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Chapter1Important introductory notes

This tutorial will help novice PreTeXt (PTX) users install necessary software on their Windows machine and learn the basics of compiling PTX files into HTML and PDF forms. It will be important to keep the following in mind throughout.

  • Much of the documentation about PreTeXt (PTX) will refer to it by its previous name, MathBook XML (XML), and many of the example PTX documents found in the mathbook repo (you'll learn what that is in Chapter 3) will have XML extensions. “XML” is being slowly being migrated to “PTX” in the documentation, but it may take a while since the documentation is extensive! You can replace, in your mind, XML with PTX anytime it appears.

  • We recommend NOT changing PATH environment variables on Windows unless you absolutely have to. Which sometimes you do. But if you see in documentation that changing the PATH variable is optional, don't do it. Many Windows users have a surprising amount of trouble changing PATH variables, through no fault of their own.

  • You're encouraged to join the Google group pretext-support:!forum/pretext-support. When you run into trouble or have questions, you can post in the group; you can also search the group for possible posts addressing your questions.

  • Corrections, comments, suggestions, and edits are encouraged! If you are a novice, please send feedback to Jessica at or post in the pretext-support group. More seasoned users: the source materials for this document reside in the GitHub sklarjk/novices repo. Feel free to create a new issue on the repo, or initiate a pull request with proposed edits.