Stack OverflowBest LaTeX editor for Windows
[+191] [38] bkad
[2008-11-06 20:27:44]
[ windows latex text-editor ]

I'm looking for a good LaTeX editor for Windows!

Off topic: but I would highly recommend the LaTeX companion for a reference book. It is the book with the St Bernard on the cover. - vfilby
Rather than delete this constructive post; can't it be migrated to some more appropriate sister site? - Eamon Nerbonne
(10) @EamonNerbonne There's already a better version of this non-constructive question on the TeX site. Why migrate this one? Just delete it. - Gilles
[+93] [2010-01-22 10:08:30] Kristjan Jonasson

I have tried (I think) all the non-commercial ones listed here. TeXnicCenter [1] seems to be promising. Here are some details:

Texmaker [2]: One little annoyance was that the editor font seems to be fixed to be Courier (I find "Consolas" or "Bitstream Vera Sans Mono" are better). But apart from that it seems to be nice, and I would try it next after TeXnicCenter.

MeWa [3]: (used to be LaTeXEditor) Couldn't find a way to change the editor font from Courier. Also, development seems to have stopped in 2007. Otherwise it seems similar to Texmaker and TeXnicCenter on first inspection.

TexMacs [4]: Gave up on getting this to install properly after some trying. Possibly it isn't really a LaTeX editor, and development seems to have stopped a while ago (possibly in 2003?).

TeXlipse [5]: One of the harder ones to install---first you need to install Eclipse and then add TeXlipse to it. Also the interface has a lot of C/C++ functions in addition to the TeXlipse ones, cluttering it somewhat. But I got it to work, and if one is already using Eclipse, it may be the TeX editor of choice.

LEd [6]: The version I downloaded turned out to be buggy (its built-in dvi-viewer displayed only a few random dots). I did try a little (including downloading a dll recommended on the web page) without success.

TeXworks [7]: Actually the first one that I tried (it came with MiKTeX [8]). Has one or two annoying features: The font display of the editor on my screen is somehow not clean, and it doesn't have any built in Latex knowledge (for generating (La)TeX commands/symbols with menus/buttons).

LyTeX [9]: This is the heftiest download (99MB) but it contains a full TeX distribution ( TeX Live [10]). Maybe one can download it without that and point it to MiKTeX [11], but at least that’s not what happened when I did the most direct thing. Has a fancy and possibly quite nice view of the document (half WYSIWYG intermixed with collapsible TeX commands). But it couldn't handle my (not overly complicated) Latex source files and I gave up after a while.

LyX [12]: I downloaded the standard Windows installer. It takes quite a while to install (10 minutes on my fast computer letting MiKTeX [13] fetch several packages). Then I found out that it is just LyTeX (and still could not TeX my files).

TeXnicCenter [14]: This is the one I am going to try first. It was fairly easy to install, but as for many or most of the other editors, the configuring for the PDF viewer was a little cumbersome. I ended up with a good solution however with SumatraPDF [15], described here [16]. TeXnicCenter seems to be quite well configurable.

Emacs [17]: I shall not write about that (it may well be the best, but the installation and learning will take some time). Also I might point out that the current TeX distribution that comes with Cygwin seems to be broken.

Scite [18]: This is a general purpose editor (for lots of different (programming) languages) that seems to be quite nice. I didn't however go all the way to set it up for LaTeX use. It seems plausible that it can be set up to behave similarly to TeXworks. Then it will have lots more editing features (regular expressions etc.) but not any built-in LaTeX knowledge

WinShell [19]: This one actually resolves some of the inconveniences of other top editors on this list, while maintaining many similarly useful tools. It is able to use variable spaced font (as opposed to TeXnicCenter) and change background color (as opposed to TexMaker), and contains the navigation/project panel that help you get around a big document.

