auctex / doc / faq.texi

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@ifset rawfile
@include macros.texi
@chapheading Frequently Asked Questions about @AUCTeX{}
@end ifset

@c We should switch to sectioning commands instead of items when this
@c list grows.  Keep in mind to formulate short questions because
@c section headings will not be broken in contrast to items.
Something is not working correctly.  What should I do?

Well, you might have guessed it, the first place to look is in the
available documentation packaged with @AUCTeX{}.  This could be the
release notes (in the @file{RELEASE} file) or the news section of the
manual in case you are experiencing problems after an upgrade, the
@file{INSTALL} file in case you are having problems with the
installation, the section about bugs in the manual in case you
encountered a bug or the relevant sections in the manual for other
related problems.

If this did not help, you can send a bug report to the @AUCTeX{} bug
reporting list by using the command @kbd{M-x TeX-submit-bug-report RET}.
But before you do this, you can try to get more information about the
problem at hand which might also help you locate the cause of the error

First, you can try to generate a so-called backtrace which shows
functions involved in a program error.  In order to do this, start Emacs
with the command line @samp{emacs --debug-init} and/or put the line

(setq debug-on-error t)
@end lisp

as the first line into your init file.  XEmacs users might want to add
@code{(setq stack-trace-on-error t)} as well.  After Emacs has started,
you can load a file which triggers the error and a new window should pop
up showing the backtrace.  If you get such a backtrace, please include
it in the bug report.

Second, you can try to figure out if something in your personal or site
configuration triggers the error by starting Emacs without such
customizations.  You can do this by invoking Emacs with the command line
@samp{emacs -q -no-site-file}.  Once Emacs is running, copy the line

(load "auctex.el" nil t t)
@end lisp

into the @samp{*scratch*} buffer and type @kbd{M-x eval-buffer RET}.
This makes sure that @AUCTeX{} will be used for the file types it
supports.  After you have done so, you can load the file triggering the
error.  If everything is working now, you know that you have to search
either in the site configuration file or your personal init file for
statements related to the problem.

What versions of Emacs and XEmacs are supported?

@AUCTeX{} was tested with @w{Emacs 21} and @w{XEmacs 21.4.15}.  Older
versions may work but are unsupported.  Older versions of XEmacs might
possibly made to work by updating the @file{xemacs-base} package through
the XEmacs package system.  If you are looking for a recommendation, it
would appear that the smoothest working platform on all operating
systems at the current point of time would be @w{Emacs 22.1}.  At the
time of this writing, however, it has not been released and is still
under development.  The quality of the development version is quite
solid, so we recommend giving it a try.  With a developer version, of
course, you have to be prepared to update in case you managed to get
your snapshot at a bad time.  The second best choice would be the latest
released @w{Emacs 21.4}.  However, Unicode support is less good, there
is no version for the popular GTK toolkit, and the native versions for
Windows and MacOS don't offer toolbar and @previewlatex{} support.

Our success with XEmacs has been less than convincing.  Under the
Windows operating system, nominally the only option for a released,
stable Emacs variant supporting toolbars and @previewlatex{} would be
@w{XEmacs 21.4}.  However, code for core functionality like formatting
and syntax highlighting tends to be different and often older than even
@w{Emacs 21.4}, and Unicode support as delivered is problematic at best,
missing on Windows.  Both @AUCTeX{} and XEmacs developers don't hear
much from active users of the combination.  Partly for that reason,
problems tend to go unnoticed for long amounts of time and are often
found, if at all, after releases.  No experiences or recommendations can
be given for beta or developer versions of XEmacs.

Why doesn't the completion, style file, or multi-file stuff work?

It must be enabled first, insert this in your init file:

(setq-default TeX-master nil)
(setq TeX-parse-self t)
(setq TeX-auto-save t)
@end lisp

Read also the chapters about parsing and multifile documents in the

Why doesn't @code{TeX-save-document} work?

@code{TeX-check-path} has to contain "./" somewhere.

Why is the information in @file{foo.tex} forgotten when I save

For various reasons, @AUCTeX{} ignores the extension when it stores
information about a file, so you should use unique base names for your
files.  E.g. rename @file{foo.bib} to @file{foob.bib}.

Why doesn't @AUCTeX{} signal when processing a document is done?

If the message in the minibuffer stays "Type `C-c C-l' to display
results of compilation.", you probably have a misconfiguration in your
init file (@file{.emacs}, @file{init.el} or similar).  To track this
down either search in the @samp{*Messages*} buffer for an error message
or put @code{(setq debug-on-error t)} as the first line into your init
file, restart Emacs and open a @LaTeX{} file.  Emacs will complain
loudly by opening a debugging buffer as soon as an error occurs.  The
information in the debugging buffer can help you find the cause of the
error in your init file.

What does AUC stand for?

@AUCTeX{} came into being at Aalborg University in Denmark.  Back then
the Danish name of the university was Aalborg Universitetscenter; AUC
for short.

@end enumerate