LaTeX, Part (3): Configure TeXmaker

Once you have set up TeXmaker the way you like, you’ll be ready to start pumping out TeX documents! Chances are everything is setup fine already, so we are just going to check to make sure.

First, open TeXmaker (go to your Start Menu to do this; a Start Menu shortcut was added during installation). On the Menu bar at the top of the Window, click “Options,” and then “Configure Texmaker” (there is a little picture of a wrench next to it). The window that opens will look something like this:

The only thing you care about here is what “Pdf Viewer” is set to. The cryptic looking stuff in the box is called the path, which is basically the sequence of folders-within-folders until you get to a file. You can see in the screen shot that mine is set to “”C:/Program Files/Foxit/Foxit Reader.exe” %.pdf”, which means TeXmaker will find the Foxit Reader executable (.exe) file, which is the program that views finished pdf’s. I you are using Adobe Reader it would have set this to your Adobe Reader executable. You’ll have to decide what you want your viewer to be, and then replace the path that’s in there with the correct one. Most likely, it’s already exactly what you want.

The second button in the left panel says Quick Build underneath it. Click it. The purpose of quick build will make more sense later, but it is basically a mapping of a shortcut key to a specific function. (The term mapping is used to indicate that when you do something, that thing will cause something else to happen. For example, when you hit the “F” key on your keyboard, you see and F printed on your screen. This is because the “F” key is mapped to the code that displays the letter F.)

You are now looking at a set of options of what you want Texmaker to do when you use the quick build function. Since I planned this whole tutorial with the idea that you will only care about making pdf files, you will want to make sure to click on the radio button (the little circle that makes green dot appear when you click it) next to the option “PdfLaTeX+View PDF.” So what does this mean?

This basically makes it so that when you activate quick build of a TeX document, Texmaker sends the TeX file to an application (provided by MiKTeX) called PdfLaTeX. This application interprets the LaTeX language and makes a pdf. The “+ View PDF” part then calls whatever application you assigned to view pdf’s (three paragraphs previous) to open the pdf document. Thus, when you tell Texmaker to quick build, suddenly your Foxit will open and display your new TeX file in all of its type-set glory.

Lastly, the bottom button in the left panel lets you configure what your editor will look like. You can change the font type and size, the colors of different LaTeX commands, etc. Note that these changes are aesthetic only and have no effect on your final documents. So make it as ridiculous looking as you want, as long as it’s easy for you to work with.

That’s it! After all that hard, arduous labor, you finally have a TeX system set up on your Windows computer. Now, how do you make a TeX document? I’ll get into that in the next section.

Back to Part (2) | Continue to Part (4)

5 thoughts on “LaTeX, Part (3): Configure TeXmaker

  1. Hello Adam

    Thank you so much for your website. I wouldn’t know where to begin otherwise. I just have one question. How is Aspell integrated into Texmaker? I just installed them but never reference it from the Texmaker.


  2. Texmaker basically just finds Aspell and runs it on your document. I have had trouble with some installations getting it to work properly, and so I will often open the document in Notepad++, which also uses Aspell but works better.

    In any event, if you go to the Edit menu in Texmaker, the second to the bottom item is check spelling. You have to select whatever you want to check first.

    The good news is that, when it does work, it will skip all of the commands so you don’t have to constantly tell it to ignore “documentclass” and the like.

    If you have trouble getting Texmaker to function properly, give TeXnicCenter a try. It isn’t cross-platform, but if you only use Windows it doesn’t matter.

  3. Hi !!!!
    I am facing a problem with texmaker.
    I installed recently through online.

    Now after installing
    1) I coped the simple code “Hello world”

    Hello World!

    I saved it by name trial.tex
    let me make sure that I didn’t make any changes in going into the “options” menu.

    So, now when I click the “run” button ,
    I see the following error message:
    Error : could not start the command

    Is there a way out of this???
    If any, please explain in detail..
    Thank you in advance

  4. Hi Vivek,

    I think you forgot to put “backslash” before “documentclass”.. It should be “\documentclass”. ;)

    Now it runs!

  5. First I am using Ubuntu 10.04 with Texmaker and having the following problem:

    I have a LaTeX style file arydshln.sty that is not in the normal LaTeX bundle that is installed; however, it is available at CTAN. I have a *.tex file that requires arydshln.sty and I would like to know where I should put it and/or how I should configure Texmaker so that it finds it when loading *.sty, *.cls files.

    Note, I have the following directory structure:


    where, there are folders that contain *.sty, *.cls files. I have a directory in …/latex/ that is myclsstylefiles and I would like to have my own “special” *.cls,*sty files in this directory.

    This problem of getting Texmaker to automatically load arydshln.sty is driving me crazy!

    Your help on this would be very much appreciated.

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