Setting up a TeX environment for Scrivener on Windows


I just stumbled upon Scrivener yesterday and I really like the idea to shuffle around your content as you like, but at the end of the day it all goes to LaTeX > PDF.

I looked for a tutorial how to setup, say, MikTeX to work with Scrivener on a Windows machine but didn’t find anything (all TeX information I saw was for Macs).

If there’s a tutorial or information about setting this up, dos and don’ts please point me into the right direction here.

TIA and Kind regards,


Moderator note: I’m moving this to the MultiMarkdown board, as that is where most of the TeX heads congregate. I left a shadow topic in place in the other board as well in case anyone comes across it there.

I’m one of those said TeX heads, but my knowledge is mostly Linux and Mac, I have yet to really brief myself on workflows in Windows. I can say basically that you would compile a .tex document out of Scrivener, and the use MikTeX to generate the PDF as per normal. I believe that distribution comes with a Windows compatible editor? TeXworks I think. That would be the easiest way to typeset it.

Note if you are using MultiMarkdown to generate the .tex file, it uses a pretty plain-jane approach by default so as to make the .tex file easy to drop into a boilerplate. It probably won’t typeset out of the box as it lacks a preamble and other necessary structure. There is an MMD support package that has some boilerplates you can use, but this is where my level of knowledge falters, as I don’t know where the texmf folder is on Windows, which is where you would install them.

If you are just composing LaTeX directly in Scrivener, then just compile using plain-text output.

Just downloading and installing MikTeX …

What I thought of was whether I could enhance the “compile” command in Scrivener with a script or batch file that

  • runs the .tex file
  • displays the PDF

w/o further distractrion from the user :slight_smile:

We’re looking into ways of doing that for you. The main problem is the system settings and whether or not the environment can be detected. We can’t just call pdflatex.exe (or whatever) blindly because it might not be installed. So we may make it so it checks for the existence of a distribution and uses it if it can (same thing LyX does, really). It would do a three-run cycle to get all links pointing to the right spot.

Unfortunately it’s not realistic to ship a working LaTeX environment embedded in the software. They are just too huge, and not enough people use it to justify bloating the install package by hundreds of megabytes. :slight_smile:

This is of no immediate help, but I thought I’d let folks know I am working on revising the Beginner’s Guide to Scrivener - MMD – Latex to include Windows.

I have a working MikTex distribution and have even worked out where to put the mmd support files (a whole learning journey in itself). To this point I have got as far as typesetting to PDF a Tex document output from Scrivener on the Mac. I still have to stump up for the Windows version of Scrivener: once I’ve bitten that bullet I’ll be able to put out a second edition of the guide to cover the whole workflow on both platforms. (And before anyone asks, I have no plans for adding Linux to the guide: downloading a new Tex distribution is one thing; setting up an entire OS and learning how to use it is another.)

Most welcome, Mr Gruff!

In fact, I’m just sitting at my desk, MikTeX installed and a printout of your Mac guide in front of me, scratching my head about how to set this up in Win7…

Patience is not my main virtue, but: take your time :slight_smile:

MikTeX comes with extensive documentation, by the way.