A LaTeX reference manual - latexrefman

The current manual:

Goal and rationale

The goal is to update and amplify the long-existing unofficial LaTeX(2e) reference manual, which has been included in free TeX distributions for many years. It originated with George Greenwade, was updated for LaTeX 2.09 by Stephen Gilmore, and for LaTeX2e by Torsten Martinsen. None of these folks can continue work on the project, so I (Karl Berry) am currently maintaining it, happily joined by several colleagues, notably Vincent Belaïche and Jim Hefferon.

The goal is not to replace the major books about LaTeX; that would not be realistic. What is feasible, I hope, is to summarize the features (commands, environments, options, etc.) of core LaTeX2e. This information is reasonably available from the free LaTeX sources and documentation, but is not especially easy to access from there.

The manual is currently written in Texinfo. I like Texinfo, and want to keep it available in that form. However, I'm more than happy to accept new material in plain text, LaTeX, Docbook, or whatever format (I will integrate it into the Texinfo source). Patches made with diff -u are ideal, and with a ChangeLog entry is even more ideal, but I'll take anything.


The document is currently available in French, thanks to Vincent Belaïche, and in Spanish, thanks to Nacho Pacheco. A new maintainer for the Spanish is needed. Translations to additional languages would also be most welcome.

Contributions wanted

Reading through the document will turn up plenty of desirable improvements. There is lots to do: not all the commands introduced in LaTeX2e are present yet, default values are often missing, etc. Searching for xx in the (sole) source file latex2e.texi will show a few of the areas that need work.

Mailing lists

Please email contributions or anything else to latexrefman-discuss@gna.org (subscribe, archive). Any bug reports, suggestions, or discussion of whatever sort are welcome there.

The other mailing list is latexrefman-commits@gna.org (subscribe, archive). It gets a message for each commit to the Subversion repository (and no other traffic).


The license is the old-style GNU documentation license (“Permission is granted …”). This is because that is how the document was originally written, and one of the authors is deceased. It is a free documentation license, though regrettably incompatible with licenses more commonly used today.

Thanks to gna.org for hosting this latexrefman project.

$Date: 2016-05-08 19:01:00 +0200 (Sun, 08 May 2016) $