I am new to LaTeX and I would like to know which are the good editor for a beginner user like me, who has no previous experience with this. I'm interested in writing a report on my project and thesis in LaTeX. I'll be using Windows.

I did find in this link LaTeX Editors/IDEs people agreeing that emacs and vim are good, but I have no idea how to install them. I be grateful if someone can help me out in this regard. Or suggesting an editor which can be used without much complication for basic use of creating a simple document.

  • Welcome to TeX.SX! Your question tends to be too broad regarding the editor, since this is a matter of taste. For an absolute beginner of Windows, I would suggest TeXMaker
    – user31729
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 23:38
  • Well I'm looking for some editor which is easy to use and understand so that I can get a good idea of what I need to do and probably later move onto to some which are a bit complicated.
    – Rahul Iyer
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 23:40
  • Don't forget to install the TeX distribution (MikTeX) or TeXLive for windows
    – user31729
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 23:41
  • When you use TeX Live it brings TeXworks, an editor I really like. What I can recommend you is to use a shortcut expander such as Autohotkey as it will save you a lot of time. See uweziegenhagen.de/?p=1517 for a few examples (in German) Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 23:41
  • 3
    @Adam The problem there is what is 'beginner' in this situation: beginners with TeX, beginners with computing, etc. I can imagine regular Emacs/Vim users might well argue that it's best to learn using a 'powerful' editor from the get-go. I'd also note that voting on the IDE question should I feel be about the quality of the answer not your opinion on the editor. (I use an editor intended for 'beginners' myself.)
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


Because you are a complete beginner a good choice would be to use an online editor like ShareLaTeX. This way you don't have to install anything and you can begin writing rightaway.

That was the way that I started using LaTeX. Also I used to believe that the installation process was a little tricky (generally it is not). Also that way you can always have your projects always with you as they are stored online.

But in the long run you will choose an editor, as it is best to have LaTeX installed in your computer for many reasons. I will name a few, but as I am not yet so experienced other users may add more of them in the comments.

Some reasons are:

  1. it is faster to compile a document in your computer than online,
  2. most users want to customize their editor with key combinations etc and
  3. the intenet may be down and you have to write something.

Because you mentioned Emacs and Vim I want to say that they are great. I personally use Emacs and I find it awesome, but both have a very steep learning curve so you will need to invest a lot of time learning them.

Personally after using ShareLaTeX (that I still use when I am not at home as it is extremelly convenient) I started using TeXMaker which is one of my fovarites and I recommend it to check it.

  • Well, I guess that is the best thing for me at this point of time. Thank you.
    – Rahul Iyer
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 0:07
  • @Rahuliyer happy to have helped!
    – Adam
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 0:09
  • 1
    if we mention 'ShareLaTeX' you can also take a look to WriteLaTeX (now Overleaf). almost the same design and functionality. The huge advantage of 'WriteLaTeX' is the possibility of more then on writer to edit the same file at the same time. Imagin you work in the group so every one can write at the same time on the report, chat over Hangout and be finished in a fraction of the time what would be needed if you will plan mail PingPong with the '.tex' documents. literally I was siting in Tokyo and was helping my wife in Singapore to finish her assignment: priceless!
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 0:46
  • @Daniel While it is worth pointing to WriteLaTeX, ShareLaTeX has the same ability, multiple authors can work concurrently on the same file (and you can see the cursor of the others).
    – Guido
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 6:04
  • 1
    Thanks a lot guys, I started with ShareLaTeX first and then got the hang of how it actually works and how to create a document. And as @Adam had suggested I tried out the TeXMaker. Well to be honest, this is a really good first step for anyone starting with LaTeX for the first time. Online editor to get a hang of what has to be done to create a document and an offline editor as you move ahead.
    – Rahul Iyer
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 9:45

Interesting timing. I just spent most of the day hooking up Notepad++ to MiKTeX for my Windows machine. It was fairly involved but I like the result. I think one consideration to contemplate is what else you do with computers. If your project will involve any programming or other analysis, then you may want to chose an editor that you can use for those other aspects. That way, the time you spend learning the editor will help with multiple aspects of your project. Of course, this is true for vi or emacs as well as Notepad++.

Look here:


The complexity on the front end should be made up for by simplicity on the back end. Plus, it's free. The only thing that doesn't seem to be working exactly right is the forward and inverse search highlighting (clicking in the pdf to highlight the corresponding source line and vice versa).

Bruer's blog discusses the advantages at length but in a nutshell, Notepad++ is a remarkably full-featured, lightweight text editor for Windows, especially for a free one. I suppose programmers will generally appreciate it the most since it provides syntax highlighting and auto-complete functionality. Bruer's blog provides utility files and full instructions for getting the system set-up to work with a lightweight, free, pdf viewer called SumatraPDF. Finally, while it can be set up to work with various LaTeX implementaitons, he recommends MiKTeX which seems like one of the most popular for windows.

The setup for Notepad++ while a little complicated, amounts to a simple intro to some of Notepads higher level functions like macros.

So, it boils down to: Notepad++ -> MiKTeX -> SumatraPDF

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! You should elaborate on the advantages/disadvantages of the proposed editor.
    – user31729
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 23:58

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