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I've googled around, and I haven't found a definitive compiler for latex (.tex files) on Windows. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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You're looking for a TeX distribution. See e.g. TeXLive or MiKTeX.

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    I personally prefer texlive, but anyway choose a full installation, it makes sure that you can compile everything without the need to add packages later. Also make an update directly after the installation in order to ensure that your system is up to date. – Matthias Pospiech Oct 14 '11 at 7:25
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MikTex is the one you want. I love the environment that come with it, TexWorks. Great stuff - and it's free. (Is it still shopping if you don't pay?)

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    You mean texworks, texmaker is a different editor and texstudio a similar one with more functionality - all free. – Matthias Pospiech Oct 14 '11 at 7:24
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According to your name "Chi Zeng", maybe you are Chinese, I suggest you use CTeX. It supports Chinese well.

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    Latest TeX Live and MiKTeX both support Chinese well. It doesn't matter. Either is OK. – Leo Liu Oct 14 '11 at 13:07
  • yes, CTeX is base on MiKTeX. Many Chinese use CTeX, thus beginner use it and can ask question conveniently. – Pig Cry Oct 14 '11 at 15:36
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    His name changes now. lol – Sibbs Gambling Mar 29 '15 at 13:40

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