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The following are some downloads that are important to start writing in TeX.

If you are using a Windows machine, you can download and install the following two programs (MiKTeX and TeXnicCenter, in that order) to get started with LaTeX. These programs are free, and are not produced or distributed by AoPS Incorporated.

Note: These are not the only ways to install and use LaTeX on your computer. The TeX Users Group has a list of other LaTeX programs, including programs for Mac and Linux computers.

For Windows


MiKTeX is the engine that does the typesetting work.

Note: The MiKTeX download file is large - 230 MB.

To download and install MiKTeX, do the following:

  1. Click here to open the MiKTeX download site. For Mac users, you will need MacTex which can be found here.
  2. On the MiKTeX download page, there will be several panels for the different downloads offered. Open the panel with the title Basic MiKTeX Installer, 32-bit by clicking on it, or if your computer is 64-bit, choose the 64-bit option. Download the basic MiKTeX system by clicking the download button there.
  3. After the MiKTeX system download has finished, find the downloaded file, and double-click on it to launch the installer. Follow the directions in the installer. Some things to watch out for while installing:
    1. When it asks you for the directory in which to install the files, we recommend leaving the default C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.9, but if you choose to change it, make note of where you change it to: you will need this information when installing TeXnicCenter. Note: Some versions of Windows will use C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9 as the installation folder. Pay attention to what folder MiKTeX installs to!
    2. It will ask you your "preferred paper size". North American users will probably want "Letter"; users elsewhere in the world will want "A4".
    3. When it asks "Download packages on the fly", if you choose "Ask me first", beware that this may cause bugs later. In the future, if you compile a LaTeX file and it reports producing 0 pages or that a "GUI framework cannot be initialized", know that this is because a package has not been installed. To fix this, either install the missing package yourself or change this setting to "Yes" instead of "Ask me first".

At this point, MiKTeX should be installed on your computer.


TeXnicCenter is a visual interface and editor for producing LaTeX documents. It is not a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editor, meaning your code doesn't immediately become nice math images as you type. However, it does include an easy-to-use interface for finding symbol commands, and its text editor is custom-designed to help you avoid syntax errors. To install TeXnicCenter:

  1. Click here to open the TeXnicCenter download site. (Right click on the link and open it in a new window.)
  2. Click on "Downloads" on the top of the page.
  3. Download the version that fits the Windows architecture that you have (32- or 64-bit). If you are unsure, download the 32-bit version.
  4. Once the download is finished, run the installer that you just downloaded. We recommend accepting the default options, except that you may wish to add a desktop shortcut icon when you are asked.
  5. If you elected to have a shortcut on the desktop, just click the icon on the desktop. Otherwise, click Start on the main Windows window, search for 'TeXnicCenter', and run the program.
  6. When the program starts, a Tips window will open. Click Close. The program will then walk you through the configuration wizard:
    When it asks you for the "full path of the directory where the executables" are located, type C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.9\miktex\bin (Note: if you changed the default location when installing MiKTeX, then you'll need to replace C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.9 with the directory to which you installed MiKTeX. Your computer may also have used C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9 as the installation folder, in which case you'll instead have to type C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9\miktex\bin as the directory for the executables.) If you are using the 64-bit version, the path might be C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.9\miktex\bin\x64.
    If it asks you to pick a PostScript viewer, you may just leave everything blank and just click "Next". Similarly if it asks you to pick a DVI viewer, just leave everything blank and click "Next". (It may or may not ask you these things, depending on how your computer is configured.)

For Mac

Mac TeX

Mac TeX is an all-in-one package which contains the LaTeX distribution, editors, and other useful software.

  1. To download the latest version, visit the MacTeX website. (Note: file is about 2GB and will take a while to download.)
  2. Once you’ve downloaded the distribution, install it by double-clicking the .dmg file and follow the instructions.
  3. Once installed, everything you need can be found in your Applications folder and in a folder called TeX. TeXShop and TeXworks are both open source LaTeX editors, released under the GPL.
  4. For more information click here.

For GNU/Linux & Unix & Android

TeX Live

TeX Live is an easy way to get up and running with the TeX document production system. It provides a comprehensive TeX system with binaries for GNU/Linux and Unix Operating Systems. It includes all the major TeX-related programs, macro packages, and fonts that are completely free software, including support for many languages around the world.

  1. Most GNU/Linux distributions like Arch, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, etc have TeX Live in the repository, so you can directly just get it through you package manager or software center. Otherwise, download TeX Live from here.
  2. Open a terminal, change to directory in which you have downloaded the .tar.gz file(for example, cd ~/Downloads if you have downloaded the file in Downloads folder). Then untar by tar -xvzf install-tl-unx.tar.gz. Next cd install-tl-unx. Then, install-tl -gui wizard. Now follow the instructions.
  3. For more, checkout here.

You can use just any text editor of your use! Some common are gedit, emacs(with ACUTeX is the most powerful Tex editor), vim,etc.


TeXstudio is an integrated writing environment for creating LaTeX documents. Our goal is to make writing LaTeX as easy and comfortable as possible. Therefore TeXstudio has numerous features like syntax-highlighting, integrated viewer, reference checking and various assistants.

  1. Click here. Download the proper version for your distribution. Otherwise download the source tarball and follow the associated wiki for installation.


VerbTeX LaTeX Editor is an application software which can run in Android OS. So, you can use this app on your Android tablet or smartphone when you are on the go.

  1. Click here to download and install it for free!
  2. Click here for VerbTeX Pro LaTeX Editor.

For Online Use of LaTeX


LaTeX can also be used Online! No need to download. Overleaf is one of the most popular online LaTeX editor. There are so many templates to use LaTeX easily.

  1. Click here to use it now!

You're now ready to use LaTeX! Progress onto your first LaTeX document

See Also