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Up until now, I've just been using LyX for all my LaTeX needs. Now I have a .tex file and I need to compile it (turn to pdf). How do I do this on Windows XP? Obviously I have LaTeX installed (MikTeX).

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The easiest way is probably to use an editor that integrates with TeX, like TeXworks. However, as I haven't compiled any TeX file on Windows for years, I leave this question for someone else to answer in detail. –  Caramdir Aug 12 '10 at 11:58
Amir, you seem to be a bit confused about the difference between TeX and LaTeX. I've edited your question to make it more accurate, but please have a look at this other question that explains the difference more clearly. Unless, of course, your file is really a TeX document, then please make that clear in your question. –  Juan A. Navarro Aug 12 '10 at 12:03

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

one way of doing this is using the command line by entering pdflatex yourfilename.tex (assuming MikTex is in your path - just give it a try).

Another way would include installing software such as TeXnicCenter or TeXworks which will let you open/edit/compile a .tex file from within an editor environment.

A third way could be to import it into LyX and then compile with LyX as usual.

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I'd upvote, except that you seem to be recommended importing into Lyx as a reasonable possibility, a path of pain for novices. –  Charles Stewart Aug 12 '10 at 13:37
Is File > Import > LaTeX (plain) in Lyx broken? –  Tormod Aug 13 '10 at 7:30
@Tormad: Lyx has to compile the Latex, and this process might fail since Lyx has to infer Latex's structure - Lyx only promises to compile what it calls "clean" Latex, and put what it can't parse into Tex tags. This is the right thing to do, but I wouldn't recommend it to beginners. BTW, if you want to draw a user's attention to your comment, put @WWW in your comment, where WWW is at least the first three letters of their screen name. –  Charles Stewart Aug 18 '10 at 10:11

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