[texhax] Input Files for LaTex

Jan Eden lists at jan-eden.de
Sun Dec 7 20:26:20 CET 2003

Hi Jean-Guy,

there are several file formats connected with LaTeX:

1. Your source code file (which you chose to name "input file") is just a plain text file (e.g. myfile.tex). This is what you create with any text editor.

2. The output file is a file in DVI format. You can convert this file to PDF using dvips and ps2pdf. pdftex/pdflatex creates PDF files directly.

3. Several auxiliary files are created in the compilation process (myfile.aux, myfile.toc, myfile.log etc.). Those are necessary for table of contents, cross references and other functions.

>From your description I guess you tried to open your .tex file with a DVI viewer. The usual process is to write a source file using a text editor, compile it using the TeX program and the LaTeX macros and watch the output with a DVI viewer or a PDF viewer.

Please check some of the introductory guides to (La)TeX. You will find the links at the bottom of each texhax message.



Jean-Guy Murray wrote:

>I have just completed the installation of LaTex on my desktop computer, running 
>Window Xp Pro.
>I have managed to open a .dvi file (short-math-guide) that I downloaded. So, I 
>figure that my installation of LaTex is good.
>When I try to create an input file using Notepad or Microsoft Word, saving these 
>files as "Plain Test Files", I automatically get a message that the file is not 
>a .dvi file.
>Yet, the literature that I have read about creating input files is that they can 
>be plain text files.
>Can you please indicate what I need to do in order to created input files that 
>will be accepted by LaTex, or indicate where I should go for help to resolve my 
>Thank you for your kind assistance,
>Jean Guy Murray
>Montreal, Canada
Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

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