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Sometimes, I get errors when I compile with pdfLaTeX in TeXnicCenter. Looking through the error logs, I get something like:

See the LaTeX manual or LaTeX Companion for explanation.
Type H <return> for immediate help.

How do I take advantage of this Type H <return> for immediate help? I'm new to LaTeX and I would purposefully introduce errors to my source so I could learn more about them.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Since your plan is to "purposefully introduce errors to my source so I could learn more about them", you might find this will help expedite your cunningly twisted goals:

Define a new profile in TeXnicCenter:

  1. Choose Define Output Profiles... from TeXnicCenter's Build menu
  2. Select the profile you'd like to use, e.g., LaTeX => PDF
  3. Clone it by clicking the Copy button
  4. Give it a nice new name, e.g., LaTeX => PDF (shell)
  5. In the Path to the (La)TeX compiler box, type launchpdflatex.bat
  6. In the Command line arguments to pass to the compiler box, type "%pm"

Create a new file called launchpdflatex.bat containing this line:

start cmd /K pdflatex.exe -interaction=errorstopmode %1

(you can omit the -interaction=errorstopmode part if you like.)

Save this file somewhere in your system path. (NB, this command assumes that the shell processor can also find pdflatex.exe somewhere in your system path.)

Now, whenever you've run a compile that has errors in it for which you'd like to Type H <return>, simply select your LaTeX => PDF (shell) profile from TeXnicCenter's LaTeX toolbar dropdown listbox and, voila, it will launch pdflatex in an interactive command shell for you. (Of course, TeXnicCenter won't run makeindex or whatever other postprocessor commands you have in your build profile, but, hey, you've got an error to deal with, so there's no point in chugging any further along.)

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Texniccenter builds the file in a way similar to a silent mode, and displays you only a subset of the log file. You can take advantage of the live help (type H for help) only if you build the file from a command prompt. That is: open a command prompt, go to the folder of the files you are working on, issue the command pdflatex filename.tex and see the output.

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I can't help with TeXnicCenter, but why not just run pdflatex on the file and then type H when you get an error?

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I'd answer your question like this: Because one of the advantages of TeXnicCenter is that you can compile out of the interface either by clicking a button or by using a key combination. With its "compile and view" function you can go directly from the editor to the viewer. – doncherry May 15 '11 at 23:22
@doncherry: I fail to see how that addresses my suggestion. Alessandro's suggestion is identical to mine, I note. – TH. May 16 '11 at 9:53
It is, but you were asking a question that didn't seem purely rhetorical to me. So, to clarify: What you're suggesting (as well as Alessandro) is giving up something that users of TC perceive as an advantage of TC. If you use TC you don't have to go to command prompt and type in pdflatex file.tex, you can use the editor's functionality for this. Obviously, the downside of this is that you can't really influence the compiling once it has started. Hope this helps? – doncherry May 16 '11 at 11:27
@doncherry: I was suggesting that to solve this particular issue: namely being able to issue the H to TeX, it would be possible to simply run pdflatex on the file. I'm not sure why you think I'm suggesting giving up using TC. – TH. May 17 '11 at 2:41

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