[texhax] best way to do texbook examples

Schwartz, Steven J s.schwartz at imperial.ac.uk
Thu Jul 16 19:08:30 CEST 2015

> Let's hope that someone like Philip Taylor (who, as I understand, uses both
> Windows and TeX) can recommend Tamás a good front-end (of course Emacs is
> excellent, but it has a steep learning curve, and I think Tamás would rather
> focus on The TeXbook exercises than on learning Emacs).

I use TeXnicCenter (http://www.texniccenter.org/) as a front end, with MikTeX as the tex engine and Sumatra PDF as a pdf viewer. You can specify toolchains to generate DVI (it uses YaP as a previewer, from which you can print), PDF, PS, or whatever. SumatraPDF can be configured in so that it can use synctex, meaning that if you click on a line in the pdf previewer it will jump to the source line in the (la)tex source file. And when you build the source it will (re-)open the pdf to the present location in the source file.

It contains tools to add symbols and such (which I've never used), the editor will auto-suggest commands, \begin-\end combinations, etc. and is suitably friendly and highlighted. It has a notion of a project with several sourcefiles, and will present you with tabs containing your references, figures, etc. from which you can easily insert the appropriate \cite, \ref, etc commands into the .tex source. On build, it fights its way through your source file and then can step through the errors jumping to the source lines involved. It's a real IDE in the sense of multiple panes + tabs for source, project structure, and console messages, etc.

At first sight it appears to be LaTex-centric, and it doesn't automatically configure itself with a plain TeX profile at all. However, apparently this is possible (http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/131970/how-can-i-use-plain-tex-with-texniccenter-or-another-ide) and, from reading that link, quite easy. 

It's also free, of course.

I've tried Wysiwyg's like LyX (which I hated - worst of both worlds IMHO) and BacomaTeX (not as bad but not to my taste).

I'm not trying to start a religious war, just responding to the recommendation for a good front-end.

Steven J Schwartz                  Phone:  +44 (0)207 594 7660
Professor of Space Physics         Fax:    +44 (0)207 594 7772
Director, Imperial Space Lab       www.imperial.ac.uk/spacelab
The Blackett Laboratory            Email:  s.schwartz at imperial.ac.uk
Imperial College London            Office: Huxley 6M67A
London SW7 2AZ, UK                 Web:    www.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~sjs

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