The Miktex Tex Processing Freeware Program
This is a post from 2005 that I'll copy here, with the old comments as part of the post.
The free Miktex (http://www.miktex.org/) looks to be an excellent latex and tex Windows processor program. I’ve been using SWP, and putting figures in looks to work better in Miktex. Miktex gets PDF’s right, which my version of SWP does not always do, and it processes straight from myfile.tex to myfile.pdf. On the other hand, it has some problems, noted below, which make it unhandier to use.
(1) I have a suggestion for the standard installation instructions: say more about the Windows command prompt. I haven’t used it for years, though I happened to remember it was in Accessories. Also, the user should know that he can change the default directory in teh command prompt to wherever he keeps his tex input files– say, d:/smith/latex-input, using the Properties (reachable by right clicking the command prompt).
(2) The command prompt requires you to type in all your commands, which is burdensome if they are long, e.g.,
You can’t copy and paste in the usual way with CTRL-C and CTRL-V. What you can do, though is to copy to the clipboard with CTRL-C and then paste by rightclicking on the Command Prompt program and choosing PASTE.
I will put a comment line like this at the start of my tex files:
% pdflatex chap07_MoralHazard.tex
then I can copy all but the % part and paste it into the command prompt, and it will process chap07_MoralHazard.tex and write to chap07_MoralHazard.pdf
(3) Something better would be a graphic interface to replace the command prompt. I don’t know how to write such an interface, but here is what it would be: It would be simple: just a window in which the user could do two things:
1. Browse and choose a tex file to process, e.g., myfilewithalongname.tex, instead of having to type in the full name in the command prompt, and instead of having to have it in the command prompt’s directory.
2. Issue the processing command— most simply “latex myfilewithalongname.tex”, or “pdflatex”, or others that might be useful. There should be two to five choices, and the user would check the box of the command he wants to use.
The command would take the file from (1) and put the output in the same directory as the input.
The interface could be fancier, but that covers what the user needs every single time he uses Miktex, and it would save a lot of tricky typing.
(4) Miktex is fouled up by carriage returns, even ones that are not hard breaks. Thus, before I tex my files using it I need to strip off all the carriage returns, thus making all my equations, nicely separated into separate lines for visibility, into unreadable paragraphs. The solution, from Alan, the commentor below, is to make sure my input file is in UTF-8 Ascii, not ANSI. What I do in Textpad is (a) make sure it is set to UTF-8 as the standard encoding, (b) copy the entire file, and then close the file, (c) open a new file and paste what I copied, (d) save the new file with the old file’s name, on top of it. That converts from the ANSI coding I initially had to the UTF-8.
(5) The command which takes us straight from myfile.tex to the output myfile.pdf produces pdf files which are not crystal clear on the screen. The commands
latex -job-name=chap07_MoralHazard temp.tex dvips -Ppdf chap07_MoralHazard.dvi
do better, but then I can’t use JPG files in my input.
(7) Will I switch from SWP to Miktex? Money is not really a concern for me, but usability is. I’ll try it for a while and see.