I was wondering if there was any command which would let me create a PDF from a LyTeX source in one step. Currently, I am first executing lilypond-book:

 lilypond-book --latex-program=pdflatex --pdf --lily-output-dir=./tmp ./thesis.lytex

and, when this is done, the usual PDFLaTeX call:

pdflatex ./thesis.tex

While this works fine, I was wondering if there was a way to execute this as a single command (I would like to create a single typesetting rule for this in TeXworks, but for this, I need to have all this in a single command). I know that I could create a custom shell script for this (in fact, this is what I actually have now). However, I was specifically wondering if there was a 'built-in' solution for this? I was thinking about a solution similar to the LaTeXMK approach, which allows to run BibTeX and LaTeX and a few other tools from within the same command, taking care of the right order of calling the different programs, etc.


Let my try to solve your issue using arara

If you hear arara the first time here a small abstract:

arara allows the specification of the compilation steps from the main document

This small sentence isn't able to describe the whole power of the tool. Therefor you can have a look at the documentation or the short intro at the homepage: Homepage arara

The current stable version of arara is available at CTAN and it's part of TeX Live/MacTeX. If you are using MikTeX, you have to install arara. This is also explained in the documentation.

The following description expect two points:

  1. You have installed lilypond (I know you have ;-))
  2. You get the following output in the terminal if you call arara:

  __ _ _ __ __ _ _ __ __ _
 / _` | '__/ _` | '__/ _` |
| (_| | | | (_| | | | (_| |
 \__,_|_|  \__,_|_|  \__,_|

arara 3.0 - The cool TeX automation tool
Copyright (c) 2012, Paulo Roberto Massa Cereda
All rights reserved.

usage: arara [file [--log] [--verbose] [--timeout N] [--language L] |
             --help | --version]
 -h,--help             print the help message
 -L,--language <arg>   set the application language
 -l,--log              generate a log output
 -t,--timeout <arg>    set the execution timeout (in milliseconds)
 -v,--verbose          print the command output
 -V,--version          print the application version

Now we can start. arara provides a lot of rules but not for lilypond. However writing a rule is nearly simple. The following rule can be taken as a starting point. Of course you can use the rule without any changes. Save the file as lilypond.yaml (the extension is important).


# Mainfile rule for arara
# author: Marco Daniel
# requires arara 3.0+
identifier: lilypond
name: Lilypond
command: <arara> lilypond-book @{format} @{options} @{output} "@{file}"
- identifier: format
  flag: <arara> --format=@{parameters.latex-programm}
  default: <arara> --format=latex
- identifier: options
  flag: <arara> @{parameters.options}
- identifier: output
  flag: <arara> --output=@{parameters.output}

Next step is the new file extension lytex. arara supports tex, dtx, ltx but not yours. So you must tell arara to use a new extension. This can be done in a file named araraconfig.yaml which must be saved in your home directory. There you can add a path for the new rule and the new extension. In my System it looks like:


# Config file to use texmfhome as search path
# author: Marco Daniel
# requires arara 3.0+
- /Users/marco/Library/texmf/scripts/arara/rules

- extension: lytex
  pattern: ^(\s)*%\s+

Related to this configuration file you can save the provided rule in the folder


Do this. As you can see the filetype with a search pattern is also specified. You can read more about this in the documentation.

Now let us take an example. I saved the file as test.lytex:


% arara: lilypond
% arara: pdflatex: { files: [ test.tex ] }

\relative c' {
  c2^"Text" g'2 \times 2/3 { f8 e d } c'2 g4

After calling arara

marco@imac:~/Desktop/test$arara test.lytex
  __ _ _ __ __ _ _ __ __ _
 / _` | '__/ _` | '__/ _` |
| (_| | | | (_| | | | (_| |
 \__,_|_|  \__,_|_|  \__,_|

Running Lilypond... SUCCESS

I get the following output:

| improve this answer | |
  • Hello and thank you for the effort, this is indeed very nice. However, I just can't figure out two things: (1) how can I put the config file to another place than my home folder? It looks very silly there; and (2) how can I add additional lilypond-book parameters to the call in, say, the testfile test.lytex? I've been trying to add the --latex-program=pdflatex and the -o ./tmp options, but I just can't figure out how to do that. Thank you indeed for your work, though. – Siska Ádám Apr 27 '13 at 20:55
  • @SiskaÁdám: Which one? – Marco Daniel Apr 27 '13 at 20:56
  • Sorry, I just pressed enter while editing my question and it recorded my comment. I just wanted a line-break... – Siska Ádám Apr 27 '13 at 20:58
  • 1
    Here's my copy command (by cloning clean): !config # Copy rule for arara # author: Ádám Siska # requires arara 3.0+ identifier: copy name: CopyTool command: <arara> @{copy} @{options} @{src} @{dst} arguments: - identifier: copy default: <arara> @{isWindows("cmd /c copy", "cp -f")} - identifier: options flag: <arara> @{parameters.options} - identifier: src flag: <arara> @{parameters.src} default: <arara> . - identifier: dst flag: <arara> @{parameters.dst} default: <arara> . – Siska Ádám Apr 28 '13 at 0:23
  • 1
    OK, with the above copy command I was able to sort it out. Now I created an auxiliary tex file thesis_main.tex, which consists of \usepackage{import} and a subimport to the thesis file in the temporal folder. Then, I created an arara workflow of 10 steps in my original lytex: (1) lilypond-book (creates tmp folder) (2) pdflatex (on thesis_main) (3-6) rename the aux file, run bibtex and rename the resulting bbl and blg files back (7-8) pdflatex, two times (9-10) rename the pdf and clean. This way I end up having thesis.lytex, thesis.bib, thesis.pdf, thesis_main.tex; no garbage! – Siska Ádám Apr 28 '13 at 0:55

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