Learntofish's Blog

A blog about math, physics and computer science

TeXworks: a user friendly LaTeX editor

Posted by Ed on January 16, 2012

TeXworks is a LaTeX editor developed by Jonathan Kew. Jonathan gave a talk on his editor: TeXworks for newcomers-and what’s new for old hands. He designed it with the goal to keep the interface simple, and to make it easier for beginners with getting started. You can watch the talk below (be sure to watch it in 480p):

I am very impressed by the features:
– Use “CTRL+MouseClick” in the .tex file to see where the corresponding output in the PDF is. Conversely, you can use “CTRL+MouseClick” on the PDF to see where this output is generated in the .tex file.
– Auto completion via “TAB”. For example type “\sec” and TAB and it will complete it to “\section”
– A spell checker that ignores the LaTeX code: Go to Edit -> Spelling -> English
Note: If the option of choosing a language is missing, you have to install it. Check out the description here and here.
– LaTeX Error Hook: If you press the green button to create your PDF but you have errors in the .tex file, the green button will turn red.
Just click on the red button and a tab that only shows the errors will appear.

I discovered TeXworks after installing MiKTeX on Windows. MiKTeX is the LaTeX version for Windows. To install it proceed as follows:
1. Go to http://miktex.org/
2. On the left hand side click on “Download MiKTeX 2.9”. Choose for example “Basic MiKTeX 2.9 Installer” and start the download.
3. Install MiKTeX after the download. When it asks “Download packages on the fly” choose “Yes”.
4. After the installation has finished go to: Start -> All programs -> MiKTeX 2.9 -> TeXworks

If you already have MiKTeX but not TeXworks you can download TeXworks here: http://www.tug.org/texworks/

Before you start I recommend these settings for TeXworks:
– Activate the Syntax Highlighting by clicking on: Format -> Syntax Coloring -> LaTeX
– Show the line numbers by clicking on: Format -> Line Numbers
Change the font size: Go to Edit -> Preferences -> Editor (and set the font size e.g. to 12 pt)

LaTeX tutorial
If you are completely new to LaTeX I recommend these documents with an emphasis on math symbols:
Getting Started with LaTeX, By David R. Wilkins
ArtOfProblemSolving LaTeX tutorial (it includes a tutorial on TexnicCenter, another LaTeX editor, but you can ignore that part)

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