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LyX 1.3.6

Categories: Windows, Installation
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The latest version of LyX 1.3.6 for Windows is: 1.3.6_v1

LyX 1.3.6 is the first official release of LyX to support the Windows platform. It is based on Ruurd Reitsma's original port which he first released to the public back in 2003. At the time, we felt that the closed-source nature of the Qt GUI library on Windows meant that we couldn't support it officially. That has all changed with the increased maturity of the Q../Free project (and, indeed, with the recent GPL release of Qt 4). We felt that the time was right to make LyX/Win an official part of LyX.

Doing so has not been trivial. Ruurd did a superb job in writing the original port, but didn't have the resources to squash all of the irritating little bugs that surface when many people use an app "for real". Large chunks of the code base have been touched to resolve these problems, so LyX/Win 1.3.6 cannot really be classified as a minor bug fix release.

We feel confident that LyX 1.3.6 will be the best ever version of LyX on Windows. It's been through an extensive prerelease, during which a small army of volunteers have provided us with bug reports. Most of these bugs are now squashed, but if you find a new one, please do report it to the developers' mailing list.

The installer

LyX 1.3.6 comes with its own installer. You'll find that you can install LyX as a normal user, but you'll enjoy your LyX experience more if you have Administrator privileges when you install it. (Some Registry entries can be made only by an Administrator.)

LyX requires many tools in order to typeset your documents. Indeed, the installer will check for MinSys, Python, MikTex, Perl, Ghostscript, and ImageMagick before attempting to install LyX itself. Some of these tools are an absolute necessity, but some are optional. If the installer doesn't find them, it'll point you to the appropriate web pages from which they can be downloaded.

Be warned, however, that a full MikTeX download is 250MB. Perhaps it would be best not to use a 56kb modem!  

Note (from Ekkehart Schlicht): If you want to collect all necessary files before installing, download LyX 1.3.6 (7.5 MB), MinSys (2.7MB), Python (10.4MB), MikTex Setup Wizard (0.5MB), Perl (12.4MB), Ghostscript (10MB), ImageMagick (7MB), and bakoma4lyx-1.1 and run the MikTex Setup Wizard first. This will install a LaTeX typesetting system used by LyX. (If you have already a LaTeX system installed, LyX will use that system and you need not install MikTeX.) Then go on and install the above files, with LyX 1.3.6 last. Although LyX swallows path and folder names with blanks (such as C:\Program Files\...) this is not necessarily true for the other programs, and it is recommended to install them in the default locations suggested by the programs, or in paths without blanks (such as C:\Programs\...), just to be on the safe side.

We believe that we've overcome LyX's problems regarding "file paths with spaces", so the installer defaults to installing LyX at

C:\Program Files\LyX.

Thereafter, it would expect to find a user's (Angus) customization of its support files at

C:\Documents and Settings\Angus\Application Data\lyx

Moreover, its would search for the same user's documents at

C:\Documents and Settings\Angus\My Documents

and would create its temporary workspace at

C:\Documents and Settings\Angus\Local Settings\Temp,

although the location of these latter two can be customized using the Edit→Preferences dialog.

Things the installer doesn't do

The new installer will guide you through many of the steps needed to produce a useful LyX environment, but it doesn't do everything. Some things it doesn't do:

  • Check for the existence of viewers for your PostScript and PDF documents and, if not present, offer to download them;
  • Install the Aspell spell checking library and dictionaries;
  • Install extra math fonts.

You'll have to do those things yourself. Alternatively, you might consider using the funky new LyXWinInstaller to install a pre-release version of LyX 1.3.7. This installer is much more powerful than the one supplied with LyX 1.3.6 but does install a pre-release version of LyX. Caveat emptor and all that.

PostScript and PDF viewers

  • GSView is able to preview both PostScript and PDF documents.
  • Adobe's Acroread is the canonical viewer for PDF documents.

After installing these tools, running Edit→Reconfigure should be enough for LyX to find them. (You'll have to restart LyX for the changes to take effect.) It may be, however, that you'll need to adjust the PATH prefix entry in the Paths pane of the Edit→Preferences dialog. Check the Viewer entry in the File formats pane of the same dialog to see if a viewer has been found.

Spell checking

For spell checking to work in LyX you'll need to install Aspell-0-50-3-3-Setup.exe and dictionaries such as Aspell-en-0.50-2-3.exe from the Windows Aspell web site.

