I have been working with LaTeX, under TeXMaker (latest version 3.2.2) for several months, and recently added PGF/TikZ capability. On that occasion I feared there would be problems as I really have very little understanding of how the various applications hang together, or even where to find them. But no, once I found where TeXMaker resided I simply added the PGF files as a subdirectory and to my complete surprise, it all worked. Similar success was had with adding
Recently, working my way through the TikZ manual I wanted to experiment with gnuplot, and all hell broke loose. I am even unable to find what type or version of LaTeX I am working with, i.e. cannot find executables. I know I have MiKTeX 2.9 loaded as I recall pulling it off the net, but if this is the variant of LaTeX my TeXMaker is working with I cannot tell. The one thing I do find is
texmaker.exe, everything else is turning into a complete mystery. Without a doubt I am coming across as a complete air head, but my main interest lies in mathematics, but realize I need to invest effort to make the most of LaTeX and its graphic capabilities as a tool.
Could someone kindly point me to a brief and succinct overview of how the following hang together: LaTeX, TeXMaker, PGF-TikZ, gnuplot. I am working under Windows 7.