Elnu's Blog

I write about things. Sometimes.

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.