Vim [20]: Yes I told a lie, I didn't try them all


(1) I've used vim quite extensively with LaTeX - it works OK and has syntax highlighting but it doesn't really do much to help. - ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells
(3) TeXnicCenter still doesn’t know Unicode – for me, that’s a dealbreaker. Let’s hope version 2 will be out soon. - Konrad Rudolph
Don't use the latex-distribution that comes with Cygwin - use tex live! But make sure that it's in your PATH-variable. - monotux
TeXnicCenter is the best I have used it for years and it works like a dream. It is easy to use and works well also for older computers. - GC87
+1 for a comprehensive list and font suggestions. Btw. Led could be one of the best LateX editors (for me the best) but it seems to be not developed/maintained anymore. It is a pity! I really loved to use it. - Skarab
One little annoyance was that the editor font seems to be fixed to be Courier I'm using version 3.3.3 and this seems to be fixed - Tobias
TexnicCenter 2 is in Beta now... - ccook
[+40] [2008-11-06 20:42:14] cciotti

You ask like there was a choice other than Emacs. Weird.

(130) For most people it is Emacs which is weird. - quant_dev
(1) +1 nice! emacs isn't too great on windows though... unless you point me to a good binary version. - Mica
(7) People that are born with Windows, will find Emacs is a hard to use editor. - riza
(5) I used Emacs before using windows. I tried to use Emacs on Windows but it was too much of an impedance mismatch. Basic features like spell checking and printing were a nightmare to configure. - John D. Cook
(1) I grew up on WinEdt, and I'm now using Emacs on my Linux machine, and its painful to not have the syntax checking and keyboard shortcuts to compile and view. In Windows, I don't think WinEdt can be beat. - Eric Wilson
I use Vincent Goulet's Emacs modified: , it has a windows installer and comes with auctex and ESS. - Matti Pastell
(1) Well, Emacs and AucTex is a really, really powerful combination. And being able to use it on whatever platform you're on at the moment is even better. - monotux
(1) Well, I used to be a 100% Windows person, but I had no problems using emacs for everything there. And then I switched to Linux and it got even better... - Tikhon Jelvis
[+38] [2008-11-06 20:31:12] Vincent Ramdhanie

I use TeXNic Center [1] and it is quite good. No complaints.

Scientific Workplace [2] is good too but its a commercial product so I prefer the free one.


Is 'Scientific Workplace' the successor of 'Scientific Word'? - vfilby
Same makers but they list both as two separate products on the site...they are both LaTeX typesetters but Scientific Workplace does some algebra too. - Vincent Ramdhanie
TeXnicCenter is the best. - riza
(3) The downside of SWP is that is produces very bad code. Apart from that, it completely ignores the whole WYMIWYG philosophy of LaTeX. - Martijn
(6) TeXNic Center does not support unicode. Its alpha does, but it is rather unstable in other ways. - jkff
[+29] [2009-01-20 20:07:57] Wookai

I really like LEd [1] for its layout, where you have your code on one side and the resulting PDF on the other, with the ability of clicking directly in the PDF and get the cursor at the corresponding position in the code (and vice-versa).


(4) LEd has code completion (similar to Visual Studio's IntelliSense) which is great if you are still learning *tex and are not yet familiar with all the commands. - elwyn
Does it work with the newest versions on MiKTeX (2.8, 2.9)? Looks like the editor isn't updated in a while, only some bug fixes. - Megacan
[+22] [2008-11-06 20:31:05] sergdev

I use WinEdt [1]. It has helpful toolbar which contains many symbols as well. What is useful for me is one button configurable compilation and viewing feature. Also text coloring makes work more convenient.


+1 for WinEdit ! Only problem is its shareware :( - Serafeim
[+16] [2008-11-06 20:34:07] John Nilsson

Texmaker [1] has served me well before


Looks good to me - if only the file management was better. - drozzy
I definitely like the Linux version, and I'm guessing they're reasonably similar. ++cookies for you. - new123456
[+15] [2008-11-06 20:29:46] Dana the Sane

I've had decent experience with LyX [1], but it has some quirks.


I'll +1 that action. Although I tend to mainly use *nix based systems with LaTex. - vfilby
Well, it does work fine in those systems as well, but there are a ton of other tools. I'm just annoyed that the OS X version didn't give me an IEEE template. - Dana the Sane
:) Call me crazy but I am one of these text editor/makefile LaTeX users. - vfilby
It's on my todo list to learn to do it that way. - Dana the Sane
@vfilby +1 for text editor (at least for one-off docs), -1 for makefile, let latexmk manage your build and its done! - Joel Berger
It's a good idea that needs to be pushed further. I feel like they've hit the wall... - drozzy
[+14] [2008-11-06 23:28:14] Will Robertson

Although others have joked about it, the AucTeX mode in emacs really is one of the most powerful TeX editors around. preview-latex is something of a revelation.

