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.