When I use pdflatex, I get a bunch of files:


The .tex file and the .pdf file have an obvious use, but what do the other files do?

Thanks in advance.

  • The best thing is to open these files with some text editor. For example log file contains logs from compiler, toc file is something like 'table of chapters' because as you can see there is a chapters' and sections' list used in a tex file and so on. I have additionally lof file (list of figures) and lot file (list of tables). – wawek Dec 29 '13 at 11:49
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  • .aux is the the "auxiliary" file and is used for (among other things) tracking cross-references made with \label and \ref. This file is why you need to run pdflatex twice to make the references resolve. The first pass writes data about the references to the .aux file and the second reads the .aux file and uses that to generate the necessary references. Generally, anything that needs to wait for the entire document to be generated (like page numbers) is written to .aux so it can be added in on a later pass.
  • .log contains a log of what pdflatex did. You can find things like error messages and a list of what packages got loaded in here.
  • .out is used to store extra information for the PDF. For example the bookmarks in the PDF file are generated using this file.
  • .toc is like .aux but only used for the table of contents, since the proper page numbers can't be known until the PDF has been generated. There are likewise .lof and .lot files for lists of figures and lists of tables.

Except for the .tex file these are all generated by pdflatex and can be safely deleted.

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