On my up-to-date MiKTeX system, there is a copy of url.sty in three different places in the TDS:

  • texmf\tex\xelatex\xetexurl (part of MiKTeX package xetexurl, packaged on 2007-Sep-05)
  • texmf\tex\latex\url (part of MiKTeX package url, packaged on 2010-Jan-26)
  • texmf\tex\latex\ltxmisc (part of MiKTeX package ltxmisc, packaged on 2012-Dec-20)

The first one (in xetexurl) is version 3.1; the other two are version 3.3.

Why does the package exist in 3 different locations? Given that this is the case, how does the TeX program know which one to use? It seems that when I run pdfLaTeX or LuaLaTeX, it chooses the one from ltxmisc, giving log entry

Package: url 2006/04/12  ver 3.3  Verb mode for urls, etc.

while when running XeLaTeX it chooses the one from xetexurl, giving this log entry:

Package: url 2004/03/15  ver 3.1  Verb mode for urls, etc.

Why the discrepancy?

  • wouldn't it be better to ask on a miktex forum? (afaik, christian schenk doesn't read here.) [note, he may be merely reading, as i originally intended to do, but he has more self control than me (not difficult).] – wasteofspace May 30 '13 at 9:59


The old url.sty had used 8-bit characters that break with XeTeX's expectations of input encoded with UTF-8. Thus the file in


is a patched version:

% url.sty  ver 3.1    15-Mar-2004   Donald Arseneau   ...
% Byte codes >= 0x80 replaced by ^^xx sequences - JK, 2006-04-07

Since version 3.3 of url.sty this is fixed:

% ver 3.3 April 2006:
% Fix some encoding bugs and remove 8-bit characters.

Conclusion: xetexurl should be removed:

  • Out of date.
  • The reason for the patch is gone.
  • The patch is a violation of LPPL (LaTeX Project Public License) that requires the renaming of the file without agreement of the author.

TDS:tex/latex/ltxmisc/url.sty and TDS:tex/latex/url/url.sty

The TDS (see "A Directory Structure for TeX Files") requires that all file names inside tex/latex// and tex/generic// are unique (see section "2.4 Duplicate filenames"). (The file in tex/xelatex does not clash, because it uses a differnt format directory.)

The reason for the constraint for uniqueness is that it is not defined, which file a TeX engine might find and use.

Therefore one of the two files has to be removed. TeX Live uses TDS:tex/latex/url/url.sty. Thus my suggestion would be to remove TDS:tex/latex/ltxmisc/url.sty.

Update 1: I have made a bug report, tracker id is 2268.

Update 2: Christian Schenk has now fixed the issue by removing the wrong/misplaced versions.

  • As far as I know, the LPPL doesn't require a name change (although it's recommended). – egreg May 30 '13 at 12:24
  • @egreg The file is modified and distributed, thus the conditions of (6) apply. (6a) is violated, because the \ProvidesPackage statement does not clearly indicate the change. – Heiko Oberdiek May 30 '13 at 13:56
  • This is different from not renaming the file. – egreg May 30 '13 at 17:02
  • 1
    Thanks. After updating the packages, I had to "synchronize" the Package Manager so that it wouldn't keep looking for xetexurl. – Ari Brodsky Jun 4 '13 at 5:51

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