I'm just starting to learn latex and it is proving quite difficult since i keep getting errors...and errors that don't make sense... this is a .tex file i'm trying to ...
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1. ## Latex is being very annoying...

I'm just starting to learn latex and it is proving quite difficult since i keep getting errors...and errors that don't make sense...
this is a .tex file i'm trying to compile:
\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

blah

\end{document}
When i type "pdftex test.tex" this is the output:
Code:
This is pdfeTeX, Version 3.141592-1.21a-2.2 (Web2C 7.5.4)
entering extended mode
(./test.tex
! Undefined control sequence.
l.1 \documentclass
{article}
?(pressed enter)
! Undefined control sequence.
l.3 \begin
{document}
?(pressed enter again)
[1{/usr/share/texmf-var/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex.map}] )</usr/share/texmf
/fonts/type1/bluesky/cm/cmr10.pfb>
Output written on test.pdf (1 page, 6623 bytes).
Transcript written on test.log.
and when i open it in xpdf it looks something like this:
article
document
blah
i've searched google and various forums with little success. It makes no sense to me why this wouldn't compile properly. Even when i copy and paste from a latex "how to" it does the same thing...
Would someone please put an end to my confusion?

2. try "pdflatex"

3. thanks for replying but unfortunately that doesn't work.
this is the output:
Code:
This is pdfeTeX, Version 3.141592-1.21a-2.2 (Web2C 7.5.4)
kpathsea: Running mktexfmt pdflatex.fmt
fmtutil: format pdflatex' not available.
I can't find the format file pdflatex.fmt'!
I get similar errors when i try to compile a simple document in kile (a WYSIWYG editor)
any other suggestions? this is really frustrating...

4. Are you sure LaTeX is installed properly?

5. Originally Posted by spoon!
Are you sure LaTeX is installed properly?
It must not be. I went to another computer (SuSE 9.3) and tried pdflatex and it worked... very odd. Oh well. i'll just use that distro.
Thanks

6. On the problem computer, do you get the problem when you compile from tex to dvi and then convert the dvi to pdf?

7. it doesn't work even if i try to compile to dvi
this is the output:
\$ latex test.tex
This is pdfeTeX, Version 3.141592-1.21a-2.2 (Web2C 7.5.4)
kpathsea: Running mktexfmt latex.fmt
fmtutil: format latex' not available.
I can't find the format file latex.fmt'!

8. This is a old post but I came across it searching for a solution to the exact same problem with pdflatex in Suse 10.3.

I fixed it by running texhash.

heres a link with a little more detail.
LaTeX Tips: Installing and using custom packages and style files

hope it helps.

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