I installed the widetext package and was happily using it until I decided to edit the style file widetext.sty. Happily, LaTeX immediately picked up the changes and compiled correctly. I then decided to undo those changes to widetext.sty, and I did so, but now latex doesn't seem to pick up this fact (ie it still thinks the changes are present). If I rename widetext.sty to something else, LaTeX properly fails to compile and says it can't find widetext.sty. However, if I intentionally put garbage text in widetext.sty to cause the latex compile to fail, LaTeX doesn't seem to notice and happily compiles the last "working copy" of widetext.sty it seems to have stashed in some form of cache somewhere.

I tried to delete all output files in the working directory. No luck. widetext.sty is located in C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\widetext. Thoughts?

  • @BoB: Welcome to tex.sx! Note that it is unusual around here to have any greeting.
    – lockstep
    Mar 10, 2011 at 19:27
  • 10
    @BoB: I would not change a .sty file. Instead, I recommend to use \renewcommand (or \def etc.) to make changes within your document or your own style file. If you edit styles or classes, 1. your document is not portable, it would look different when compiled on other systems, 2. other files would look different or won't work when compiled at your sytems with modified styles.
    – Stefan Kottwitz
    Mar 10, 2011 at 19:33
  • 5
    Most likely you have a second copy of the file somewhere which is used instead. Just try to search for other files called widetext.sty Mar 10, 2011 at 19:40
  • 7
    Take a look in your log file for the filename widetext.sty and see which version it thinks it is using (I mean, where on your system it is located). Mar 10, 2011 at 20:06
  • thanks for the comments everyone. @Stefan -- I agree, this was just a quick fix I wanted to try. @Martin/Andrew -- strangely the log file points to the correct copy of the style file...
    – BoB
    Mar 10, 2011 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


Ok I figured it out I think... Unless I'm mistaken, it seems the problem had nothing to do at all with latex. It seems somehow Windows 7's file explorer might have been at fault. Namely, whatever changes I made to the style file and saved, when I opened the file again, the changes were apparently still there. However, when I copied the folder containing those files OUT of the administrator folder Program Files to my desktop, and then opened the files in the folder now on the desktop, the changes had magically been reverted... I don't quite know if this is a known issue with Windows 7 or if I'm misplacing blame here or even if I'm misinterpreting a "feature" of Windows 7.

Conclusion: Now things are working and to fix it, I had to move the folder containing the style file out of Program Files/Miktex to Desktop, make my changes, then move back to Program Files/Miktex.

Thanks anyway everyone!

  • Well done for figuring it out! Mar 11, 2011 at 18:19
  • Please accept your own answer, so that the question is marked answered. Thanks. Mar 11, 2011 at 19:31
  • This sounds like the 'magic' Windows 7 performs if a non-admin tries to edit a file inside Program Files: it makes a local copy. This is a double-edged sword for many programs, unfortunately.
    – Joseph Wright
    Feb 3, 2013 at 19:55

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