LaTeX forum ⇒ Decision GuidanceWhich editor is best??

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Which editor is best??

Postby dmuthu_cse » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:13 pm

Hello friends,

I am new to LATEX. And I wonder,if I could get an editor, which comprises without any coding to create my latex document. :?:

Let me know the download location and its manual location.

Thanks in advance..


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Postby josephwright » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:17 pm

If you want to avoid looking at the code, then Lyx is the best plan. On the other hand, something like TeXworks is designed to make life easier for beginners with LaTeX if you want to alter the code directly. It might be a good idea to say which platform you use: some editors are Windows only, Mac OS only, etc.
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Postby localghost » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:22 pm

There is no best. And if I understand you right, you want to have LaTeX output without dealing with it's markup syntax. At the moment this is supported only by LyX. It is a WYSIWYM editor (What You See Is What You Mean).

Be aware that there are only very few advanced LyX users who could offer help (at least here on the board). On the homepage you will find a mailing list. Sooner or later you will come to the point where you have to do some manual adjustments. That means that you can't abandon the handling of LaTeX syntax completely.

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Postby dmuthu_cse » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:35 pm

Thanks Thorsten & josephwright,

Thank you for your immediate reply.. Actually i am using Windows XP. I will go accordingly with your advice, i.e. Choosing LyX, however I have tried TeXniCenter for the past 3 days.. i hope i can do something with this..

Thanks for mentioning the mailing list..


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Postby gmedina » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:47 pm

When it comes to editors, this is what practice has taught me: well, you have to learn La(TeX), why would you want to further add learning how to use an editor? Follow the KISS protocol. Your editing tool should be a friend, not yet another obstacle. Give a simple editor a try.

If you opt for LyX, then do it at your own risk (in the sense mentioned by localghost).

After trying several editors (on several platforms) over the years, (TeXnicCenter, Kile, TeXmaker, and others), my personal experience is that nothing compares to a really basic editor (in my case I returned to the simplest editors and CLI). For a beginner, something simple like TeXworks would be, by far, one of my favourite recommendation.

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Postby lalop » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:43 pm

Lyx, as people pointed out, for a non-code editor.

For code: I'd recommend TexMaker for newbies, for the simple reason that it actually prints out a table of the errors. Of course, there are one or two problems with it (spell-check cough) so that I ended up migrating to the dev version of TexMakerX (link for windows only), but for someone who's absolutely new and probably doesn't have to worry about spell check, I'd say TexMaker.

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Postby cbustaam » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:29 am


lalop wrote:Lyx, as people pointed out, for a non-code editor.

LyX is perfectly suitable to manage LaTeX code. In my personal experience, I think that the best option is an editor that forces you to learn LaTeX (I use emacs). This was my first step. However, now sometimes I use LyX because it lets you make very quickly some tasks when you learn the shortcuts(ie. I do my algebra in LyX and not in a physical paper). But localghost's point it's true: somethigs it's necessary to insert some LaTeX code to get some features not included in LyX (but supported trougth LaTeX), because of this I think it's important to learn how to make a LaTeX code.

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Postby sitex » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:02 am


My favorite editor is Scientific WorkPlace or Scientific Word. Both allow you to enter math markup easily and quickly. I especially like WorkPlace because it comes with a computer algebra engine. Both of these programs actually save documents as LaTeX files. Saving a document as a portable LaTeX file allows you to compile it with any standard LaTeX formatting system; I often use MikTeX. You can view videos about some of the features of SWP and SW at
I would watch the SW video first. You can view samples of documents I created using SWP or MiKTeX by navigating to
There is a downside; SWP and SW are commercial packages produced by
There is a very useful, dedicated forum for MacKichan products:


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Postby meho_r » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:36 pm

Since others have given you recommendations regarding editors, I'll only mention few things about LyX: it is a nice piece of software and people behind it are making a good job. However, beside some limitation that were mentioned before, be aware of the fact that it uses its own format, .lyx, and from time to time (rarely, but still...) it can happen that a file get somehow corrupted and cannot be opened, so I'll advise you to keep a backup of your files, preferably in plain latex (.tex) which you can then import in LyX.

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Postby fatra2 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:01 pm

Yeah!!! I like this question.


Whether coding in LaTeX or in any other coding language, I use EMACS. It is freely available in Linux, Windows, and Mac.

With emacs, you can code, read e-mails, browse the web. I'm sure if you ask for it, it would even dance for you.


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