Looking for a lightweight Latex editor
August 11, 2008 5:19 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a lightweight text editor that can easily be configured to work with LaTeX.

I don't want an editor that is loaded with features.

I'm essentially looking for a syntax-highlighting Wordpad that would allow me to build and view a LaTeX file by pressing F9 (or something similar).

Does something similar to this exist? Thanks!
posted by alligatorman to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
TextMate for OS X
Notepad++ for Windows
posted by vkxmai at 5:27 PM on August 11, 2008

The One True Editor, VIM, with VIM-LaTex. VIM is simultaneously lightweight and loaded with features, and you don't have to use what you don't need, unlike EMACS which accosts you with its feature overload. You may not like vi-style modal editors, though, it's kind of an acquired taste.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:35 PM on August 11, 2008

Thanks for the replies. I'll check them out.

To anyone who may want to answer, I am using Windows XP.
posted by alligatorman at 5:54 PM on August 11, 2008

This isn't exactly what you're looking for, but LyX is pretty excellent.
posted by kdar at 6:08 PM on August 11, 2008

Have you looked at TeXnicCenter? It may have more features than you want, but it's free and plays nuce with (La)TeX.
posted by leahwrenn at 6:15 PM on August 11, 2008

LyX standard output is not standard Latex, and can only be compiled with LyX. You can create a Latex-compatible output, but it's not as person-readable as normal Latex. I say don't do it.

I have successfully used Emacs on Windows XP to create Latex documents for many years now. Unlike DecemberBoy, I don't find that it's in-your-face with features. I don't like the modal-editing vim style and find it counter-intutive. Emacs has great keyboard shortcuts, which is nice. To install Emacs on Windows, I followed this tutorial. You can install Emacs and then Auctex, which is tells Emacs about Latex and lets you compile from within Emacs.

Happy texing!
posted by matematichica at 6:21 PM on August 11, 2008

WinEdt is exactly what you're looking for.
posted by shadow vector at 6:27 PM on August 11, 2008

WinEdt probably doesn't qualify as lightweight, and I'm pretty sure it's not free (it wasn't several years ago when I got it). But it's been my standard program for LaTeX-ing for years, and for a reason. I'm a big fan; it was especially useful for me when writing my thesis, with its many separate tex components. Would be good for any large project; may be too bulky for quick use.

Now what I'd really love is a chat program a la aim/gchat/etc that would take any tex code I typed in and output appropriately...... anyone?
posted by nat at 6:28 PM on August 11, 2008

Brief is a good one, as is Scientific Notebook.
posted by Melismata at 8:35 PM on August 11, 2008

I've used WinEDT for a while now and like it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:02 PM on August 11, 2008

SciTE is decent, free and cross-platform, and LaTeX support is available.
posted by flabdablet at 1:00 AM on August 12, 2008

Texmaker isn't bad. Melismata, what is Brief? Googling didn't turn anything up (I am admittedly an amateur Googler).
posted by bluefly at 5:33 PM on September 8, 2008

Also, the very first result for


Is this Wikipedia disambiguation page, which contains a link entitled "Brief (text editor)".

Honestly, the Googling is not so difficult.
posted by flabdablet at 5:56 AM on September 9, 2008

Honestly, you're a bit of an asshole.


didn't turn up anything. I also tried searching for brief tex editor (since we're talking about editing tex files). Thanks for the links and the redressing.
posted by bluefly at 2:01 PM on September 9, 2008

I'm actually a complete arsehole, but I'm still willing to donate my time to help you improve your Google skills.

The second result for brief tex editor is a link to the Wikipedia article on Brief. Most of the first page of results is links to download sites offering the product.

Perhaps you need to use the button on the left - the one marked "Google Search". It often works better than the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button on the right.
posted by flabdablet at 4:46 PM on September 9, 2008

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