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1. Introduction to AUCTeX

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

Read the ‘INSTALL’ or ‘INSTALL.windows’ file respectively for information about how to install AUCTeX. The files comprise the same information as the Installation chapter in the AUCTeX manual.

If you are upgrading from the previous version of AUCTeX, the latest changes can be found in the ‘CHANGES’ file. If you are upgrading from an older version, read the History chapter in the AUCTeX manual.

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

AUCTeX lets you run TeX/LaTeX/ConTeXt and LaTeX/ConTeXt-related tools, such as a output filters or post processor from inside Emacs. Especially ‘running LaTeX’ is interesting, as AUCTeX 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.

AUCTeX 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, AUCTeX provides a large range of handy Emacs macros, which in several different ways can help you write your LaTeX/ConTeXt documents fast and painlessly.

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

AUCTeX 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 AUCTeX project itself). AUCTeX 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 built-in online documentation of AUCTeX.

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1.1 Availability

The most recent version is always available at


WWW users may want to check out the AUCTeX page at


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1.2 Contacts

Several channels have been established for help, bug reports, feature requests and general discussion about AUCTeX. You’re very welcome to join. If you are only interested in information on updates, you could refer to the newsgroups ‘comp.text.tex’ and ‘gnu.emacs.sources’.

Bug reports on AUCTeX may be sent to bug-auctex@gnu.org. To join the list send mail to bug-auctex-subscribe@gnu.org.

The AUCTeX maintainers can be reached at auctex-devel@gnu.org. Subscription requests should be sent to auctex-devel-subscribe@gnu.org.

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1.2.1 XEmacs and AUCTeX

Note that the XEmacs package version currently lags the upstream version substantionally. If you are missing features or there seems to be a bug in features related to editing documents, you are probably best advised to remove the XEmacs package and install the upstream version before contacting the AUCTeX maintainers.

If you are having trouble installing the XEmacs package, or wish to help in updating the package version to the current upstream version, then xemacs-beta@xemacs.org is the appropriate channel.

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This document was generated by Aidan Kehoe on December 27, 2016 using texi2html 1.82.