beefstu wrote:For Latex, i dont think you need to install Tex live, I just installed texmaker from the software centre and it worked fine, very nice program and easy to use compared to some that ive used.
I apologize in advance if this sounds a bit pedantic, but Texmaker is just an editor
and does not perform any actual typesetting, so when you installed Texmaker, it would have pulled in the necessary components of TeX Live (or teTeX) in order for you to have a working TeX installation. (I always begin by installing my base TeX distribution first, and then install LaTeX editors as the second step).
One needs 3 basic components in order to run LaTeX on a computer:
a. the appropriate TeX distribution for your computing platform:
For Linux and Unix-based systems, that distro is now TeX Live. (Some systems are still using teTeX as a base, but teTeX has been officially declared obsolete and is no longer maintained by its originator [Thomas Esser]). For Windows-based systems, there is MiKTeX; and for Mac OS X systems, there is MacTeX.
TeX/LaTeX is the program that handles the typesetting. TeX was created by Donald E. Knuth, but most of us "regular" people use Leslie Lamport's LaTeX, which was first released in 1985. LaTeX is a large set of macros built upon the TeX program and it is the recommended system for all users except typographic programmers and computer scientists.
b. a front end/editor to allow you to create and edit .tex files:
In Linux, there are several nice editors available, such as Kile and Texmaker. Windows has WinEdt, TeXnicCenter, LEd (LaTeX Editor) and others. Mac has TeXShop et al.
It's possible to create/edit .tex documents and run LaTeX from the command line, but I'd wager that most people nowadays are using a LaTeX editor of some sort. Editors provide niceties such as color syntax highlighting, auto-completion, spell-checking and one-button compilation and viewing of .tex files.
c. a tool/program to view your finished, typeset document:
LaTeX can produce output in three different formats: DVI (device-independent) files; PDF files; and PostScript files. There are several tools for displaying .dvi files (such as xdvi, KDVI, Evince and Okular) as well as for displaying PDFs (Evince, Okular, KPDF, Adobe Acrobat Reader).
Again, I'm sorry if this reads like a mini-lecture -- that's not my intention. I just wanted to clarify a misconception. I've tried to help several folks learn LaTeX and install working TeX setups on their PCs, and this question has come up before. They sometimes don't understand that installing a LaTeX editor by itself is not enough ... Or they will ask "Well, you've installed LaTeX, so where is the menu entry for the LaTeX program? What does its program icon look like and where should I click?" It takes a few minutes to explain that LaTeX is the typesetting engine that runs in the background, there's not a menu item for it (and meanwhile you can see their eyes starting to glaze over). I'm a big LaTeX fan so I try to write about it as accurately as possible.