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Re: newbie question

Rich Adili <> wrote:

>What's a Unix illiterate gotta do to read the .tex and .texinfo
>documentation under Win95?

Become Unix literate.  :)

TeX is a document preparation system written by Donald Knuth in the late
70's and early 80's.  It works much like the Java system: You write your
source file (filename.tex) with TeX commands, "\input"ing other packages at
the beginning if you want.  You then run the command "tex" over the source
(tex filename.tex) to produce a device independent file (.dvi).  This .dvi
file can then be interpreted by a dvi driver for a particular device---a
printer or a graphic monitor---to render the document on paper or on

Most TeX documents uses the LaTeX set of packages.  However the GNU system
is stuck with a different package called Texinfo.  These two packages are
orthogonal (mutually exclusive), and most TeX distributions are bundled
with only the LaTeX packages.

A TeX distribution for DOS called emTeX is available at CTAN:  Make sure you also
get the font for your printer from the emtex-fonts directory.  Read through
the documentation (especially the quick installation guide) and you could
be up and running within hours.

Texinfo can be gotton from  It contains on file for
you to \input, and it's own index building utility called texindex.

There are other "Win32" versions of TeX at the CTAN site (the miktex) port
is a good one.  But the Windows 95 graphics system is very hostile towards
the fonts used in the TeX system (METAFONT fonts instead of True Type or
PostScript, METAFONT predates both), so non of these have excellent screen
previewers for TeX documents.  emTeX includes excellent screen previewers.

Incidentally, emTeX is compiled with another port of GNU C/C++.

Weiqi Gao
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