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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

TEX and LATEX resources

TEX and LATEX resources

If you are looking for general TEX and LATEX resources, the first place to start should be the UK mirror of the Comprehensive TEX Archive Network (CTAN). This can be found at


If you want to use LATEX or TEX at home you will need to install a TEX processing package. The more widely available ones that use Windows (MS-DOS) are:

  • MikTeX
  • fpTeX
  • Web2c
  • emTeX (This is slightly older than the rest.)

All of these packages (and versions for other systems) should be available free from CTAN. The packages install utilities that have to be run from a DOS prompt which can be frustrating if you are a Windows user. You might find it helpful to install a shell program to allow you to run these utilities from within Windows. Various shells are available from CTAN.

A note about shells: as with all free software, they have usually been written by the authors for their own needs and to suit the particular software they are running and they have been kind enough to donate their software to the general public for nothing. With this in mind, it's worth trying several packages to find one that suits you, or you could always invest in one of the commercial packages which will usually have some kind of support and will tend to support a wider range of packages.

Related software

There are a series of useful little utilities that have been written to complement TEX and LATEX and you might find some of them useful. All of the following are installed on the CIS Unix system.

  1. latex2html This utility takes a LATEX document and converts it into HTML for publishing as web-pages. See the CIS document Infosheet 130: Using latex2html for more information. This tool was used to generate these pages.
  2. detex (delatex) This program runs through a TEX or LATEX document and removes the TEX and LATEX commands leaving only the text behind.
  3. ispell This is a spell checking utility that will ignore the TEX and LATEX commands in a document. Can be has the added advantage as it will also report misspelt TEX and LATEX commands as misspelt words! See the CIS document Infosheet 126: Spell checking using ispell.