These must be installed at C:\Aspell

I know that this hard-coding is a little lame. Sorry!  

Math fonts

Two, equivalent, font packages are available to make your math equations look reasonable on-screen. (Only the screen view is affected; paper output should already be OK).

Until fairly recently, the BaKoMa fonts were released under a restrictive licence. That's no longer the case, so we can recommend that you use them in preference to the latex-xft fonts. To install the fonts use Start→Settings→Control Panel→Fonts and then File→Install New Font. You may need to restart the computer for the new fonts to become available.

First check of the installation

You may want to check a few things on an existing example, e.g.

  • open File->Open->Examples->example_lyxified.lyx
  • Save as... on the desktop if you want to edit it later;
  • if the screen fonts look bad (see Qt bug #3 below), check Edit->Preferences->Look and Feel->Screen Fonts and set reasonable choices for Roman (Times New Roman e.g.) and Sans Serif (Arial e.g.);
  • try to View->DVI, View->PDF (and View->Postscript if you installed GSView); if it fails, or if the menu item is missing, check in View->Preferences->File formats if there exists a viewer application for at least one of each of these formats (there may exist several formats for each type of document to allow to create a given document type through different methods: PDF may be created through DVI->PS->PDF or directly with pdflatex;
  • check spelling if you installed Aspell, with Edit->Spellchecker.

Outstanding LyX bugs

  • Sven Schreiber reported that double clicking on a LyX file to open it in Windows 2000 causes the file name to be displayed on the titlebar etc in 8.3 format.
  • Sreekumar Bhaskaran-Nair reported problems running some of LyX's shell scripts from the menus and dialogs. Appears to be a file association problem. It transpired that this was yet another problem with "paths with spaces".
  • William Adams reported that he was unable to start LyX on a Win98 machine. Luis Rivera had similar problems but also tracked the problem down: Win98 doesn't have SHGetFolderPathA and so aborts at run time.
  • Jeremy Daily reported that the clean_dvi.py script was failing to process a .dvi file containing pstricks magic. It transpired that the bug was in the dt2dv tool. Fixed in LyX 1.3.7cvs.
  • Paul Rubin reported problems with Drag-n-Drop of LyX files. Fixed in LyX 1.3.7cvs.
  • Michael Schmitt reported that pressing "Return" in the Insert→Cross Reference... dialog activates the "Goto" button rather than "Ok". Partially fixed in LyX 1.3.7cvs.

Outstanding Q../Free bugs

We don't have direct control over the Q../Free toolkit which does indeed suffer from several small bugs. The guys there are working hard to squash them, however. As they do, we'll make the new qt-mt.dll available. Simply replace your existing .dll to enjoy the benefits.

If you come across new bugs and report them to the developers' mailing list then we'll try and put together minimal test cases to post on to the Q../Free list.

  1. Ekkehart Schlicht reported a display problem in multi-pane dialogs like the Layout→Document dialog. Reported forwarded on to the Q../Free list with screenshot.
  2. Ekkehart Schlicht reported that inserting a large monochrome graphic and then scaling it down to say 10% size results in an all-black preview in LyX. I tried to create a minimal test case, but unfortunaltely, the test case works perfectly...
  3. Uwe Stöhr reported that Qt makes a mess of finding fonts "times" and "helvetica". The test case in this post to the Q../Free mailing list suggests that there's a bug in the Q../Free implementation of QFontInfo.
  4. Nicolás reported that when partially selecting the content of a QLineEdit, all or part of the non-selected text becomes faded.
  5. Opening up a LyX document causes vast numbers of Qt warning messages to be printed to console:
    QFontEngineWin::boundingBox( glyph_t ) GetGlyphOutline: Cannot complete this function..
  6. Uwe Stöhr reported problems switching between sub-menus of the same parent menu. Reproduced by Christian Ehrlicher of Q../Free, so there's hope...
  7. Jean-Pierre Chrétien reported that the popup warnings get iconified (minimized) when the focus on them is lost, instead of going behind the LyX window as usual. You need to maximize them to recover control.
  8. Geoffrey Lloyd reported that when maximizing the LyX window, only the File, Edit and Insert menu are visible, the other ones reappear when hovering or with a window resize.

Windows Installation

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Page last modified on 2007-09-10 12:40 CEST