is about finding the cause of errors or wrong results in (La)TeX code/documents using a methodical approach.

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7
votes
1answer
2k views

TikZ datavisualization example fails

While trying an example from the datavisualization section of the current TikZ manual I get a strange error message. On my system I have the current MikTeX 2.9 and installed the CVS version of TikZ ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

A \typeout (or expandable command) that can expand once - or with variable levels of expansion?

Consider the following MWE: \documentclass[12pt]{article} \begin{document} \def\aaa{something} \typeout{=1==\aaa==} \typeout{=1==\meaning\aaa==} \typeout{} \def\bbb{else \aaa, else} ...
7
votes
1answer
356 views

pdflatex from texlive enters infinite loop

I'm working on a text that makes `pdflatex (from texlive) enter an infinite loop. After experimenting for a while I got a minimum working example, which I show below: \documentclass{article} ...
7
votes
2answers
142 views

Redefine \newcommand to insert code at start and end of custom macros

I would like to be able to insert code into the definitions of my custom macros, without having to modify each macro definition. This seemed like a simple case of redefining \newcommand, but this ...
7
votes
1answer
122 views

What is wrong with this macro-defining macro?

have this \newsetter macro that defines a "setter" macro (for lack of a better name) and a @-prefixed macro of the same name that holds the value. This is how is supposed to work: \newsetter\macro ...
7
votes
2answers
229 views

Showing definition of macros with custom characters?

Consider the following MWE: \documentclass{book} \usepackage{biblatex} \begin{document} \typeout{1.=\meaning\usebibmacro} \typeout{2.=\meaning\usebibmacro{name:first-last}} \makeatletter ...
7
votes
1answer
530 views

Methods for debugging package conflicts

... that don't make me want to pull my (remaining) hair out. I'm preparing a long journal article with a wide array of necessary packages and a publisher-specific class file. In this specific case, ...
7
votes
1answer
511 views

I cannot determine the error between hyperref and hypdvips

Look at the following Minimal Non Working Example. It's not correct, because the output pdf will be created. Nevertheless the logfile produces an error. It took me a lot of time and I am still not ...
7
votes
1answer
565 views

bug with page numbers when using soul package

I recently ran into a curious bug when using the soul package. I managed to boil it down to the following example. The problem is that the page numbers get messed up. In the example below, they should ...
7
votes
1answer
319 views

Bug in polylongdiv?

\documentclass{article} \usepackage{polynom} \begin{document} \polylongdiv{x^4-1}{x^3+x^2} \end{document} It leaves out the first x in the quotient. How can I fix this?
6
votes
3answers
418 views

\settowidth problem in tikz and in groups

I just came to the following problem - using \settowidth on a length in a tikzpicture resets that length to 0? Here is a (totally command-line) MWE, compiled with pdflatex test.tex: ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Too many math alphabets used in version normal when using 4 packages only

This one is very strange. After much struggle, I narrowed it down to some combination of 4 packages. When I comment any one of these 4 packages, the error goes away. MWE ...
6
votes
2answers
227 views

How can I produce the output of a carriage return in a \message?

It's all in the title. How is it possible to output a carriage return in a \message. For debugging purposes, I need to get readable messages. The obvious doesn't work : \message{A\cr B} outputs A\cr B ...
6
votes
2answers
546 views

Problems with tilde (~) and line breaking

I'm trying to avoid a line break between the word "Table" and the number reference for that table. Following the advice of another Q&A, I went through my whole document and replaced all spaces ...
6
votes
2answers
164 views

siunitx: why is there a value in \num{} with empty argument?

