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I read on http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/Mathematics:

The mathtools package fixes some amsmath quirks and adds some useful settings, symbols, and environments to amsmath.

It sounds like "mathtools has everything that amsmath has and more", isn't it?

Are there cases when it is justified to use amsmath instead of mathtools?

In other words: Is mathtools "always" better?

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mathtools is an add on to amsmath – Marco Daniel Feb 8 '12 at 18:42
If it was not clear from @MarcoDaniel's comment, the mathtools package includes the amsmath package. – Peter Grill Feb 8 '12 at 20:50
@Peter load might be a better word, mathtools does not come with its own version of amsmath;-) – daleif Feb 9 '12 at 9:00
@daleif: One of the lines of code in mathtools is \RequirePackage{amsmath}, so that contents of amsmath are included/loaded/imported by mathtools. Since I do not know of load as being part of the LaTeX syntax, I think include would be a better choice (but did not use syntax highlighting as in include to indicate that it was a keyword). English not be my bestest :-) so leave it up to others to select the correct word. – Peter Grill Feb 9 '12 at 15:35
up vote 15 down vote accepted

I believe that the answer has been provided, mostly in the comments but here is a short summary:

The mathtools package loads the amsmath package, if it has not already been loaded. This is common in many packages that need to ensure that dependencies are loaded. If you have a look in mathtools.sty line 60, you will see:


As such if you only load mathtools, you will have both packages loaded and you do not need to \usepackage{amsmath} in your preamble. To see this you can run the following minimal:

     \AtBeginDocument{True amsmath is loaded\par}}{}

Certainly mathtools is not a replacement package for amsmath. This is clear from the package author's comments in the abstract and the introduction:

The mathtools package is an extension package to amsmath

Hope the above will help you a bit more as to how to find your way around LaTeX and the many packages that are available.

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Why do you say ¨Certainly mathtools is not a replacement package for amsmath. This is clear from the package author's comments in the abstract and the introduction¨ if mathtools has amsmath inside then mathtools is a replacement... cause mathtools=amsmath+other stuffs

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Welcome to TeX.SX! While the content of your answer is definitely true, it's more like a comment, in my point of view. – Christian Hupfer Nov 17 '15 at 19:18
@ChristianHupfer if only everyone here wrote in rhyme, we'd all have a far more interesting time. I agree that his answer is more of a comment, a faux-pas whose persistence I also lament. – sillyMunky Apr 17 at 18:44

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