Windows Install of ReText

MarkStinson Dmitry Shachnev Todd Andrews Tim Benke Claus Andersen Philip Sharman

How to install ReText on Windows


Please replace Python34 with your version of Python, if it is different from 3.4.

  1. Download and install the latest version of Python.
  2. Download and install PyQt5 for your Python version from Get the 32-bit or 64-bit version to match your version of Python.
  3. Time to update your computer's Environmental Variables:

    • Click Start, right-click My Computer and select Properties.
    • Click Environment Variables.
    • For System Variables, click New. Then add:

    • Also add this:

    • Select the System Variable PATH, click Edit.

    • Update the PATH by adding C:\Python34;C:\Python34\Lib\site-packages\PyQt5\bin; to the front of it, like so: PATH=C:\Python34;C:\Python34\Lib\site-packages\PyQt5\bin;etc.
  4. Download and run which will install setuptools package, which provides easy_install tool (more info).

  5. Time to install additional Python libraries.

    • Select Start -> Run cmd then cd \Python34\Tools\Scripts.
    • Enter:

      pip install Pygments
      pip install Markdown
      pip install docutils
      pip install Markups
    • If pip install does not work for you, install pip or try easy_install.

  6. Download and unpack ReText

  7. Download and unpack ReText icons pack
  8. Place the unpacked icons into the ReText\icons folder
  9. Run cmd then cd to the ReText folder. Then enter: python

Creating a Launch Shortcut

If you wish to ReText to have a Shortcut to start it. Then you can pin it to your Start menu, copy to your Desktop or Quick Launch, etc.

For local installs

  1. Right-click drag-n-drop the and select "Create shortcuts here"
  2. Adjust the properties of the shortcut
  3. Change the Shortcut tab: Target: C:\python34\pythonw.exe's path ; Run = minimized ; Change Icon (to whatever you like).
  4. Change the General tab: rename it to "ReText"

If you wish for the python shell box to not appear, you should follow the USB Stick Batch file instructions at the moment.

For USB Sticks

  1. Copy C:\python34 to USB Stick, say U:\python34
  2. Put ReText on the stick
  3. Create the following BAT file: retext.bat

    REM ReText Startup batch file
    REM -------------------------
    REM determine drive letter of batchfile
    for /f "delims=\" %%d in ('cd') do set curdrv=%%d
    echo %curdrv%
    REM Set ENVs using current drive letter if ENVs not set for USB Sticks
    REM REM them out if you have the ENVs set
    set PYTHONPATH=%curdrv%\Python34\Lib;%curdrv%\Python34\Lib\site-packages
    set PATH=%curdrv%\Python34;%curdrv%\Python34\Lib\site-packages\PyQt5\bin;%PATH%
    REM Start ReText
    start /B %curdrv%\Python34\pythonw.exe %CD%\
  4. Right-click drag-n-drop the retext.bat and select "Create shortcuts here"

  5. Adjust the properties of the shortcut
  6. Change the Shortcut tab: Run = minimized ; Change Icon (to whatever you like)
  7. Change the General tab: rename it to "ReText"


  • Install performed without a proxy. easy_install requires an internet connection. You're on your own dealing with a proxy. As there's really no Registry Entries, you could install else where and copy to USB Stick and create the batch file.
  • Untested with ActiveState Python, so adjust your steps accordingly.


1 2 > >> (Page 1 of 2)
  • Dmitry Shachnev

    Dmitry Shachnev - 2012-03-13

    Now that ReText supports Python 3, this guide needs to be updated to use Python 3.2 instead of 2.7.

    I've fixed some minor issues now and updated some links.

  • Anonymous - 2012-04-28

    Why not use py2exe ( to make binaries for Windows users? They could just run ReText like a regular program, or you could even make an installer (I think there is an option for that). No need for them to install libraries, you can package them into your EXE.

    • Dmitry Shachnev

      Dmitry Shachnev - 2012-04-29

      The reason is the same as why I don't create RPMs for Linux and DMGs for OS X — I just don't have enough time and resources to do that.

      However, I'll appreciate if someone other will do that.

      • Tim Benke

        Tim Benke - 2012-12-20

        Actually I like the current distribution format, because I can easily make small adjustments in the code. I was using some other Python WriteRoom-clone and it a hassle to get to the actual code just to disable some annoying dialogs...

        Last edit: Tim Benke 2012-12-20
  • Anonymous - 2012-05-28

    Download and install PyQt for Python 2.7 from

    You will want to drop the period of the end of the link

    • Dmitry Shachnev

      Dmitry Shachnev - 2012-05-31

      Thanks, fixed the link!