[+14] [2009-01-20 09:50:51] Sven Lilienthal

If you use Eclipse for your programming, you might want to take a look at Texlipse [1]. Works well for me.


(1) Yeah, Texlipse is great, with its templates, auto-completion (even for Bibtex entries), etc. - Fabian Steeg
(10) No, really? Wow. Eclipse. LaTeX. I think I need to take a break for a few minutes... - Lucas Jones
[+14] [2010-06-03 11:18:31] zee

Inlage [1] has a very nice autocompletion [2] and supports the tablet features of Windows 7.

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Not my thing. It's Visual Studio for Latex. Froze when I set the Foxit as my pdf viewer - had to kill it. - drozzy
And no preview of the output. - Pat
[+10] [2009-01-20 11:23:23] nikow

BaKoMa TeX [1] is the only editor that gives you a true realtime view of the output. On one side you have the source and on the other the compiled LaTeX document, so it is not just a preview but actually the real thing. Any change to the source will immedently be visible in the preview (even if the there are errors, e.g. if the math environment has not been closed yet). You can also edit in the preview, the cursors in the source and the preview are synchronized. For me this is a killer feature and I would never go back to an editor without these realtime capabilities. It also works with nearly all LaTeX packages and the LaTeX system itself is excellent as well.

It runs under Windows, and there are now also versions for Mac and Linux.

Unfortunately it is not free, but for me the licensing cost is well worth it. I have really become a fan and always wonder why not more people use it.


(1) BaKoMa TeX is awesome!! I would not think that previewing would be so fast. Previewing is instantly refreshed as you type and it is really fluid on my Core 2 Duo, using a medium complexity latex file (using datatools .CSV parser). - David
(1) It sounds interesting, but the website and the installer are an abomination. ;) - hheimbuerger
It also supports Mac now. - Alexey Romanov
Tried using it. In just few minutes I managed to crash it and it failed to open my valid LaTeX file because it did not contain typical commands right there (documentclass and begin/end document). Google didn't help much either... - CygnusX1
@CygnusX1: How can it be a valid LaTeX document if these elements are missing? Obviously you cannot expect that to work. If you have a document with multiple files then you should open the main file (there is no way to interpret a single fragment). In my experience the author of Bakoma is quite responsive to user requests, so if there is a real problem you can contact him. - nikow
Because these elements are in files that I include from the main file, but not directly in the main one. - CygnusX1
[+10] [2009-09-03 01:28:20] Will Robertson

You can't beat TeXWorks [1] (cross-platform but inspired by TeXShop for Mac) for simplicity and convenience; has the usual amenities including a built-in PDF viewer; supports synctex [2] (with modern TeX distributions) so you can jump back and forth between arbitrary locations in source and PDF output.


I fluctuate between texniccenter and texworks on my windows box at work. emacs on *nix and textmate on os x. texworks is quite nice for being so early on in the development cycle. It just works out of the box, the built in synctex is quite nice. I used texworks for a while because sumatra pdf, the only on that supports synctex on windows as far as i know, was broken & i find synctex invaluable. - Mica
[+3] [2008-11-06 20:39:59] user18888

I recommend Led [1] for novice users and vim for more advanced.


[+3] [2009-03-07 15:05:11] Granville Barnett

LED, Emacs, Vim, BaKoMa TeX and Kile would get my vote. Personally I use the text editor that ships with BaKoMa, I find the visual product OK but you will find yourself jumping in and out of the visual tool and its text source often if you are doing anything half complex.

[+3] [2009-03-19 03:36:37] bowenthebeard

I'm fairly new into the whole LaTeX business, but I have had some good experiences with WinShell [1], although I'm not quite happy with the code-coloring in the program. It isn't capable of distinguishing anything inside $'s (math-mode or display-mode), and therefore when I type out long equations things can get a bit confusing to look at. I just now switched to TeXnicCenter [2] after looking at what is (currently) the top post, and I must say--I'm quite impressed. I was also giving WinEdt [3] a try, but it doesn't really look to be worth even the 30 dollars that I would have to pay (I'm a student).

