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The following are brief installation instructions for the impatient. In case you don’t understand some of this, run into trouble of some sort, or need more elaborate information, refer to the detailed instructions further below.
For Emacs: Many people like to install AUCTeX into the pseudo file system hierarchy set up by the Emacs installation. Assuming Emacs is installed in ‘C:/Program Files/Emacs’ and the directory for local additions of your TeX system, e.g. MiKTeX, is ‘C:/localtexmf’, you can do this by typing the following statement at the shell prompt:
./configure --prefix='C:/Program Files/Emacs' \ --infodir='C:/Program Files/Emacs/info' \ --with-texmf-dir='C:/localtexmf'
The commands above is example for common usage. More on configuration options can be found in the detailed installation instructions below.
If the configuration script failed to find all required programs, make
sure that these programs are in your system path and add directories
containing the programs to the
PATH environment variable if
necessary. Here is how to do that in W2000/XP:
In case there were, please refer to the detailed description below.
Installation of AUCTeX under Windows is in itself not more complicated than on other platforms. However, meeting the prerequisites might require more work than on some other platforms, and feel less natural.
If you are experiencing any problems, even if you think they are of your own making, be sure to report them to email@example.com so that we can explain things better in future.
Windows is a problematic platform for installation scripts. The main problem is that the installation procedure requires consistent file names in order to find its way in the directory hierarchy, and Windows path names are a mess.
The installation procedure tries finding stuff in system search paths
and in Emacs paths. For that to succeed, you have to use the same
syntax and spelling and case of paths everywhere: in your system search
paths, in Emacs’
load-path variable, as argument to the scripts.
If your path names contain spaces or other ‘shell-unfriendly’
characters, most notably backslashes for directory separators, place the
whole path in ‘"double quote marks"’ whenever you specify it on a
Avoid ‘helpful’ magic file names like ‘/cygdrive/c’ and ‘C:\PROGRA~1\’ like the plague. It is quite unlikely that the scripts will be able to identify the actual file names involved. Use the full paths, making use of normal Windows drive letters like ‘ 'C:/Program Files/Emacs' ’ where required, and using the same combination of upper- and lowercase letters as in the actual files. File names containing shell-special characters like spaces or backslashes (if you prefer that syntax) need to get properly quoted to the shell: the above example used single quotes for that.
Ok, now here are the steps to perform:
Line endings are a problem under Windows. The distribution contains only text files, and theoretically most of the involved tools should get along with that. However, the files are processed by various utilities, and it is conceivable that not all of them will use the same line ending conventions. If you encounter problems, it might help if you try unpacking (or checking out) the files in binary mode, if your tools allow that.
If you don’t have a suitable unpacking tool, skip to the next step: this should provide you with a working ‘unzip’ command.
If Cygwin specific paths like ‘/cygdrive/c’ crop up in the course of the installation, using a non-Cygwin Emacs could conceivably cause trouble. Using Cygwin either for everything or nothing might save headaches, if things don’t work out.
on a Windows command line should tell you whether your Ghostscript
png16m device needed for PNG support.
MiKTeX apparently comes with its own Ghostscript called ‘mgs.exe’.
\nwhen reading text files, you’ll run into trouble.
bash) capable of running
configure, change into the installation directory and call
./configurewith appropriate options.
Typical options you’ll want to specify will be
configure where to perform the installation. It may
configure find Emacs automatically; if this doesn’t
happen, try ‘--with-emacs’ as described below. All automatic
detection of files and directories restricts itself to directories below
the prefix or in the same hierarchy as the program accessing the
files. Usually, directories like ‘man’, ‘share’ and
‘bin’ will be situated right under prefix.
This option also affects the defaults for placing the Texinfo documentation files (see also ‘--infodir’ below) and automatically generated style hooks.
If you have a central directory hierarchy (not untypical with Cygwin) for such stuff, you might want to specify its root here. You stand a good chance that this will be the only option you need to supply, as long as your TeX-related executables are in your system path, which they better be for AUCTeX’s operation, anyway.
if you are installing for a version of Emacs. You can use
‘--with-emacs=drive:/path/to/emacs’ to specify the name of the
installed Emacs executable, complete with its path if necessary (if
Emacs is not within a directory specified in your
This option tells a place in
load-path below which the
files are situated. The startup files ‘auctex.el’ and
‘preview-latex.el’ will get installed here unless a subdirectory
‘site-start.d’ exists which will then be used instead. The other
files from AUCTeX will be installed in a subdirectory called
If you think that you need a different setup, please refer to the full installation instructions in Configure.
If you are installing into an Emacs directory, info files have to be put into the ‘info’ folder below that directory. The configuration script will usually try to install into the folder ‘share/info’, so you have to override this by specifying something like ‘--infodir='C:/Program Files/info'’ for the configure call.
Directory containing automatically generated information. You should not normally need to set this, as ‘--prefix’ should take care of this.
Use this option if your Emacs version is unable to support image display.
This will specify the directory where your TeX installation sits. If your TeX installation does not conform to the TDS (TeX directory standard), you may need to specify more options to get everything in place.
For more information about any of the above and additional options, see Configure.
Some executables might not be found in your path. That is not a good
idea, but you can get around by specifying environment variables to
GS="drive:/path/to/gswin32c.exe" ./configure …
should work for this purpose. ‘gswin32c.exe’ is the usual name for the required command line executable under Windows; in contrast, ‘gswin32.exe’ is likely to fail.
As an alternative to specifying variables for the
you can add directories containing the required executables to the
PATH variable of your Windows system. This is especially a good
idea if Emacs has trouble finding the respective programs later during
makein the installation directory.
make installin the installation directory.
(load "auctex.el" nil t t) (load "preview-latex.el" nil t t)
in either a site-wide ‘site-start.el’ or your personal startup file (usually accessible as ‘~/.emacs’ or ‘~/.emacs.d/init.el’ from within Emacs).
The default configuration of AUCTeX is probably not the best fit for Windows systems with MiKTeX. You might want to add
after loading ‘auctex.el’ and ‘preview-latex.el’ in order to get more appropriate values for some customization options.
You can always use
M-x customize-group <RET> AUCTeX <RET>
in order to customize more stuff, or use the ‘Customize’ menu.
If this barfs and tells you that image type ‘png’ is not supported, you can either add PNG support to your Emacs installation or choose another image format to be used by preview-latex.
Adding support for an image format usually involves the installation of a library, e.g. from http://gnuwin32.sf.net/. If you got your Emacs from https://www.gnu.org/ you might want to check its README file for details.
A different image format can be chosen by setting the variable
preview-image-type. While it is recommended to keep the
‘dvipng’ or ‘png’ setting, you can temporarily select a
different format like ‘pnm’ to check if the lack of PNG
support is the only problem with your Emacs installation.
Try adding the line
(setq preview-image-type 'pnm)
to your init file for a quick test. You should remove the line after the test again, because PNM files take away vast amounts of disk space, and thus also of load/save time.
Well, that about is all. Have fun!
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