  • Anonymous - 2012-12-23

    If you use pythonw.exe instead of python.exe, the command prompt window won't show.

    So the shortcut's target should look something like this:

    C:\Python33\pythonw.exe C:\Path\to\ReText\

    • Dmitry Shachnev

      Dmitry Shachnev - 2012-12-24

      Thanks, I've updated the post.

      • Anonymous - 2015-04-22

        When I execute C:\Python34\pythonw.exe C:\Path\to\ReText\ I see ReText flashing open and directly closing again.
        With C:\Python34\python.exe C:\Path\to\ReText\ it does work however then ofcourse I also get a command promt window...

  • Anonymous - 2013-01-27

    Found a typo... Please change
    PYTHONPATH=C:\Python\Lib\;C:\Python\Lib\site-packages\ to

    Thanks (great program!)

  • Anonymous - 2013-06-03

    please add to "Installation" "easy_install docutils" to support reStructuredText.

    • Dmitry Shachnev

      Dmitry Shachnev - 2013-06-03

      Done (feel free to edit this page yourself, it's wiki!)

  • Anonymous - 2013-06-03

    On linux in live-preview in case of any error is displayed Docutils System Messages, for example:
    System Message: ERROR / 3 (<string>, line 5); backlink
    Unknown target name: "foobar".

    In windows 7 live-preview in this case is frozen: no error is displayed and the contents of the preview is not updated when entering a new text. Is there any way to do ReText more comfortable in Windows?

    • Dmitry Shachnev

      Dmitry Shachnev - 2013-06-05

      Unfortunately I don't know what can cause this behaviour, but I can suggest you to play with Docutils' report_level and halt_level config options.

  • Anonymous - 2013-09-27

    In this guide, you wrote to install PyQt; however, this seems to require PySide instead.

    • Dmitry Shachnev

      Dmitry Shachnev - 2013-09-29

      Both PyQt and PySide are supported, but PyQt5 is the preferred backend.

  • Anonymous - 2013-12-17
    1. create a portable folder Ex: u:\portableReText\
    2. copy Python33 to u:\portableReText\Python33
    3. copy ReText-4.1.1 to u:\portableReText\ReText-4.1.1
    4. create retext.bat in u:\portableReText\

      set XDIR=%CD%
      set PYTHONPATH=%XDIR%\Python33\Lib;%XDIR%\Python33\Lib\site-packages
      set PATH=%XDIR%\Python33;%XDIR%\Python33\Lib\site-packages\PyQt4\bin;%PATH%
      cd %XDIR%\ReText-4.1.1
      start /B %XDIR%\Python33\pythonw.exe %XDIR%\ReText-4.1.1\
    5. now , we can move portableReText folder to any location , not only u:\
      Ex: D:\TOOLS\portableReText
      click D:\TOOLS\portableReText\retext.bat to run ReText

    Last edit: Dmitry Shachnev 2013-12-22
  • Anonymous - 2014-03-07

    I followed the guide and "easy_install" was not a recognized command. I double-checked the env variables and they were correct (I copy/pasted from the guide). I'm going to go and install something made for Windows now...

    • Dmitry Shachnev

      Dmitry Shachnev - 2014-03-08

      Right, better install something made for Windows. ReText is not supported on Windows.

      I will now update the guide to recommend pip instead of easy_install.

  • Anonymous - 2014-04-12

    Windows 7 x64

    During installation only one errors was occurred, where "pip install ElementTree"
    There was something like "Could not find any downloads that satisfy the requirement ElementTree"
    By using easy_install it was not successfull too.
    But at the end of... it's looks like it works...
    Not checked all functionality at all.

    p.s. о боже. мне лучше говорить по русски ))

    • Dmitry Shachnev

      Dmitry Shachnev - 2014-04-15

      Right, ElementTree is part of Python since 2.x times, so no need to install it separately. I removed that line now, thanks!

  • Anonymous - 2014-04-12

    editor font not monospaced on windows 7 x64

    • Dmitry Shachnev

      Dmitry Shachnev - 2014-04-15

      As a work-around, you can specify a custom editorFont settings in the configuration file.

      P.S. Patches for the code are welcome.

  • Anonymous - 2014-09-23

    Will you be updating the ppa for Ubuntu users to make it easier to upgrade to version 5? The latest version installable through the ppa is 4.1.2.

    • Dmitry Shachnev

      Dmitry Shachnev - 2014-09-24


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