics)
    1. You can find a page for these packages at the University of Wisconsin.
    2. Since Wisconsin has some of its mirrors shut down during peak on-campus use times, you might try going straight to the GhostScript and GSView sites.
    3. The installers are straightforward.
  3. Install TeXnicCenter (the front-end for typing your documents)
    1. This can be downloaded from
    2. Though it claims to be a beta, all versions ever made are listed as betas, so it seems that this application is always in the beta state.
    3. This installation is also straightforward.
  4. After all installations were complete start TeXnicCenter. The first time you install it, it will ask about installing assuming that MiKTeX was installed.
  5. If this will be used on a network, you'll need a way to have universal template files for the students. This is not difficult, but is it very network specific, so it is between you and your sysadmin.

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Last Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2008, 9:07