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Introduction to AUC TeX

This section of the AUC TeX manual gives a brief overview of what AUC TeX is, and the section is also available as a `README' file. It is not an attempt to document AUC TeX. Real documentation for AUC TeX is available in the rest of the manual, which you can find in the `doc' directory.

Read the `INSTALLATION' file for information about how to install AUC TeX. It is identical to the Installation chapter in the AUC TeX manual.

If you are upgrading from the previous version of AUC TeX, the latest changes can be found in the `CHANGES' file. If you are upgrading from an older version, read the History chapter in the AUC TeX manual.

AUC TeX is a comprehensive customizable integrated environment for writing input files for LaTeX using GNU Emacs.

AUC TeX lets you run TeX/LaTeX and other LaTeX-related tools, such as a output filters or post processor from inside Emacs. Especially `running LaTeX' is interesting, as AUC TeX lets you browse through the errors TeX reported, while it moves the cursor directly to the reported error, and displays some documentation for that particular error. This will even work when the document is spread over several files.

AUC TeX automatically indents your `LaTeX-source', not only as you write it -- you can also let it indent and format an entire document. It has a special outline feature, which can greatly help you `getting an overview' of a document.

Apart from these special features, AUC TeX provides an large range of handy Emacs macros, which in several different ways can help you write your LaTeX documents fast and painless.

All features of AUC TeX are documented using the GNU Emacs online documentation system. That is, documentation for any command is just a key click away!

AUC TeX is written entirely in Emacs-Lisp, and hence you can easily add new features for your own needs. It was not made as part of any particular employment or project (apart from the AUC TeX project itself). AUC TeX is distributed under the `GNU Emacs General Public License' and may therefore almost freely be copied and redistributed.

The next sections are a short introduction to some `actual' features. For further information, refer to the build-in online documentation of AUC TeX.

Indentation and formatting

AUC TeX may automatically indent your document as you write it. By pressing lfd instead of ret at the end of a line, the current line is indented by two spaces according to the current environment level, and the cursor is moved down one line. By pressing tab, the current line is indented, and the cursor stays where it is. The well-known Emacs feature format-paragraph (M-q) is reimplemented especially for AUC TeX to follow the indentation. A special command LaTeX-fill-buffer lets you indent an entire document like the well-known C utility indent (this time, only according to the LaTeX structure :-).


By studying your `\documentstyle' command (in the top of your document), and consulting a precompiled list of (La)TeX symbols from a large number of TeX and LaTeX files, AUC TeX is aware of the LaTeX commands you should able to use in this particular document. This `knowledge' of AUC TeX is used for two purposes.

  1. To make you able to `complete' partly written LaTeX commands. You may e.g. write \renew and press M-tab (TeX-complete-symbol), and then AUC TeX will complete the word `\renewcommand' for you. In case of ambiguity it will display a list of possible completions.
  2. To aid you inserting environments, that is \begin - \end pairs. This is done by pressing C-c C-e (LaTeX-environment), and you will be prompted for which `environment' to insert.

Editing your document

A number of more or less intelligent keyboard macros have been defined to aid you editing your document. The most important are listed here below.

(C-c C-e) Insert a `\begin{}' -- `\end{}' pair as described above.
(C-c C-s) Insert one of `\chapter', `\section', etc.
(C-c C-f C-r, C-c C-f C-i, C-c C-f C-b) Insert one of `{\textrm }'), `{\textit \/}' `{\textbf }' etc.

A number of additional functions are available. But it would be far too much to write about here. Refer to the rest of the AUC TeX documentation for further information.

Running LaTeX

When invoking on of the commands TeX-command-master (C-c C-c) or TeX-command-region (C-c C-r) LaTeX is run on either the entire current document or a given region of it. The Emacs view is split in two, and the output of TeX is printed in the second half of the screen, as you may simultaneously continue editing your document. In case TeX found any errors when processing your input you can call the function TeX-next-error (C-c `) which will move the cursor to the first given error, and display a short explanatory text along with the message TeX gave. This procedure may be repeated until all errors have been displayed. By pressing C-c C-w (TeX-toggle-debug-boxes) you can toggle whether the browser also should notify over-full/under-full boxes or not.

Once you've successfully formatted your document, you may preview or print it by invoking TeX-command-master again.


Along with AUC TeX comes support for outline mode for Emacs, which lets you browse the sectioning structure of your document, while you will still be able to use the full power of the rest of the AUC TeX functionality.


The most recent version is always available by ftp at


In case you don't have access anonymous ftp, you can get it by email requests to `<ftpmail@decwrl.dec.com>'.

WWW users may want to check out the AUC TeX page at



There has been established a mailing list for help, bug reports, feature requests and general discussion about AUC TeX. You're very welcome to join. Traffic average at an article by day, but they come in bursts. If you are only interested in information on updates, you could refer to the newsgroups `comp.text.tex' and `gnu.emacs.sources'.

If you want to contact the AUC TeX mailing list, send mail to `<auc-tex-request@iesd.auc.dk>' in order to join. Articles should be send to `<auc-tex@iesd.auc.dk>'.

To contact the current maintainers of auc-TeX directly, email `<auc-tex_mgr@iesd.auc.dk>'.

        AUC TeX development
        c/o Kresten Krab Thorup 

        Mathematics and Computer Science
        University of Aalborg
        DK 9000 Aalborg

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