Computer and Statistics Center


TeX in CEU

The participants will learn how to use this alternative text editor application, a solution for putting mathematical functions in a document.

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Course details

Level: Beginner
Laszlo Csirmaz
Duration: 5 days
Requirements for pass: minimum attendance: 4 days; submitting a typeset article using LaTeX at the end of the course.
When the course is offered: see the list of courses for the current semester and/or the UIS

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Course Description

This is a short introduction to the scientific typesetting languages TeX and LaTeX, and their usage in CEU.

The TeX language has been designed by Donald E. Knuth in the early 80's. In TeX you produce a source code for your material, which is fed to a program, producing a so-called device independent code. This latter one then can be printed out on several ways, or shown to the screen.

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Configure TeX

In CEU you can use TeX both in the Windows and the Linux environment. For Windows the public domain distribution MikTeX is installed. To install the TeX package on the machine, please perform the following steps.

1. Open the Application Launcher, if it was iconified.

2. Click on the plus sign before NADOR on the top of the left side of the window. In the menu, open Education, then click on the Other folder. A bunch of icons appear on the right hand side.

3. Click on the MikTex icon. Wait until the installation finishes. (It may take several minutes if it was not installed previously.)

4. In the Application Launcher choose NADOR -> Education -> Other folder, and on the right hand side click on WinShell.

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Processing LaTeX files

You can type your LaTeX source in the WinShell window. When saving your work, please put them into your P: (network) drive under a separate folder. Do not use funny names for you LaTeX files, keep their length below 8 characters, and use only letters and digits. By no means use spaces in file names.

To process the file, click on the LaTeX button at the WinShell toolbar.

A black window appears, lot of text will run through it, and then the window vanishes. The log file, with all error messages and warnings appears at the bottom of the WinShell window. Bbrowse through it to see if everything went well.

You can create a PDF directly by using the PdfLaTeX button at the toolbar.

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Viewing the result

Click on the DVI button with the magnifying glass at the WinShell toolbar. Sometimes you have to wait until the fonts are generated.


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On machines with Linux installed on can find the the standard TeX distribution. The LaTeX file can be produced by any text editor; the open a console window, and execute

latex <the-name-of-your-LaTeX-file>

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TeX Error Handling

It is not a trivial task to produce LaTeX source files without errors. Whenever there is an error, LaTeX spits out thousand of messages and stops. The best strategy is to figure out the first error, correct it, and try again.

In some cases TeX looks for files which do not exist. If the reason is misspelling, simply type the correct form of the file. If you do not know what file it is, please hit Ctrl+Z. Otherwise TeX will insist on receiving an input file.

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Other TeX Resources

Here are some TeX related material which might be useful.

On the web:

  • a German web site with a use collection of TeX related material.
  • is a TeX archive in English, with almost anything you might want in connection with TeX.

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