How to Install LaTeX and Beamer

The following options will work for Windows 8.

1. First, you need to download the MiKTeX installer here. If you choose to download the entire 158 MB installation package, then all you have to do is to run the .exe file, but this is not advisable if you don’t have a reliable connection. If at any point during the downloading process something goes wrong with your connection, you will end up with a corrupt file and have to start download all over again. I recommend downloading the Net Installer, and let it download the components of the MiKTeX installer. When installing MiKTeX, choose “Yes” when asked “Install missing packages on the fly”.

If you already have MiKTeX and are not sure if the “Install missing packages on the fly” options is chosen, open the Settings (Admin) program that comes with MiKTeX and open the General tab.

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2. Next, you will need a typesetting environment. You can either use TeXWorks which comes with MiKTeX or you can install TeXNicCenter. Create a new file and paste the following:

\documentclass{beamer}
\begin{document}
\end{document}

When you compile this file, MiKTex will be prompted that the Beamer package is missing and needs to be installed.

3. The “Install missing packages on the fly” is not foolproof. It is particularly unreliable if you are using campus internet with fancy proxy and account verification settings. To configure you connection settings, use the “Update MiKTeX (admin)” program.

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Next, you will have to install Beamer and ALL its dependencies using the “Package Manager (Admin)” program. Look for the word “beamer” under the “Name” list and click it then hit the “+” icon. I don’t have a list of the dependencies, but a Google search shows that Beamer needs pgf and latex-color. Of course, you also need to install the dependencies of the dependencies (and so forth). The log file or the Build Output window of TexNic Center will tell you if a package for a dependency is missing. Just continue running the sample tex file above until all necessary packages have been downloaded. You may end up downloading 10 or more packages, especially if your MikTex is newly-installed. Be patient.

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4. If all else fails, you may need to install Beamer manually (ouch!). The following is a suggestion from Tex StackExchange user Alessandro Jacopson.

You can set up a local packages repository on your computer.

You need an internet access to download the MikTex packages.

My problem is that I can’t succeed in setting up the internet proxy setup of MikTex in my system, so I have tried today the following solution with MikTex 2.9 and it worked with no problems; the on-the-fly package installation worked well too.

  1. Create the folder, for example c:\miktex_pkgs
  2. Copy the following file to the folder c:\miktex_pkgs (If you do not copy the files you will probably get some errors from MikTex. Seehttp://bruceyf.wordpress.com/2008/05/07/miktexs-secret-local-package-repository/ for the details):http://mirrors.ctan.org/systems/win32/miktex/tm/packages/README.TXThttp://mirrors.ctan.org/systems/win32/miktex/tm/packages/miktex-zzdb1-2.9.tar.lzma

    http://mirrors.ctan.org/systems/win32/miktex/tm/packages/miktex-zzdb2-2.9.tar.lzma

  3. You can copy any packages you may need from http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/systems/win32/miktex/tm/packages to your local folder c:\miktex_pkgs
  4. At this point you have two options.
    • Update your MikTex system: from the Windows Start menu -> Programs -> Miktex 2.9 -> Maintenance (Admin) -> launch the program “Settings (Admin)”Go to the tab “Package repository” and choose the folder c:\miktex_pkgsInstall packages…
    • Open a command prompt and navigate to c:\miktex_pkgsUse mpm.exe --install {name} to install packages. The {name} does not include any of the extensions (.cab, .tar.lzma, .tar.bz2, etc.).

Installing Beamer can be tricky and if you read the comments below, many users run into all sorts of problems. Good luck!