Currently I use TeCnicCenter and MiKTeX with LaTeX on a Windows machine. I am contemplating using plain TeX for certain purposes. I would like to know how to use TeXnicCenter with plain TeX. I like TeXnicCenter, but I can use another program if I have to. I really dislike the Windows command prompt. If I need to switch, I am not looking for just an editor, but an IDE like TeXnicCenter, if IDE is an appropriate term here.

I want to be able to produce PDF files. I can think of no reason I would want to make Postscript or DVI files.

I am a mathematician, not a computer person, so please over-explain if necessary. I do not enjoy TeX or LaTeX like many people do, but it is free and I think we all agree it produces better-looking output than anything else out there.

2 Answers 2


Here's a way to do this in TeXnicCenter:

  1. Visit your Output Profiles (Build > Define Output Profiles / Alt + F7). TeXnicCenter creates a number of output profiles by default, including one called LaTeX > PS > PDF.

    enter image description here

  2. Make a copy of this and call it TeX > PS > PDF. Then change the "Path to the (La)TeX compiler to use the tex.exe executable rather than latex.exe.

    enter image description here

  3. Use the TeX > PS > PDF profile (Build > Select Output Profile) when you want to compile a TeX document to PDF.

  • As an additional option, follow Werners instructions, but for the profile LaTeX->pdf, change pdflatex.exe to pdftex.exe to bypass the .ps step.
    – Scott H.
    Sep 7, 2013 at 6:42
  • @Werner : Thanks for your prompt and well-explained reply. I will try to make it work soon. I noticed you seem to have edited my question because I attempted to write "$\TeX$" and "$\LaTeX$". Is it possible to use TeX in questions in this forum, like you can in Math Stack Exchange? If not, why not? Isn't this at least ironic?
    – bogus
    Sep 8, 2013 at 15:31
  • 1
    @bogus: TeX rendering capability in this site has been turned off because it was annoying for most users. Sep 8, 2013 at 16:04

Another approach with some features:

  1. You can select compiler: either pdflatex or pdftex.
  2. You can specify the number of compilation to get correct cross-referencing.
  3. You can remove automatically unused auxiliary files.

Step 1

Create a batch file named MultipleDirectPdf.bat as follows

rem MultipleDirectPdf.bat
echo off

rem %1 Compiler name, either pdflatex or pdftex
rem %2 TeX input filename without extension
rem %3 The number of invocation in draftmode

if exist "%~2.pdf" del "%~2.pdf"

if exist "%~2.tex" for /l %%x in (1,1,%3) do %1 -shell-escape -draftmode -interaction=batchmode "%~2.tex"
if exist "%~2.tex" %1 -shell-escape "%~2.tex"

for %%x in (aux log out toc nav snm) do (if exist "%~2.%%x" del "%~2.%%x")

Save it in a safe directory or make a backup for future use. NOTE: I deliberately enable -shell-escape because I often use it. You should know it is dangerous!

Step 2

Make new output profiles (as explained in @Werner's solution)

enter image description here

You can create as many output profiles as you want with the batch file. For example

  • pdftex "%tm" 3 (as used above). It will use pdftex compiler with 4 times compilation (3 times in draft mode and once in default mode).

  • pdflatex "%tm" 1. It will use pdflatex compiler with twice compilation (once in draft mode and once in default mode).

  • pdflatex "%tm" 10000. It will use pdflatex compiler with 10001 times compilation.

Step 3

If you want to integrate Adobe Reader, do the following. Remember, you have to select the Viewer tab (red framed).

enter image description here

Step 4

Finish and please say goodbye to Arara. :-)

  • Thanks for your instant reply and all the work you put into it. Who is Arara?
    – bogus
    Sep 8, 2013 at 15:33
  • @bogus: If you like my answer, don't forget to accept it followed by up voting it as well. Arara is a tool developed by Paulo Cereda to control compilation by inserting Arara's statements right before \documentclass{}. The batch file above does the Arara's job so I don't need to learn and use Arara in my daily life. Sep 8, 2013 at 15:43
  • Thanks. I did Google Arara, and it was the sixth link listed. I didn't look that far. I upvoted your answer and Werner's. Of course I can only accept one answer. I'll try implementing at least one of the answers I got before accepting any.
    – bogus
    Sep 8, 2013 at 15:59

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