LaTeX with Eclipse on Windows

Posted by Martin Homik | Posted in Windows | Posted on 08-01-2008


I prefer to use eclipse with texlipse plugin for writing latex documents. Texlipse also ships a spell checker plugin which easily makes use of aspell. In principle, the setup for the spell checker is not difficult, but you may run into difficulties the same way it occured to me. Hence, be aware of the following things:

  • Don’t use UTF-8!!! To be safe, use isolatin-1 as input encoding of your latex documents. This frees you from many errors, in particular when you need country specific characters as I do in Germany. Go to the document’s preferences, select ‘Resources’ and in ‘Text file encoding’ choose ‘iso8859-1′
  • Add to your document:
    1. usepackage[latin1]{inputenc}
  • In global preferences, go to Texlipse ->Spell Checker and add the following arguments:
    1. -a -t –lang=en_GB –encoding=iso8859-1personal=<apsell-dir>en.pws

    In this case I use the British English dictionary. The ‘personal’ option points to the personal dictionary file. By default, aspell will create a file en.pws in the aspell folder. You can change its entries manually. That’s what I do when eclipse does not offer the possibility. Of course, you can have several personal dictionaries, each for a project.

  • In the ‘Latex’ menu you can start ‘Check Spelling’. If hinted for an unknown word move the cursor over the word and hit Ctrl+Space and you get a set of suggestions in a context menu. The last entry is ‘Add to personal dictionary’.

In my view, this is a good tool on Windows. Migrating from Linux, I also tried Emacs+ispell but this caused a system crash. I tried also some other free Windows specific tools, but they were not intuitive enough. And if you are a Java programmer and used to work with Eclipse anyway, then you won’z have much trouble with Texlipse. Have fun.

Comments (10)


i like to ask: why not UTF-8?

About me:
I am Student and I’m using LaTeX on MacOSX, WinXp and (K)Ubuntu. With Latin1 there are some (more) problems with sharing documents, by using UTF-8 this happens only with TeXnicCenter on WinXP.



Probably, the difficulty is that you have to tweak options at so many places. Here, you have to i) set the document encoding in the editor, ii) tell aspell the used encoding, and iii) set it in the document itself \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} for the latex compiler.

I usually forget at least one step and get frustrated so I just stick to old habits which proved to be useful in particular when working with English and German documents. I have not considered utf-8 until you wrote the comment, so I have not tested iii) which I found by googling. And there is the question if it works on XP. Also, I work in a heterogeneous environment with people using older unix machines. Experience shows that UTF-8 is not a good choice here. Then, versioning systems have also a few bad habits sometimes. Yuo see, things are quite comples and I found my setting more or less by try and error. But if you managed to work with utf-8 then keep on doing it. :-)

Maybe, I should dive into this once more and recall what went wrong the last time.

I just tried iii) and it works on XP. Good to know. A nice starter: I’ve already learned something. :-)



TeXnicCenter ist not able to save in utf-8 (correctly).
better use eclipse and texlipse on win xp.


nice post. it helped me. thx :)

Thank you, you helped me!

Finally my aspell works with Texlipse on VISTA!!!! (except bib-tex auto completion..)
I use utf-8 encoding, by the way.

But at the moment, I do not find the personal dictionaries, although they seem to be stored somewhere……

But nontheless, thank you.

i prefer texlipse too.

Texlipse is great. But aspell (neither that from cygwin, nor that precompiled for windows) want to accept right written words with german chars (e.g. ß, ü etc.) if your aspell command looks like that: -a -t –lang=de –encoding=utf-8. There must be a problem with encoding handling within aspell, i think.
But, as I’ve realised, you can keep your documents encoded in utf-8 without resigning on aspell spell checking in texlipse. I set all encoding settings (workspace, project and document, as well as the inputenc package) to utf-8, but changed the aspell command, so it looks like this: -a -t –lang=de –encoding=iso8859-1 . I thought, it would not work, but it works great (at least for me: aspell 0.60.5-1 installed thru cygwin, windows vista x64 ent). So – if you want to use aspell within your utf-8 documents including german or other special characters, just try this solution.

Hi everyone!, im using texlipse under MAC oSX i’m writen a little document in spanish but i have a problem with “ñ” character this is my code:



\title{\bf\LaTeX\\ Taller 2}
\author{Ivan Dario Posada Suarez\\ Codigo: 0621041944}

this is my error message:

“Package inputenc error: Keyboard character used is undefined.”

Why this error???


Here is my environment:
Mac OS 10.6.3, Eclipse Galileo + Texlipse, cocoAspell 2.1

Eclipse Preferences: (Texlipse)
Directory for main dictionaries: /Library/Application Support/cocoAspell/aspell6-en-6.0-0

Directory for user dictionaries: /Library/Application Support/cocoAspell/aspell6-en-6.0-0

Aspell command:

Aspell arguments:
-a -t –lang=en_GB –encoding=iso8859-1 –personal=/Library/Application Support/cocoAspell/aspell6-en-6.0-0/en.pws

Using the above config, the spelling (check spelling under Latex Menu in Eclipse) does not work!

Please help. Thanks in advance.

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