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Core Documentation

This page contains references to core documentation about LaTeX written by the LaTeX team. Articles on specific topics, talks, etc. can be found on the publication page indexed by topic.

In addition pointer to documentation in other languages (usually developed and maintained by user groups) is given. To find documentation that is available elsewhere on the net, visit the links page. Also, there's a whole page dedicated to books on LaTeX and related topics.

If you know about a good resource of TeX and related documentation not listed here or on the links page, please contact us.

Documentation distributed with LaTeX

General documentation

A short introduction to newer features of LaTeX is given in the following document:

The original guide describing commands introduced with LaTeX2e in 1994 (with some focus on the differences between the old LaTeX 2.09 and current standard LaTeX2e) is available as well. It remains relevant because the commands introduced between 1994 and 2020 are not included in the previous document:

For more extensive introductory documentation take a look at the links to contributed documentation that have their own page.

More advanced documentation about core LaTeX, which is available via the net includes:

The LaTeX3 programming layer (which is part of the LaTeX format) is documented in

Documentation of the new hook management

The hook management introduced in 2020 is largely intended for package developers. However, most of the available hooks can also be useful for document authors. The documentation is currently split across several documents:

Documentation of the new mark mechanism

The new mark mechanism introduced in 2022 offers arbitrary many independent marks and resolves the issues with LaTeX legacy marks (available through \markbox and \markright). The old mechanism remains available so that classes using it continue to work without any updates.

Typesetting complex mathematics

Specifically targeting the typesetting of mathematics is:

Japanese translations of documentation

Yukitoshi FUJIMURA kindly translated two of the above documents to the Japanese language. These are

He also provided a translation of “Short Math Guide for LaTeX” distributed and maintained by the American Mathematical Society (AMS):

Here are his comments on the translation.

Quick summary of changes by release

Changes made to the LaTeX kernel or to core packages maintained by the LaTeX team are discussed in some detail in the LaTeX News Newsletters that come as part of each release.

A document with all available issues bundled together in their historical order is ltnews.pdf.

Source code documentation

The full documentation of the source code with all commands and their implementation can be obtained by processing source2e.tex distributed as part of the LaTeX2e distribution. A compiled version (from the current release) with a list of all major changes and an index of all commands and their usage within the kernel is

As a companion document Martin Scharrer compiled a useful reference list with links back into the 2e source document if both are stored in the same directory:

For the implementation of the standard classes article, report, and book there also exists a document that contains the complete sources with commentary:

In 2015 we introduced a roll-back/roll-forward functionality by which it becomes possible to reset the kernel code (though not external packages at this stage) to the behavior that it had on a particular date. This can be useful when processing older documents. It is documented here:

Other non-english documentation

There is a lot of documentation in languages other than English. Lists of books and other resources in other languages are maintained by TeX user groups in the respective countries. The following are known to us: