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NEWS: LyX is now as easy to install as clicking on an icon!

SUPER NEWS!  It looks like the folks that port LyX to Windows have been working hard.  Now installing LyX on windows is as easy as clicking on an icon!  The installer for the newest versions of LyX for Windows does everything for you --- it will even install LaTeX and Ghostscript if you need it!  Go and get the installer at


And if you use LaTeX or LyX, you probably wish you had a better way to organize your references.  I've found another great, free program that does this extremely well.  You can get it at


So get these tools, and start publishing!


LyX is a program which lets you edit LaTeX files in a more graphical environment, where you can immediately see your math, etc.  You can insert things like Greek characters and integrals either by menu/point-and-click methods or by simply typing the latex codes and watching as LyX notices your code and magically converts it into the symbol you wanted.  LyX files can be exported as pure LaTeX, but they require just a tiny bit of cleaning up and post-editing if you want to submit them to a journal, etc.  I used it to write my doctoral thesis, and it worked out very well. 

LyX was written for unix, but a very good windows port is available.  There are also ports for Mac OS X and OS/2, but I haven't used them and can't vouch for them.


More information about LyX can be found at http://www.lyx.org


It used to be a little bit of work to install LyX for Windows, so I set up this page to help you get everything you need, including files and instructions.  I am leaving it up for now, incase someone for some reason needs an older version of LyX for Windows.  Otherwise, go get the new, slick installer at


and ignore the rest of this page






Instructions for Installing LyX 1.3.3 for Windows
from Dallin Durfee’s install folder

bulletInstall MikTex
bulletBefore you install Lyx you should have MikTex, a windows version of TeX installed.  This should have been installed by default if you installed WinEdit from the physics department network install package.  If you use TeX or LaTeX on your windows machine, you probably have MikTex installed.  If you don't have MikTex, go to http://www.miktex.org/.
bulletDownload and unzip the files.
bulletClick here to download the zip file.  These files are copyrighted under the GNU GPL, which means that there should not be any legal issues with copying, packaging, or even modifying and redistributing them.  Save the file somewhere convenient.  After it has been saved, unzip the file.
bulletInstall Lyx
bulletOpen the lyx-1.3.3 folder that you just unzipped and double click on lyx-1.3.3-win32.exe.
bulletWhen the window comes up enter the directory where you want to install lyx in the box at the top of the window.  This should probably be "c:\" --- lyx doesn't like directory names with spaces, so don't put it in "My Documents" or "Program Files," etc. It will make a new folder named “lyx” at the location named (for example, if you selected “c:\” it would make a folder named “c:\lyx”).  All of the files installed will be placed in this folder.  If you decide that you don’t want lyx anymore, just delete this folder and everything will be gone.
bulletClick on install.
bulletInstall the True-Type fonts
bulletTo get math symbols to display correctly, you need to install the true-type fonts in the latex-xft-fonts-0.1 directory.   In some versions of windows this is done by opening the control panel, clicking on fonts, and then clicking on file/install new fonts.  In windows XP, depending on how your computer is configured, you may need to go to the control panel/Appearance and Themes.  Then click on fonts in the "see also" panel.
bulletInstall the English spelling dictionary
bulletIn order to use spell checking, you must copy the two files in the ShareAspell directory into the “blah\lyx\share\aspell” directory, where "blah" is the location where you installed LyX (for example, “c:\lyx\share\aspell”). You must also copy the entire “aspell” directory to “blah\lyx\lib”.
bulletStart up LyX and set a few options
bulletGo to the directory you installed lyx to, open up the "lyx\bin" folder, and double click on lyx.exe.  The program should come up and work. Check it out by typing something, and then click on the menu item "view/DVI" to see if latex processes your file correctly.  If you want to enter formulas, type control-m to enter math mode.  Then just type latex math code in.  If you have any trouble, see the troubleshooting section below.
bulletTo make the spell checker work, click on the menu item Edit/Preferences/Language settings/Spellchecker/spell checker program and set it to aspell. Then close LyX and restart it.  The spell checker should now work.
bulletYou might want to make a shortcut to LyX to make it easier to start up.  This can be done by dragging lyx.exe onto the Windows “Start” button at the lower left corner of your screen.



I am only aware of a few problems you might have.  Their solutions are listed below.  If you have a different problem, let me know.  When we find the solution, I’ll list it below so that others can take advantage of it.  If you find your own solution, please let me know anyway so that I can add your solution to this list.  More troubleshooting information can be found at http://wiki.lyx.org/LyX/WindowsSetup.

bulletWhen I try to view or export a file, LyX generates an error box which says that it can’t find a certain package (for example, my installation complained about geometry.sty) .
bulletThis means that a LaTeX package that is used by your document has not been installed in MikTeX.  This is solved by opening “MikTex Options” and installing the needed package.
bulletInstead of mathematical symbols LyX displays the LaTeX code for the symbol highlighted in red.
bulletMake sure that you remembered to install the True-Type fonts (see the third step of the installation process).
bulletThe mathematical symbols look kind of thin and ugly.
bulletYou probably have the old screen fonts.  I have updated the screen fonts in the LyX download.  If you installed LyX using an older version of my zip archive, just download the new fonts here and install them.  By the way, these fonts are just for displaying text on your computer screen in LyX.  The standard LaTeX fonts will be used when you print or create .ps or .pdf files.
bulletYou can also adjust the way fonts look by going to Edit/Preferences/Look and feel/Screen fonts and increasing the Zoom %.  You can also improve the look by setting Windows to smooth fonts.  In windows 2000 this is done by opening up the control panel, clicking on Display, going to the effects tab, and checking the “smooth edges of screen fonts” option. Of course this will affect not only LyX but anything you do on the computer.
bulletI see all of the math symbols except \hbar, in which case just an h is displayed.
bulletYou need the new screen fonts.  See the answer to the question above this one.
bullet"Equals" signs only have one line or are not visible.
bulletSee the answer to the question above.
bulletImages don't show up in LyX, but look fine in DVI and Postscript.
bulletSee http://wiki.lyx.org/LyX/WindowsSetup.


© Dallin S. Durfee 2004