TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am new to TeX/LaTeX. How do I install TeX on Windows (7)? It seems that there are many different implementations, so which one is best for my OS?

share|improve this question
Joseph Wright wrote a great blog post about TeX on Windows, it's worth a read: TeX on Windows: MiKTeX or TeX Live – Paulo Cereda Jan 21 '12 at 12:25
Perhaps take a look at tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1706/… – Joseph Wright Jan 21 '12 at 12:30
proTeXt walks you through the process: tug.org/protext – cmhughes Jan 21 '12 at 17:22
up vote 32 down vote accepted

You can choose between TeX Live and MiKTeX. In practice it does not make a difference which distribution you use. Especially if you are new to LaTeX. However you should take care that you install the full version, with all packages, and not a minimal or base version.

You get MiKTeX from here (choose the 'MiKTeX 2.9 Net Installer') and TeX Live here.

Both install a basic editor (TeXworks). I have the experience from my workshops with students, that they have problems with that editor. I introduced TeXstudio which worked quite well in the lectures.

share|improve this answer
Please add a short description of your student's problems with TeXworks. – lockstep Jan 21 '12 at 12:17
Perhaps you could post such problems here as questions, one by one? So each problem could be answered hopefully with good explanation and perhaps even screenshots, which might help your students as well as further TeXworks users. Example of explaining using TeXworks with write18 or in DVI mode: LaTeX Error: Unknown graphics extension: .ps. – Stefan Kottwitz Jan 21 '12 at 12:21
There is at least another TeX distribution, too: W32TeX. It’s also interesting for MiKTeX users, because it provides some tools as Windows binaries missing in MiKTeX, especially xindy and the lcdf-typetools. – Speravir Jan 21 '12 at 20:18

Some hints beside the selection of distribution: Don't install it in the programs folder.

You may get problems with the authorization concept of win7.

And important: No spaces in installation path! Some tools will get problems.

share|improve this answer
I assume that this applies to texlive mainly. Miktex never had such problems - at least I can not remember them. But texlive comes from the unix world and uses perl, there spaces in paths are a real problem. – Matthias Pospiech Jan 21 '12 at 22:51
I am using texlive. But I think I got problems with other tools related to TeX (I remember to problems with (rail)[ctan.org/tex-archive/support/rail]) – knut Jan 22 '12 at 8:34
What is the default installation folder of texlive. I hope its not in 'program files' folder. – Sai Manoj Kumar Yadlapati Jan 22 '12 at 18:06
I think it is c:/texlive. But I don't like it. Now I have c:/bin/texlive. But as I wrote, my first attempt with the windows default for applications make problems. – knut Jan 22 '12 at 19:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.