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Managing Rendering of LaTeX

Posted by Elnu on

Previously I’ve used pdflatex to render my LaTeX documents, but I’ve just come across latexmk, which provides much more powerful options. Here’s a list of the commands I make use of, taken from this guide by Matthias Geier (mgeier).

  • latexmk -pdf [file] Generate a PDF file from a TeX file. The -pdf option prevents the additional generation of DVI files, the machine-readable version of TeX. Omitting the file name will generate all of the files in the current directory.
  • latexmk -c [file] Delete all extra temporary files created in the rendering process.
  • latexmk -C [file] Delete all generated files, only leaving the original TeX files. (Clean directory.)
  • latexmk -pvc <file> (File parameter only optional if there is only one TeX file in the directory.) Open up a previewer that automatically refreshes as you are editing your file! Previously, I was using the xuhdev/vim-latex-live-preview extension for Vim using the :LLPStartPreview command, but it was randomly Failed to compile errors, so it made debugging your markup difficult. By default (at least on my system), -pvc opens up the xdvik previewer. You can change this by updating ~/.latexmkrc.

Also a side note, when writing this up I came across docopt, a standard for writing CLI documentation. I had a general idea of the syntax already from seeing it used all over the place, but knowing that there’s a standardized spec to refer to is nice. For example, I didn’t realize until now that square brackets [] are used when arguments are optional, rather than the standard <>. The more you know.