Frequently Asked Question List for TeX


All the files used by this document

When you’re sharing a document with someone else (perhaps as part of a co-development cycle) it’s as well to arrange that both correspondents have the same set of auxiliary files, as well as the document in question. Your correspondent obviously needs the same set of files (if you use the url package, she has to have url too, for example). But suppose you have a bug-free version of the shinynew package but her copy is still the unstable original; until you both realise what is happening, such a situation can be very confusing.

The simplest solution is the LaTeX \listfiles command. This places a list of the files used and their version numbers in the log file. If you extract that list and transmit it with your file, it can be used as a check-list in case that problems arise.

Note that \listfiles only registers things that are input by the “standard” LaTeX mechanisms (\documentclass, \usepackage, \include, \includegraphics and so on). The \input command, as modified by LaTeX and used, with LaTeX syntax, as:


records file details for mymacros.tex, but if you use TeX primitive syntax for \input, as:

  \input mymacros

mymacros.tex won’t be recorded, and so won’t listed by \listfiles — you’ve bypassed the mechanism that records its use.

The snapshot package helps the owner of a LaTeX document obtain a list of the external dependencies of the document, in a form that can be embedded at the top of the document. The intended use of the package is the creation of archival copies of documents, but it has application in document exchange situations too.

The bundledoc system uses the snapshot to produce an archive (e.g., tar.gz or zip) of the files needed by your document; it comes with configuration files for use with TeX Live-Unix and MiKTeX. It’s plainly useful when you’re sending the first copy of a document.

The mkjobtexmf finds which files are used in a “job”, either via the -recorder option of TeX, or by using the (Unix) command strace to keep an eye on what TeX is doing. The files thus found are copied (or linked) to a directory which may then be saved for transmission or archiving.

FAQ ID: Q-filesused