[texhax] which TeX?

Arno Trautmann Arno.Trautmann at gmx.de
Wed Sep 21 13:56:22 CEST 2011

Hi Michael,

Michael Barr wrote:
> This is probably not the right forum to ask this question in, but maybe
> someone can point me to a better place.

No, this is the very right place.

> I just got the TeX Live 2011 DVD in the mail. For at least a decade now
> I have used one form or another of MikTeX for Windows. But I noticed
> something called ProTeXt (based on MikTeX) and various other things
> (ConTeXt) on the cover of the disk. I have no idea what all the
> variations are and which one is best for me. Where can I find these
> things out?

Well, none of these have to do with “TeX” as the program, but they are 
only different ways to bring it to you: TeX live and MiKTeX are 
distributions, i.e. packed versions of TeX, LaTeX, packages, helper 
programs etc. ProTeXt is kind of a meta-distributions that helps you 
install MiKTeX.

ConTeXt is a format, as is LaTeX – if use LaTeX, you don't have to worry 
about it.

Maybe this document might help you to understand the various *TeX names, 
it is a horrible mess in the names:



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