The l2h help pages   © Leon van Dommelen 
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Windows Installation Guide

WARNINGS: There is no warranty of any kind on this free software. And there are copyrights by various authors.


This installation is for 32 bit Windows operating systems. There is not yet a 64 bit version of l2h. The installation has been tested on Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8.

As far as Windows 8 was concerned, I seem to remember that I had to fight a bit before it would run the installer. Double-clicking l2h_MS.exe did not work. I had to right-click it and explicitly select "Run". In any case, it ran fine then. I also had to follow the instructions for a full disk search to locate some files, but that should be fixed now (in versions 1.1, Aug 29 2013, and later.) If not, let me know.

If you install (the full) TeX Live, you will need about 4 gigabyte of disk space and a fast internet connection. If you install MiKTeX instead, you will need about half a gigabyte of disk space. The disk space required by l2h itself is zero compared to these numbers.

Example installations

There are graphical example installations available, in case you want more help after reading the steps in the next section. There is a Windows Vista/MiKTeX installation example and a Windows 7/TeX Live installation example. Both examples start with installing all required software, not just l2h, and end with fully processing the example document.

Installation procedure

Note: Unlike what your firewall may say, l2h does not access the web. However, the programs that l2h runs, like MiKTeX, Adobe Acrobat, and Ghostview, do typically access the web for their own nefarious purposes. (Do not stop MiKTeX doing so, however.) As their parent process, l2h then shares in the blame.

Note: These instructions assume that you are installing l2h through a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows you to click files in folders and such. If you have no GUI, like when you are using "Putty" or "ssh" to access a remote computer, see nonGUI.html for how to compensate.

The installation involves the following basic steps:

  1. Install LaTeX (either MiKTeX or TeXLive), ghostscript, and Perl.
    1. Either MiKTeX: see I recommend installing as administrator for all users, because that is what I did. (I installed MiKTeX 2.9.4521 on a very old Windows XP portable.) A4 paper is European; in the USA use "letter".
    2. Or TeXLive: see
    3. ghostscript: see
    4. Perl: see
  2. Login as the user you will be when processing LaTeX documents. (If you want to install as root for multiple users, or use a RAM disk, see the FAQ.)
  3. Download or (This is about 15 Mbytes, or 50 Mbytes unzipped.) Put it in some place you can find it, like on your desktop or in your documents folder. Find it and double click it. The l2h folder will be created.
  4. Open the created folder "l2h" and double-click "install_l2h". Follow the instructions on the created terminal screen. Normally, you just hit the Enter key for each question.
  5. If the installation does not create error messages, that should be it. You should see a congratulatory message. If not, there was a problem. A web page "how_to_get_started" should open in your default browser. If not, open the web page manually. It is the "help-files" subfolder of l2h.

Unfortunately, newer versions of operating systems are often not compatible with older ones. (Although Microsoft is usually pretty good in that respect.) If you have a problem installing to a newly revised Windows operating system, contact Leon van Dommelen for advice. For other installation problems, first look in trouble_shooting.

Important: Updating l2h

Whenever you move l2h elsewhere, (which you should avoid doing if possible), or your latex, ghostscript, or perl changes location, you must rerun install_l2h. Before doing so, exit all other l2h windows. (If you do move l2h, afterwards you will also need to update all document folders outside l2h that you are still working on. To update a document folder, replace the "l2h_menu" file in it by a copy of the updated one in the "example" folder of l2h.)


L2h makes zero changes to your system. Simply delete the l2h folder and the zip file in which you downloaded it and it is completely gone. The other software you may have installed in order to use l2h, like LaTeX, perl, and ghostscript, come with their own uninstallers. You will need to uninstall each separately.
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