I get some unexpected behavior when I try to "Build & View" or "Compile" the standalone file mysubfile.tex in TeXstudio.

The following results in expected behavior:

  1. Open fresh session of TeXstudio
  2. Open only mysubfile.tex (which resides in a folder containing only this file and mymainfile.tex)
  3. Build & View (or Compile)
  4. Message output produced:

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  1. and mysubfile.pdf produced, which is just the cropped text "Some subfile text".

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as expected.

But the following results in unexpected behavior:

If I then open mymainfile.tex in TeXstudio, re-select the mysubfile.tex window, and Build & View, then:

enter image description here


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I get the same output even if I then close mymainfile.tex in TeXstudio, get rid of all the produced files in my project folder (so that only mymainfile.tex and mysubfile.tex remain), and Build & View mysubfile.tex. What!? Somehow TeXStudio is aware that this is not a fresh session.

I looked to the TeXstudio command configurations

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Q1: How does TeXstudio decide which filename (mymainfile or mysubfile) is passed to pdflatex through %

Q2: How can I fix this so that when I Build & View with the mysubfile.tex window selected, mysubfile is passed to pdflatex rather than mymainfile?


  My main file text.


Some subfile text
  • 2
    Is there an option which tells it not to automatically detect a 'master' file, for example? The terminology might differ - that's what Kile calls it.
    – cfr
    Oct 9, 2014 at 2:56
  • @cfr: Awesome. Once I searched using the 'master' terminology you mentioned I found this comment on SourceForge. So all I need to do: Select subfile.tex > ALT + O > Select "Define Current Document as 'Master Document'".
    – lowndrul
    Oct 9, 2014 at 12:14

2 Answers 2


As of version 2.8.10, accelerator keys for setting the explicit root document do no longer work.

However, TeXStudio supports a magic comment (at the beginning of the document)

% !TeX root = FILENAME.tex

that allows setting file that is used when Options > Root Document > Detect automatically is enabled.

So basically, the root-document resolution order is

  1. The explicitly set file, as set by Options > Root Document > Set Current Document As Explicit Root
  2. The file indicated by the % !TeX root magic comment.
  3. The root file detected from analyzing currently opened files.

Select subfile.tex > ALT + O + M > Build & View.

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