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I can't see any situation where I would want to compile a dvi file. Therefore I'd like to have latexmk default to giving me a pdf via pdflatex, so I don't have to type -pdf every time. I've tried adding the following to my latexmkrc file without success:


$pdflatex = 'pdflatex --shell-escape %O %S';

and even


I'm on windows, so I can't just add it to my alias file. Is there a way to set up latexmk to make me a pdf unless I specify otherwise?

share|improve this question
$pdf_mode = 1; !? – Hans-Peter E. Kristiansen Jul 8 '13 at 22:34
@Hans-PeterE.Kristiansen Yep, that was it. Want to make that an answer? For the record: I feel dumb for missing that in the manual. – Canageek Jul 8 '13 at 22:36
If you add -synctex=1' after %O %S, you can use forward and inverse search in your pdf viewer if it has that feature. – dustin Jul 8 '13 at 22:49
up vote 14 down vote accepted

You need $pdf_mode = 1; to enable pdf mode. The manual says it is the same as the option:


Equivalent to the -pdf-, -pdf, -pdfdvi, -pdfps options.

A sensible place to store the configuration file is $HOME/.latexmkrc

Here is my complete .latexmkrc file:

$recorder = 1;
$pdf_mode = 1;
$bibtex_use = 2;
$pdflatex = "pdflatex --shell-escape %O %S";
$pdf_previewer = "start open -a preview %O %S";

add_cus_dep('glo', 'gls', 0, 'run_makeglossaries');
add_cus_dep('acn', 'acr', 0, 'run_makeglossaries');

sub run_makeglossaries {
  if ( $silent ) {
    system "makeglossaries -q '$_[0]'";
  else {
    system "makeglossaries '$_[0]'";

push @generated_exts, 'glo', 'gls', 'glg';
push @generated_exts, 'acn', 'acr', 'alg';
$clean_ext .= ' %R.ist %R.xdy';

For more latexmk example_rcfiles and extra-scripts :



share|improve this answer
Dumb question: What is the Home directory on Windows? – Canageek Mar 19 '15 at 19:27
@Canageek: I do not know. Juan A. Navarro wrote this, but I agree. I only have bad childhood memories of trying to use windows for anything other than games and fun. The best solution(seen from my perspective) would be to install Linux(Ubuntu,...), OSX or some other Unix. I guess that this solution is too extreme for most windows users. – Hans-Peter E. Kristiansen Mar 19 '15 at 20:54
It would be, as a lot of software I need for work only runs on Windows, and my home P.C. is for gaming. – Canageek Mar 22 '15 at 23:35

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