I accidentally stumbled upon the following Problem: If I use the \num command of the siunitx package and leave the argument empty like \num{}, I get a value in my pdf output and it seems to ...
6
votes
1answer
163 views

Is there a bracket missing in teubner.sty? [closed]

When TeXifying files where I use teubner.sty, LaTeX complains Runaway argument? {\setcounter {verso}{##1}\def \writ@verso {\count 255=\value {verso}\divide \ETC . ! File ended while scanning use of ...
6
votes
2answers
137 views

Elusive bug when using mathalfa with amsart

I got a strange bug using the two aforementioned packages when I try to build the TOC. The bug happens only after I typeset twice with pdfLaTeX and forbids me to build the TOC. Edit : following ...
6
votes
1answer
354 views

pdfcrop results in fmtutils.cnf not found

I just tried pdfcrop but it results in an error message telling me that the file fmtutil.cnf was not found. The complete error message is: pdfcrop testfile.pdf PDFCROP 1.38, 2012/11/02 - Copyright ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

Strange result in plotting data using pgfplots

I'm trying to plot this: \begin{tikzpicture} \begin{axis}[ height=5cm, width=\linewidth] \addplot[smooth,blue] plot coordinates { (27,177) (28,223) (29,240) (30,227) ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How do automatic overlay specification work in beamer?

I've tried reading the excellent Beamer user guide, but failed to understand. I understand the basic idea: there's a counter beamerpauses that is advanced by a + inside an overlay specification. You ...
6
votes
2answers
830 views

hyperref incorrect links: how to debug?

Problem Statement. I am writing a large document that is too big to provide here for illustration. For the first hundred pages or so, the hyperlinks are correctly matched to the displayed text. For ...
6
votes
1answer
115 views

Discovering which (La)Tex element is shown by lua-visual-debug (print to stdout)?

I am trying to troubleshoot what happens in the code in Wrong placement (and/or size) of picture / plot with groupplot of table?. So I added \usepackage{lua-visual-debug} to that example, and built it ...
5
votes
2answers
366 views

Bug: biblatex can not deal name prefix like “van der ”, Miktex updated on 2016.01.16

Firstly, hello everyone. I am new here : ) I am writing my phd thesis using MikTeX + TeXnicCenter and everything goes well, until I have updated MikTeX today. My Problem: The program gives an error ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Revisiting TIPA and Fontspec

fontspec does not generally play nicely with TIPA these days. My intention in this question is to find out what exactly is causing the problem. In attempting to diagnose the problem, I began with the ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How to debug an infinite loop in pdfLaTeX code

I have some code which crashes when loading the myriadpro package and loading in the document only the symbol \oiint \documentclass[]{scrbook} \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} \usepackage{amsmath} % ...
5
votes
1answer
269 views

How to find out why xetex hangs for seconds at innocent pages?

Compiling a 130 pages long report with xelatex takes my PC about 4 seconds, of which at least 1 second is spent at one particular page, and some more time at a later page. The page where most time is ...
5
votes
1answer
183 views

Biblatex field values and comparisons

I would like to change the behavior of printing author names based on the hash field in biblatex. This mwe should demonstrate what I am having difficulty understanding. MWE: \documentclass{article} ...
5
votes
1answer
495 views

Showing expanded `\let` command with `\typeout`

I have already seen the related page macros - What is the difference between \let and \edef?, but I'm afraid it still doesn't expain to me the following MWE: \documentclass{minimal} ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

Strange rendering bug when using LuaLaTeX, Polyglossia, Cambria/Consolas font and/or texttt

I’ve found a rather strange bug, where the letter ‘å’ is sometimes (though very rarely) incorrectly rendered when using LuaLaTex. I’ve managed to reduce it to the following minimal document exhibiting ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Is there a list of common misleading errors and how to go about debugging the real problem

Yesterday I posted a question "My attempt to local redefine a command is failing and not sure why" which I really knew the answer to. But I was thrown by the error message I was getting and after ...
5
votes
0answers
386 views

Biblatex 2.1 bug [closed]

After updating my texlive 2012 installation using tlmgr update --all --self the biblatex was updated to version 2.1 and biber to version 1.1. Now I cannot compile my document. I get the following ...
4
votes
2answers
274 views

Why does this use of \textwidth cause pdflatex to crash (not exit!)?

