TeXlips - A MiKTeX GUI for NoteTab

The NoteTab clipbook library TeXlips has been designed to help the novice and the experienced MiKTeX user to run TeX and friends applications in a convenient and user friendly manner. The clip programming language in NoteTab is powerful and flexible enough to make this possible and hopefully TeXlips is able to fulfill its task of being the glue that binds the editor, the Windows operating system, and MiKTeX into a well integrated TeX system.

What you can do with TeXlips

TeXlips main features

  • Launch TeX and friends applications (TeX, LaTeX, BibTeX, YAP, DVIPS, DVIpdfM, pdfTeX, e-TeX, MakeIndex, MetaPost, TtH, PSUtils, etc.) and related software such as GSview, International ISpell, perl, Acrobat Reader and Distiller.
  • Setup and store application switches (parameters) for running TeX and friends application. Can also launch sequences of programs.
  • Manage and maintain your MiKTeX installation. Allows you to fix certain glitches, such as where mkpsres looks for external PostScript resources. Makes it easy to change paper size format for ps and dvi files.
  • Associate TeX files with NoteTab in Windows Explorer, setup default icons, and remove these settings.
  • Create new TeX and Bib files via programmable templates.
  • Browse TeX files and collect summary information about them.
  • Check delimiters and environments in LaTeX documents.
  • Write LaTeX and AMS-LaTeX commands in your tex documents.
  • Write bibliography commands.
  • Manage and launch command-line programs and other favorite applications.
  • Manage your TeX projects.
  • Access online TeX resources.
  • Access TeX related documentation such as help files.

TeXlips Clipbars

The best way to use TeXlips is from NoteTab's clipbar, a special toolbar located below the standard NoteTab toolbar. To display the clipbar make sure that a "Clipbar" selection has been checked on the View|Clipbar menu. Four new options should be available if you have installed TeXlips correctly. Selecting e.g. "TeXlips 1.20" will give you the main TeXlips clipbar. If you have opted to unzip the TeXlips icons into NoteTab's Libraries directory, the clipbar should also display buttons with TeXlips custom icons. You can now access the TeXlips clips by clicking on a button.

Selecting a clipbar in NoteTab 4.8

You can edit the TeXlips clipbars by running the Edit TeXlips clipbars clip. Apart from changing the original TeXlips clipbars settings, you can add your own TeXlips clipbars, edit these and delete them with this clip. Notice that this clip requires NoteTab version 4.8 (or later) since previous versions didn't include the clipbar. Please note that almost all TeXlips clips are available for clipbars. The only exceptions are the Inverse search, Load LaTeX2e library, and Load AMS-LaTeX library clips. Naturally, you can force these clips to appear on a TeXlips clipbar via drag-and-drop. However, the "Inverse search" clip in particular is only used in TeXlips when called from the YAP DVI-viewer in MiKTeX. Details about that operation are given in the section Inverse Search.

Launching TeX Applications

The launch commands in TeXlips are based on the full installation of MiKTeX version 1.20e (build 178). MiKTeX is a free native 32-bit (x86) implementation of the TeX typesetting system for Windows 9x/NT4 by Christian Schenk. In addition to a wide range of MiKTeX applications the clips can launch popular friends of TeX such as the 32-bit version of DVIWin (if it's installed as suggested in the "MiKTeX Local Guide" for versions prior to 1.11 - instructions can also be found in dviwin29.pdf that's available for download from this site), the "International ISpell" spell checker, perl, and the PostScript and Portable Document Format applications GSview & Ghostscript and Acrobat (Reader). Additional programs, e.g. JSpell, 4Spell, jpeg2ps, Paint Shop Pro, Mayura Draw, font utilities such as afm2tfm, vftovp, vptovf, afmtopfm, pfm2afm, pfatopfb, pfbtopfa, ttf2afm, ttf2tmf, etc., can be launched via the Launch any program clip, where apps can be added to a launch menu.

The launch clips typically perform command line operations that are needed to run TeX related applications. For many of the clips, you can specify various options through so called "Clip Wizards" (NoteTab lingo) and thereby affect the specific options that are sent to the apps. Since the MiKTeX package includes a large number of apps, I've selected the ones that I give the highest priority. That is, the TeX compiler with and without the LaTeX macro package, the e-TeX compiler, the two BibTeX apps, the DVIPS compiler (to convert dvi-files, the output from the TeX and the e-TeX compilers, to PostScript files), the MakeIndex and MetaPost apps, the Omega compiler (for unicode stuff), the pdfTeX and the DVIpdfM packages, MiKTeX's configuration utility, "initexmf", and so on and so on...

In fact, the features that haven't been included primarily relate to fonts and Texinfo. In case you'd like to use these with TeXlips, it's easy to set up the "Launch any program" clip to handle these applications.

File Viewers

Naturally, there are also a number of file viewer (and printing) clips. MiKTeX includes the excellent dvi-file viewer/printing app called YAP (Yet Another Previewer), written by Christian Schenk. The version provided with MiKTeX 1.20e (i.e. YAP 0.97) can deal with eps-files (encapsulated postscript), bmp-files (bitmaps), and many other graphics formats, as well as print via DVIPS; the PostScript operations are handled via a dll-file (gsdll32.dll) that's distributed with GSview/Ghostscript. As an alternative to YAP, the classic DVIWin (version 2.9) may be launched via a clip; this app can't deal with the PostScript stuff, but is still a good complement for viewing and printing dvi-files. For ps-files the clipbook primarily relies on GSview (and Ghostscript) and for pdf (portable document) files on either the Acrobat Reader or GSview. The latter program (or Ghostscript to be more precise) may be used to create pdf-files from ps-files via

print|device=pdfwrite,print-to-file|save as filename.pdf

The quality is reasonably good (600 dpi) for printing and viewing (this assumes Ghostscript 6.00 and GSview 5.8x). Alternatively, you can use pdfTeX (which is part of the MiKTeX distribution) to create pdf-files directly from a tex-file (no dvi-file), or DVIpdfM which uses the dvi-file as input. The latter application allows you to set the resolution to higher values than 600 dpi, and since version 0.12 it supports eps graphics via Ghostscript; I don't know what the resolution is when using pdfTeX and to what extent compress_level affects it. Naturally, you can also use Adobe's Acrobat Distiller to convert ps-files to pdf-files, but it costs money. If you have the Distiller you can launch it from TeXlips via the Acrobat Distiller clip. If you need to convert eps graphics files to pdf and you have the perl file "epstopdf.pl" you can convert the file via TeXlips through the Launch any perl file clip. Naturally, you need to have perl installed for this to work.

Delimiter Matching and other Functions

In addition to MiKTeX related launch commands, the clipbook contains a number of useful file operation commands. One clip, Document search or summary, allows you to search through a tex-file via sections, equations, etc. or just obtain summary information about the main parts of the document. Another potentially useful clip, Delimiter matching, allows you to check delimiter and environment matches of the whole document or parts thereof. Naturally, you can create new TeX and Bib files with the clipbook as well as create and store information about templates of TeX related files. In case there's some launch option you miss, there is a tweaking clip, Launch any program, which allows you to store, remove, and edit application links and switches for immediate availability from a clip wizard window, as well as three command line clips.

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Last Updated: February 17, 2004
Copyright © 1998-2004 Anders Warne

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