Do I need to install MiKTEX on my system before installing Texmaker or Texmaker will work even without installing MiKTEX?

  • 7
    Welcome! The answer to the first question is 'no'. The answer to the second is 'no'. You could install it after, rather than before. Or you could install another TeX distribution e.g. TeX Live rather than MikTeX. However, TeXmaker will not work without a TeX distribution in the sense that you won't be able to compile documents. You could still use it to edit the source of those documents, but you could not typeset them. TeXmaker is just an editor - it edits plain text files. That's all. It has some syntax stuff and fancy buttons to help edit and compile .tex files. Nothing more.
    – cfr
    Sep 16, 2015 at 2:04
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    While it is not necessary to install a TeX distribution (MikTeX or TeX Live) before the editor, as cfr points out above, it is often advised to do so if you have the option. That is because the automatic detection of your distribution in the editor which takes care of filling in the correct paths for the executables might prefer to find a distribution already installed. (But that might not be a problem with all editors.)
    – moewe
    Sep 16, 2015 at 6:19
  • 1
    @cfr, let me ask you, just out of curiosity, is there a backlash against editors, in the TeX community? Is this ... to avoid self-promotion from some developers of these editors? ... Of course texmaker or whatever editor won't work without a tex distribution, o b v i o u s l y . . . but in more than occasion, I had (for some odd reason) the impression, that editor's questions although welcome here, are just answered, out of courtesy to get it over with. Would have been possible the creation of TeX without an editor? o b v i o u s l y not duh. linusakesson.net/programming/tty
    – doed
    Sep 19, 2015 at 9:57
  • .. the reason of the previous comment, is because 6 members of this community agreed with all your "no's", and I assume there is factual data from the same members of this community who agreed with you, that corroborates (after testing and evaluating) that the order in which a tex system (Miktex or TeX Live) and any version of texmaker are installed, across different versions of Windows, because the op did not specify at the time of this comment what version of Windows he/she uses, but that the order, does not matter. I'm just surprised that 6 members agreed with you, and yet have not answered
    – doed
    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:29
  • @doed Sorry. I seem to have offended you, but I have no idea why. It may be obvious to you that an editor won't work without a TeX distribution (in the sense of compiling the code to produce a document). But it is not at all obvious to somebody completely new to TeX. And, as I understand this question, the OP is in precisely that position. Why should it be obvious? If I install LibreOffice, that's it. I don't need something else to make it work. It may seem obvious to you that TeX is not a word processor, but that is a completely unfamiliar - not to say alien - concept to most people.
    – cfr
    Sep 19, 2015 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


If you want to run LaTeX on Windows you need to install a TeX distribution for Windows, MiKTeX or TeX Live.

With pdflatex mwe.tex you can then compile the TeX code in file mwe.tex from terminal/console.

So we need a programm, an editor, to create such a file mwe.tex!
For example TeXmaker, TeXworks, TeXstudio, TeXnicCenter, WinEdt, Notepad++, etc.

A "good TeX editor" knows about the two distributions so it makes life easier, if you install the editor after the tex distribution, because the editor can recognize which distribution is installed and can do an automatic configuration.

Do you install the editor first you have to do the complete configuration by your own.

That's the reason you should first install the tex distribution and then the editor.

The editor is only to create a file containing the TeX code to be compiled with the TeX distribution. Without TeX distribution you get no pdf file!

  • I don't think order matters for all editors. Kile can pick up stuff installed later, for example. Don't know on Windows, but on other systems, installation of the editor is highly unlikely to configure it based on probing for a distribution.
    – cfr
    Sep 17, 2015 at 2:39
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    I'm using Windows and have tried several TeX editors (because my students do use several editors). Because MiKTeX runs only with Windows I wrote only for that. Is there a windows version of kile? I do not know and have not tested.
    – Mensch
    Sep 17, 2015 at 12:15
  • Yes, Kile is cross-platform.
    – cfr
    Sep 17, 2015 at 13:00
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    Upvoted comment by cfr is harmful for LaTeX newbies like myself. I installed Texmaker and nothing worked. Then figured out I needed MiKTeX and installed that, and still did not work. Clean all: started with MiKTeX then Texmaker and only then did it work. Nov 12, 2016 at 21:20
  • In my case, if you install TexMaker before MiKTex, to uninstall TexMaker is not enough, the system remains the configuration of the old TexMaker installation that will be used by a new installation automatically. I had to find out the config files (TexMaker.ini) and deleted them, then reinstalled TexMaker (after the MikTex installation). Jan 31, 2022 at 5:31

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