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Latex editors and rubber

August 8th, 2010 by

Whether you are a frequent latex user, and especially if you are just starting off with it, you must have encountered situations where compiling the document correctly gets downright painful. Or found it just irritating to google every time or look up a cheat-sheet [pdf] to insert a not-so-common symbol. Or you know about the excellent application kile but as a GNOME/LXDE/Xfce user you did not want a zillion kde libraries installed.

I have started maintaining three packages, namely Texmaker, TeXworks and Rubber, in the Publishing repository. These applications make working with and compiling latex documents user-friendly and painless.

Texmaker

This is a frontend for editing latex documents much like kile (which is distributed with openSUSE 11.3 and prior), with several useful features:

  • integrated pdf viewer
  • user-friendly interface based on qt
  • wizards to generate code
  • integrated error and warning viewer
  • an integrated LaTeX to html conversion tool
  • based on qt with no dependence on kde libraries, which means somebody using a non-kde desktop might install it without pulling in one big chunk of the kde base  (as a GNOME user, I find this to be a problem with kile), and so integrates well with a non-KDE desktop as well.

Install on openSUSE

openSUSE 11.2 (from my home project, this requires libqt4 >= 4.6.1)

1click-installer for Texmaker

openSUSE 11.3

1click-installer for Texmaker

Factory

1click-installer for Texmaker

TeXworks

Also based on the qt toolkit, TeXworks is a Latex frontend with an integrated viewer that supports source/preview synchronisation. This makes it possible for you to right-click on the embedded preview [pdf, ps, etc] and choose to go to the corresponding line/paragraph in the latex source. I think, but I am not sure, that TeXworks is the only Linux application which uses source/preview synchronisation at present.

Install on openSUSE

openSUSE 11.2

1click installer for texworks

openSUSE 11.3

1click installer for texworks

Factory

1click installer for texworks

Rubber

Rubber is a command line application that automates compilation of latex documents, in the sense that it takes care of getting cross-referencing, citations and so on just right with one run, while it takes the native texlive commands (latex/pdflatex) as many as four runs to do so. Rubber makes the process of compiling a source file into the final document completely automated including processing bibliographic references or indices, as well as compilation or conversion of figures and several post-processing work.

Install on openSUSE

openSUSE 11.2

1click installer for rubber

openSUSE 11.3

1click installer for rubber

Factory

1click installer for rubber

Here’s hoping latex users (esp. beginners) on openSUSE will find these applications useful.

Have a lot of fun.

Bye.

——-

Update: The command latexmk works similar to rubber (i.e. running latex/pdflatex as many times as necessary to get the cross-referencing right), while kile/okular can be configured for source/document synchronisation similar to texworks as pointed out in the comments.

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8 Responses to “Latex editors and rubber”

  1. nobody

    Or you can use emacs with auctex and preview, which has all these features and more combined…

  2. Anon

    Kile also supports source/preview synchronization. It has always integrated just fine with my GNOME desktop. It’s true that it pulls in a lot of KDE dependencies, but I also tend to run a mix of KDE and GNOME programs, so that’s never been an issue for me.

  3. joon

    Thanks for the good article. With a little bit of configuration, you can do the inverse search with Kile/Okular as well.

  4. badshah400

    I guess that is true; for a power user it is indeed quite the package. But for beginners the three apps I mentioned are probably easier to use, I think.

  5. badshah400

    Thanks Anon and joon for pointing out the synctex capabilities of kile/okular. I was not aware of it, but about the only problem I have with Kile is its dependence on kde libraries. Otherwise as I said it is a fine application.

  6. Atri

    Your allergy to KDE libraries is so 2001. Every reasonably complex app pulls in some platform with it. Firefox/Thunderbird pulls in xulrunner, OpenOffice has its UNO toolkit, Chrom[e|ium] has its own stack. Unless you are also not installing these and using only Epiphany, Abiword and Evolution, agitating against useful apps based on the KDE platform is irrational prejudice.

  7. Atri

    Thanks, Will, for pointing out my allergies. Guess I need to see a doctor about that, huh? Seriously though, I was just pointing out that there are apps that do work without pulling in a million kde libraries, and perhaps do a better job. Subjective matter here, but I do like texmaker a hell of a lot better than kile, though I do appreciate that the latter is a good application nonetheless. Oh! And you would do well to understand the network status of the place I am from, or the places I am trying to push linux desktops to — network status is not great and also quite expensive. I can do without downloading so many kde libraries if I am using GNOME, right? Of course texlive, etc. I HAVE to pull-in as I NEED them.

  8. My personal preference, while I have always used Emacs/Auctex in the past, is TeXworks. The preview functionality is really handy and a time saver, especially when previewing documents to co-workers. Another plus is, I am a GNOME user so outside of Emacs, I prefer editors I can plop into my openSUSE systems which don’t include a stitch of KDE; I’m a past satisfied user of Kile but have since moved on. The downside is, while TeXworks is a very nice tool and widely distributed, it is still young and work really needs to get done to move to a stable major release. That said, it is one of the reasons I use the tool so useful feedback to the project can get it moving in that direction.