Welcome to the UK List of
TeX Frequently Asked Questions
on the Web
We assume, here, that you have looked at all relevant
you can find, you’ve looked in
you have, and scanned relevant
… and still you don’t know what
There are two more steps you can take before formulating a question to
the TeX world at large.
First, (if you are seeking a particular package or program), start by
looking on your own system: you might already have what you seek —
the better TeX distributions provide a wide range of supporting
material. The CTAN Catalogue
identify packages that might help: you can
, or you can browse it
Each catalogue entry has a brief description of the package, and links to
known documentation on the net. In fact, a large proportion of
CTAN package directories now include documentation, so it’s
often worth looking at the catalogue entry for a package you’re considering
using (where possible, each package link in the main body of these
FAQs has a link to
the relevant catalogue entry).
Failing that, look to see if anyone has solved the problem before;
places where people ask are:
- newsgroup comp.text.tex, whose “historical posts”
are accessible via
- the mailing list
texhax via its
archive, or via the ‘Gmane’
newsgroup gmane.comp.tex.texhax, which holds a
very long history of the list. A long shot would be to
search the archives of the mailing list’s ancient posts on
CTAN, which go back to the days when it was a digest: in
those days, a question asked in one issue would only ever be
answered in the next one.
If the “back question” searches fail, you must ask the world at
So, how do you like to ask questions? — the three available
- Mailing lists: there are various specialist mailing lists, but
the place for ‘general’ (La)TeX queries is the
mailing list. Mail to email@example.com to ask a question,
but it’s probably better to subscribe to the list
first — not everyone will answer to you as well as to the list.
- Newsgroup: to ask a question on comp.text.tex, you
can use your own news client (if you have one), or use the “+ new
post” button on
- Web forum: alternatives are: the
“LaTeX community” site,
which offers a variety of ‘categories’ to place your query, and the
TeX, LaTeX and friends Q&A site
StackExchange has a scheme for voting on the quality of answers (and
hence of those who offer support). This arrangement is supposed to
enable you to rank any answers that are posted.
hints about “good behaviour”,
which any user should at least scan before asking for help there.
(The hints’ principal aim is to maximise the chance that you get useful
advice from the first answer; for example, it suggests that you supply a
minimal example of your problem, just as
these FAQs do. There are people on the site who can be abrasive
to those asking questions, who seem not to be following the
guidelines for good behaviour)
try mailing the LaTeX project team, the maintainers
of the TeX Live or MiKTeX distributions or the maintainers of
these FAQs for help; while all these addresses reach
experienced (La)TeX users, no small group can possibly have
expertise in every area of usage so that the “big” lists and forums
are a far better bet.
- texhax ‘back copies’
- digests/texhax; catalogue entry
This answer last edited: 2014-01-28
previous question, or
Go to FAQ home.
URL for this question: http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=gethelp
Comments, suggestions, or error reports? - see
“how to improve the FAQ”.
This is FAQ version 3.28, released on 2014-06-10.