I really don't understand this at all....I have a latex document that was given by my professor. I try to hit the green arrow to get a PDF (which from what I can tell online is what I'm supposed to do.) Next, I'm apparently supposed to get a dropdown but I don't. Nothing happens The console gets this message

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 (TeX Live 2013)
restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode

I have no clue if that's supposed to be an error message but it doesn't seem to list any error!

I'm on OSX Mavericks if it matters.

Edit: I've managed to realize I needed a couple things. I updated packages, and I followed instructions to use pdflatex homework01 to create the homework01.pdf file. Now when I load into TexWorks I DO see the PDF on the right, however now I don't know how to update it to reflect the latex. Do I have to do pdflatex every time? There's no way to have the latex on the left match the PDF on the right? Google search doesn't seem to be helping me at all I can't find anybody else asking this question unless I'm searching with the wrong terms.

Edit2: As requested, my file system. The pdf file was created in terminal with pdflatex README homework pdf tex



  • To get a drop down menu you have to click the black down arrow after the green arrow: i.sstatic.net/dCdXT.png . Green arrow is for compiling the .tex file.
    – user11232
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 1:10
  • I guess my real problem is I can't see a PDF....I have no idea why. There's no PDF window coming up. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. The file (A folder that came with a homework assignment) came with some .sty files....do I need to put those somewhere specific? Could that be why? Then again I'd expect there'd be an error if it couldn't see it...I have no clue why there's no PDF showing up. Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 1:21
  • Do you have pdf file generated in the same folder?
    – user11232
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 1:30
  • @user3450598: Please give us a short overview about all the files contained in your folder. Could you please post a MWE or at least the \documentclass{} line of your tex-file? First of all, we have to find out what engine you should use to solve your homework. As I can see from your log-message above, you're using pdfTeX currently. Try to choose PDFLaTeX from the dropdown menu and give it a try. Is there a pdf document popping up after klicking on the green arrow button?
    – albert
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 1:30
  • I don't have a PDF file generated in the same folder. How do I get that? I tried going into Word and making a blank PDF with the same name but now it just loads the blank one and doesn't use the teX file. The document class line is "\documentclass{article}". Basically this is just the homework writeup that lists the problems and descriptions, and I was going to use to help me format the solutions since I've never used LateX before Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 1:36

1 Answer 1


Using the follwing code with pdfTex


This is a test


is producing an error, because \documentclass{article} is not defined in pdfTeX, as the log-message tells:

! Undefined control sequence.
l.1     \documentclass

Simply choose PDFLaTeX instead of pdfTeX from the dropdown menu. This should work like a charm and a pdf should pop up after clicking on the green arrow button. See screenshots below for more details:

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

  • I already had it on this, I dunno why it says Pdftex on the bottom but I do have the dropdown on the correct icon Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 3:03

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