I used LyX [4] last semester before I figured out any of the LaTeX business, but I'm not quite sure if I'd really recommend it--it is fine for the casual user, but if you are doing any serious mathematical-typesetting, you are going to want the full power of editors like TeXnicCenter... Maybe some day I will be worthy of giving Vim [5] a try (it has been recommended to me all over the place), but it is still completely unintelligible as of yet


[+3] [2010-05-27 23:17:17] D W

Gummi is the best LaTeX editor. It is free and open source, featuring a live preview pane.

There's no Windows version available right now, though. But they do have announced one.


Gummi's home page says 'Simple LaTeX editor for Linux'. It also only has binaries for Linux. - DMan
My bad, you are correct. Perhaps it would work with Cygwin. - D W
I removed the part about it being written in Python, as I couldn't find any Python files in their source repository (except for a testing tool). Do you have any proof for that statement? - hheimbuerger
Update: As of now, there are still no Windows packages available, though a post dated about a month ago says it's in the works. - DMan
[+2] [2008-11-19 16:23:28] Tal Even-Tov

I found a greate free tool called LaTeXPiX [1] that presents you with a canvas and drawing tools that allow you to design figures. You can preview the figures in PDF and then output to LaTeX code when you are done.


[+2] [2008-11-28 22:43:54] Uri

If you use windows, WinEDT is probably the only way to go and well worth the registration price (it is not freeware, unlike TeXShop for the mac).

A great advantage of WinEDT is its support for multiple files. I wish TeXShop had it.

[+2] [2009-07-07 20:03:13] AE FY

If you are an programmer and familiar with Eclipse environment, I suggest Texplipse because it is so nice and flexible. For instance, you can define auto-completions or auto-corrections. Furthermore, you can control all your documents easily. By using an SVN or CVS repository, more than one person can work on a single Tex file at the same time.

Suggest all to use.

Kind Regards,


This, plus MiTeX or whatever it's called. That's what I use for LaTeX. - Thomas Owens
[+2] [2010-01-22 10:14:10] Alex Budovski

gVim and batch files for automation.

[+2] [2010-06-30 07:53:02] Alex

Kile for Linux, TeXShop for Mac, LatexEditor (LEd) and WinEdit for Windows. If you need unicode in Windows, then TeXMaker is a good choice. TexWorks seems promising but has a long way to go. I LOVE Kile, but the windows installation is not that straight forward. So I use LEd in windows, but its problem is that it is not opensource and the developers seem to have planned to make some money out of it at some point and when they did not, they stopped developing it.

[+1] [2008-11-06 20:37:38] Jon Trauntvein

Come on people, you can't mention (La)TeX editors without bringing up emacs!

[+1] [2008-11-28 22:56:47] leppie

No-one seems to bring up TeXmacs, so I will.

[+1] [2009-09-26 09:35:25] max

I used Texmaker and LEd throughout my academic life. Texmaker is very managable and cross platform.

[+1] [2010-04-30 23:57:00] user330167

WinShell is pretty good. It's free. The developer is always making it better and responds to the questions in the forum pretty quickly. I have been using it for 2 years now. You can compile and view the pdf. When there is an error, it takes you the error number.

[+1] [2011-01-09 21:32:57] Devrim

I only consider the free software. On a Linux machine nothing can beat Kile. It is so good. Toolboxes are great, it has auto complete feature both for the commands and the words which are frequently used in the document. You don't have to define abbreviations for the looong latex commands. You get soo fast while writing... Awesome! Unfortunately, I don't know a latex editor as good as Kile for windows. That's why I ended up in this website. Apparently, nobody knows a really good one. There many editors, like Texniccenter and LEd, which are just ok, but nothing comparable to Kile. Too bad...

