[Tex/LaTex] Compiling a LaTeX document manually


I've created LaTeX documents before using 'nice IDEs' such as TeXnicCenter and have a little experience in general with TeX, however, now I'm wondering about creating one "manually". By that, I mean doing something such as writing the tex document in a very simple editor (such as VIM) and then compiling it myself with pdflatex via the command prompt. Has anyone ever done this and if so, I really just need to know how I'd go about it? What's the process to doing it? While the IDE is nice, I'd really like to be able to create LaTeX documents 'on my own'. Thanks for any information you can provide!

Best Answer

Your question is a little confusing. What you mean is compiling a LaTeX document manually (into a PDF). You might want to adjust your title. Creating one would be the process of writing the document. This can be done in the command line using pdflatex <filename>. In VIM you could just use ESC:!pdflatex % (% can be used instead of the current filename) when you edit the main file. There is also the LaTeX Suite for VIM which gives you short cuts for the compilation and a lot of IDE functionality. The LaTeX compiler must be in your PATH for this to work, but this should be already the case for a proper installed LaTeX.

The latexmk script (also called with the filename) will compile the LaTeX document as often as required and also run external tools like bibtex and makeindex, which is basically the things the IDE is doing automatically when you press the compile button.