Asymptote: Getting Started/Windows/Downloads and Installation

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NOTE: The following instructions assume that you are using a Windows machine. Instructions for MAC and Unix users can be found under Documentation $\rightarrow$ Installation here.

To begin using Asymptote, you must first download and install it. To view the eps-format images you produce, you will also need to download an eps viewer such as GSview. (GSview is convenient because it can display both eps and pdf files, and with GhostScript installed, Asymptote can easily output the images in pdf format as well.)


To download and install Asymptote on your Windows machine:

  1. Click here and wait for the download to begin. This will bring you to SourceForge, which will help you download asymptote-X.YZ-setup.exe, where X.YZ is the version.
  2. When the download is complete, browse to D:\downloads\Asymptote, or wherever you saved the file, and double-click on the .exe file (asymptote-X.YZ-setup.exe). This will open an installer window, where you can choose the folder that Asymptote will be installed to (or simply use the default C:\Program Files\Asymptote), and choose whether you wish to have shortcuts added to the desktop and start menu. When you have finished, click Install.

Asymptote is ready to start producing images, but you still need a way to view these images. (NOTE: if you already have a previewer capable of viewing .eps and .pdf files, you do not need to download the file below.)


GSview is a standard viewer for .eps files, which is the standard output format for Asymptote images. To download and install GSview,

  1. Go to this download site, and click on the "Obtaining GSView" link. Then click on the first link down, gsvXYw32.exe, where X.Y is the version. A download window will pop up in your browser. Choose to save the file, and take note of where on your hard drive you saved it to. Let's say you saved it to the folder C:\downloads\Ghostscript. (If you are unable to get the file gsvXYw32.exe from this site, try this site or this one instead.)
  2. When the download is complete, browse to D:\downloads\Ghostscript in your files and double-click on the .exe file gsvXYw32.exe. This will bring you to an installation window. Click Setup.
  3. After it extracts the necessary files, there will be a new installation window. Click Next twice, and there will be two checkboxes, which can set GSview to be the default eps or pdf previewer. If you wish to use the more common Acrobat Reader, or some other pdf reader, to view pdf files, only leave the first box checked. However, you can check both if desired.
  4. Click Next, and choose the directory in which you want GSview installed (or leave the default setting, C:\Program Files\Ghostgum).
  5. Click Next twice, and choose the Start Menu folder to which a shortcut will be added. (The default is Ghostgum.)
  6. Click Finish, and GSview will be installed.


Ghostscript may also need to be installed on your system. You may download it here by clicking on the second link down, GPL Ghostscript. Then, click on the first link down, and copy the file to your computer. After that, run it to install Ghostscript. You may then need to set the version of Ghostscript in GSview. Do this by choosing the Easy Configure option in the Options menu in GSview.

You now have installed everything you need to use Asymptote on the most basic level, as described in the next section.

Next: Interactive Mode