Welcome to the UK List of
TeX Frequently Asked Questions


This is a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for English-speaking users of TeX.

The questions answered here cover a wide range of topics, but typesetting issues are mostly covered from the viewpoint of a LaTeX user. Some of the questions answered have little relevance to today’s users; this is inevitable — it’s easier to add information than it is to decide that information is no longer needed. The set of answered questions is therefore in a state of slow flux: new questions are answered, while old questions are deleted … but the whole process depends on the time available for FAQ maintenance.

You may use the FAQ

The source of the FAQ, available in the FAQ’s ctan directory, and its derived representations (currently, the HTML found at http://www.tex.ac.uk/faq and PDF copies, also in the FAQ’s ctan directory) are all placed in the public domain.

Almost all files suggested in any answer in these FAQs are available from ctan archives, and may be reached via links in the file list at the end of the answer. In particular, documentation (when available) is linked from the ctan Catalogue entry, which is also listed in the file list.

Unless doing so is unavoidable, the answers do not mention things that are not on the ctan archives. An obvious exception is web resources such as supplementary documents, etc.

Origins The FAQ was originated by the Committee of the UK TeX Users’ Group (UK TUG), in 1994, as a development of a regular posting to the Usenet newsgroup comp.text.tex that was maintained for some time by Bobby Bodenheimer. The first UK version was much re-arranged and corrected from the original, and little of Bodenheimer’s work now remains.

The Background

Documentation and Help

Bits and pieces of (La)TeX

Acquiring the Software

TeX Systems

DVI Drivers and Previewers

Support Packages for TeX

Literate programming

Format conversions

Installing (La)TeX files


Adobe Type 1 (“PostScript”) fonts

Macros for using fonts

Particular font families

Metafont fonts

Hypertext and PDF


Bibliographies and citations

Creating bibliographies

Creating citations

Manipulating whole bibliographies

Adjusting the typesetting

Alternative document classes

Document structure

Page layout

Spacing of characters and lines

Typesetting specialities

Tables of contents and indexes

Labels and references

How do I do…?



Tables, figures and diagrams

Floating tables, figures, etc.


Document management


Odds and ends

Symbols, etc.

Macro programming

“Generic” macros and techniques

LaTeX macro tools and techniques

LaTeX macro programming

Things are Going Wrong…

Getting things to fit

Making things stay where you want them

Things have “gone away”

Why does it do that?

Common errors

Common misunderstandings

Why shouldn’t I?

The joy of TeX errors

Current TeX-related projects

You’re still stuck?

Comments, suggestions, or error reports? -- see "Improving the FAQ" or "Extending the FAQ".

This is FAQ version 3.28, last modified on 2014-06-10. The server is sponsored by DANTE e.V.: The German speaking TeX Users Group. The server is maintained by Stefan Kottwitz.