Free Software
Recent news (2017-03-24): texosquery v1.2 released.

2.5 Terminal Or Command Prompt

Sometimes you may find that you need to use a command-line application. This is an application that doesn't have a graphical user interface. This isn't specific to TeX, but the TeX distribution comes with a number of them. In fact, front-ends (such as TeXWorks) run some of these applications for you when click on the typeset or build button.

Most operating systems provide a terminal or command prompt where you can type the command-line application name and any associated information. For example, Figure 2.1 shows a terminal running under Fedora on Linux.

To open the MSDOS Prompt, go to the Start menu, then “All Programs”, then “Accessories” and click on “MSDOS Prompt”.

To open the Mac Terminal, go to your “Applications” folder, open “Utilities” and double click on “Terminal”.

Unix etc
The Terminal is usually located either in the “Applications” menu or in the “System Tools” subdirectory of the “Applications” menu.

Figure 2.1: A Terminal


One such command-line application you are likely to need is texdoc. This is mentioned in more detail in §1.1. Class and Package Documentation, but to use texdoc you need to open the terminal or command prompt as described above and type texdoc followed by a package or class name, for example:

texdoc scrbook
(see Figure 2.2) then press the Enter or Return return key symbol key.

Figure 2.2: Running texdoc From a Terminal

Other TeX-related command-line applications include pdflatex, bibtex, makeindex, xindy and kpsewhich.

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Last modified: 2017-02-06.

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