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New users:

Basic Unix

Typesetting with TeX

The School has standardized on the TeXLive distribution. We have a complete installation, with all options and packages.

Here is a brief list of some of the programs and macro packages for typesetting with TeX which are available on Linux. An index of texlive documentation and available package documentation are also available (on Linux).
NOTE: file:// references above do not work in Firefox. Right-click link, copy link location, then middle-click paste to Firefox window; or see http://kb.mozillazine.org/Links_to_local_pages_don't_work .

For more general information, see the UK TeX Users Group TeX FAQ list.

Input and style files

All standard input, style and format files for plain TeX, LaTeX and AmS-TeX have been set up.

The TeX Catalogue Online provides a large list of TeX and LaTeX packages and tools.

Local templates

Don Taylor has provided the smslett document class for writing letters in LaTeX, using School letterhead.

The University crest

Don Taylor also advises that to include the University crest in a plain TeX document, you should use
\input epsf
\epsfxsize=20truemm % to resize it.
where you want to insert the crest. For LaTeX, use something like

Your own files and file searching

The preferred way to add your own style files, formats etc for TeX is to place them in appropriate subdirectories of the directory tree
where ~ is your home directory. The structure of this tree should mirror that of the main TeX tree /usr/sms/share/TeXLive/n/ .

The command kpsewhich e.g. kpsewhich file will show the full path (if one exists) which TeX will use if asked to input the named file: use this command to locate input files in the large directory tree which TeX uses as library.


Use the texworks editor, to give you single-click pdftex or pdflatex processing, and highlighting of corresponding positions in the source tex file and the output PDF.

Other editors e.g. nedit can also do TeX syntax highlighting.

DVI previewer

Use the X Windows DVI previewer xdvi to preview a DVI file produced by TeX.

DVI-to-PostScript converter

Use the dvips program to convert a DVI file to PostScript for printing.


xdvi and dvips both run Metafont automatically to create missing fonts. This may take some time and produce many messages when you first process a particular document.


We have TeXLive installed on all Windows computers in the School.

Some Windows users prefer the WinEdt editor (for which we have a site licence): it may be more powerful than texworks, but is more confusing and easily misconfigured.


Most Mac users are happy with TeXShop which is based on the TeXLive distribution.

Last modified on 23 Jun 2011 by psz