EDIT: Kile runs on Windows under KDE for Windows project:

Kile runs on Windows under KDE for Windows project: I used Kile under Ubuntu and Windows. I can work on the same project on both Ubuntu and Windows. Nothing compares to Kile. - Khalil Dahab
[+1] [2011-08-03 11:16:28] Kornel Szymkiewicz

I tried many Latex editors and when I started using Texmaker, I thought I found perfect Latex editor. One thing that I missed in Texmaker was GUI/editor customization. I changed my mind when I came across TexStudio (Texmaker fork which can be found on Now I am sure that is the best LaTeX editor I have used.

It has following advantages: 1. Great functionality of Texmaker 2. Full editor customization 3. UTF support 4. It is free 5. It is portable because it is written in Qt 6. It is still being developed

Really great editor, I use it almost everyday.

[0] [2008-11-06 21:17:52] matpe

Before I knew better I wrote a quite large document using Notepad. Now I use Scite [1] for all my editing, including LaTeX. It has color coding and makes it possible to compile from within the tool, but no fancy toolbars I'm afraid.


[0] [2008-11-28 22:41:56] pek

I always liked LaTexEditor (now known as MeWa) for it's simplicity:

[0] [2009-03-14 00:45:27] Kovács Mát

I used to work with LEd and it was fine. If you're using LaTeX a lot, you won't need those fancy preview options, but you will definitely need a lot of good shortcuts, and as many in-editor macros as possible. See, the problem with LEd was that I used an extreme lot of in-source macros like 'R' for 'mathbb(R)', and after the hundredth macro, no one but me could understand the source, which is definitely not that good. Now I began to use Vim, and it's wicked sick, but I still have to get used to it, and yes, it's not that comfortable for the beginner. But remember: when you first used LaTex, it wasn't comfortable either, now you're addicted to it. Or at least I hope so.

I'm with bkarak. :)

[0] [2009-03-19 04:19:51] Derek E

I like to use vim from DOS. I have a batch file for pdflatex.exe in my path. It's not really a frontend, but LaTeX is easy to pick-up. WinEdt, TechnicCenter and a configured TextPad aren't bad, either.

[0] [2009-06-30 03:34:48] RossD

Depends what other source code you write and under which environments.

I use emacs because it has a mode for editing/running R scripts and I work on Windows and Linux. Emacs looks the same on whatever platform (In the past I have used it on Burroughs mainframes, Prime minicomputers, Sun workstations, Macs and DOS. You don't think OS's will change much in the future?)

If you are writing books then AUCTeX is brilliant. Keeps track of multiple subject, author indices, as well as the figure and table indices with support from the necessary LaTeX packages.

[0] [2009-09-08 15:11:36] Mahmood

I would recommend TeXnic Center. I used before LED but I realizes it has some bugs. Then, I tried TexMaker which is quite ok, but when it comes to citation then you have to open back the .bib file to copy paste the label and referencing of equations in different section, then you should copy paste as well from the file.

TeXnic has a good navigator toolbar that all the entries of .bib are available, you don't need to save your file, and the toolbar also provide a list of all equations in your document.

may be the only drawbac of TeXnic is it does not have template for bibtex. But this is not a big issue, because it is very easy to learn and master.


[0] [2009-11-20 17:33:55] Vaibhav

It seems nobody has an answer and realistic comparison. How many of us has time to write down the code for the sake of getting good type setting? Lyx worked well with me. Texnikcenter and winshell will have their advovates. But what I use is LyTex, downloaded from google-code. Have a look.

[0] [2010-01-22 02:27:41] Kristjan Jonasson

I just tried (I think) all the commercial ones listed here. I am going to try out TeXnicCenter some more---it seems to be most promising. I intend to come back with some details.

[0] [2010-04-05 14:18:07] it-crow

I like browser-based LaTeX-Editors such as They allow me to store and manage my projects at one place (online) and I don't have to install any software to use LaTeX. Since verbosus offers (custom) templates, syntax-highlighting, code completion and HTTPS it gives me all I need...

[0] [2010-04-14 13:48:08] tenaka

all the editors seem to be more or less the same for me... as for viewing the resulting .eps, i strongly recommend using evince for windows..not only is it fast, it automatically updates the created pdf every time it changes, so you can have it open in split screen mode and just compile and evince will display the updated .pdf or .dvi.. have fun with that

[0] [2010-08-18 00:04:18] Jason Lewis

I like to use Emacs for editing LaTeX files in windows.