I ran into this problem when playing around with tables. \documentclass{article} \begin{document} \begin{table}[h!] 400 MHz \qquad 800MHz \centering \showthe\numexpr\textwidth\relax \tracingall ...
4
votes
2answers
450 views

Trace values of parameters

I would like to print the value of a register into the document for 'debugging' purposes. For counters I would use \arabic{myCounter}. But \abovedisplayskip is not a counter.
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Error using \usepackage{fancyvrb, fancybox}

With TeX Live 2009, with this MWE. \documentclass{article} \usepackage{fancyvrb, fancybox} \begin{document} \begin{Verbatim}[frame=single] auto eth0 \end{Verbatim} \end{document} I ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

Error persists after removing the code

I accidentally added an erroneous backslash to a code in the equation environment. Even after removing it - in fact even after removing the whole line - the error persists. ! Undefined control ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

Latex image not found

running TeXnicCenter LaTex >> PDF produces the following error: LaTex warning: File 'Energy_Arc.png' not found. Output shows empty box where image should be (with same error as above written ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

Debugging in LaTeX: debugging walkthrough with specific example

I am not new to LaTeX, but I have never really written an actual LaTeX script and so I have trouble debugging the one I have. I will post the specific problem, so there is something I can grab unto, ...
4
votes
2answers
66 views

How to \show the code of the command \autoref? [duplicate]

Edit: I think this is a duplicate of How can I see the "implementation" of the \LaTeX command? . I wanted to see the code for the hyperref \autoref command, so created this simple document: ...
4
votes
1answer
246 views

tabu package - gaps in vertical lines

I'm in the unfortunate situation that I have to make a table in LaTeX which has thick vertical lines. Since this does not seem to be possible with the default tabular environment, I chose the tabu ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

ybar stacked interferes with tikz background

When I compile the following code with ybar stacked option and the request for newsprint background the compiler tells me ! Extra }, or forgotten \endgroup. \endpgfonlayer ->\endgroup \hss \egroup ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

Bad interaction between keycommand and environ?

I suspect the keycommand and environ packages are not playing nicely together, because the following code gives an error. Can anybody explain what's going on? \documentclass{article} ...
4
votes
2answers
38 views

Which file is really used with \input command

how to know which file is included when we use the command \input if we have many files with the same name in various directories
4
votes
2answers
87 views

Displaying plus and minus of a length

I know that \the\somelength will show me the value of \somelength. But how do I find out what the current stretch on that length is? For instance, if I have \setlength{\footnotesep}{10 pt plus 5pt ...
4
votes
2answers
755 views

Visual debugging of lengths in paragraphs and environments?

During my searches, I found a couple of online images, which I doubt are produced with Latex - however, I found them immensely useful in understanding what is going on. I'm pretty sure the images ...
4
votes
1answer
504 views

Generating a catcode table in Latex (with \typeout to terminal)?

I often need to look up a catcode table, and quick searches on the web are rarely satisfying. So I thought, it must be (in the long term) easier to use a Latex function of sorts, to loop through all ...
4
votes
1answer
406 views

References by BibTeX key name [duplicate]

I've seen Use BibTeX key as the cite key, and it's quite close to what I'm looking for, but doesn't quite make it - for a start I can't get biblatex to run over my document, and second What I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Is there a way to step through LuaLaTeX macros using a remote debugger?

Writing LaTeX macros has always been difficult, and it seems like writing a major package can only be accomplished by a Real Programmer. Fortunately, LuaTeX is on its way, and writing Lua macros is ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Error arising when using \typeout & \meaning with \midrule

In order to facilitate debugging some experimental code, I created a version of \typeout that will break its content into multiple lines: %% dummy macro for simulating newlines in output to terminal ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

Bad interaction between titlesec/titleps and packages that use \markboth internally

The following MWE demonstrates a bad interaction between endfloat and titleps. The second page has the word FIGURES in all caps in both the header and the footer, contrary to the page style ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Example of LaTeX code that does not compile [duplicate]

In the excellent answer by egreg to the question How Does Latex Know the Page Number of a Reference he said that [t]his is not completely foolproof and there are examples around of cleverly ...