I am about to prepare a paper for a conference. In the template that given to me from the conference owner says " Only if you use \LaTeXe{} can hyperlinks be generated in the online version of your manuscript" Here is the page: http://www.springer.com/computer/lncs/lncs+authors?SGWID=0-40209-0-0-0

How can I check what version of latex I am using? And how can I check this hyperlink thing in my current work?

windows 8, texmaker 4.3, miktex 2.9

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    You should give us more information. Unless you use plain TeX or ConTeXt I would say you are applying LateX2e or even the features of the upcoming LaTeX3
    – user31729
    Feb 13, 2015 at 15:45
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    tex --version. anything past 1995 or so is more than likely LaTeX2e. Feb 13, 2015 at 15:46
  • @ChristianHupfer Howso LaTeX3? While some ideas of LaTeX3 exist implemented for 2e, 3 has yet to be released. Lots to do :) Feb 13, 2015 at 15:47
  • I saw this now: tex.stackexchange.com/a/13548/68836 if it is true then I think there is nothing to worry about. right?
    – WhoCares
    Feb 13, 2015 at 15:47
  • @WhoCares correct. Feb 13, 2015 at 15:47

2 Answers 2


If you are using a system that does not give an error if the first line of your document is


then it is LaTeX2e.

It also advertises this on the terminal and in the log at the start of every job with a line like

LaTeX2e <2014/05/01>
  • +1 for a clever test -- your best bet is to always just ask the system :) Feb 13, 2015 at 15:50
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    @SeanAllred That banner is put out before the format is read, if you use latex &plain you see the same thing. \everyjob is about the first place the message could be, and that's where it is Feb 13, 2015 at 16:13
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    @SeanAllred: just wondering whether there is anyone but Emacs users who would use the phrasing "ask the system" ;-)
    – mbork
    Feb 13, 2015 at 23:16
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    @mbork is there anyone but emacs users? Feb 13, 2015 at 23:26
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    @DavidCarlisle: of course, there are the evil Vim users, and then a lot of children playing with toys and calling them "text editors". ;-)
    – mbork
    Feb 15, 2015 at 19:07

If your document's first main instruction is


you're using LaTeX2e.

If it's


you're using LaTeX 2.09 either directly (if your TeX distribution is truly prehistoric, ie 1994 or earlier) or in compatibility mode (for any TeX distribution since 1995).

If the first main instruction is neither of the above, you're not running LaTeX.

  • "Main instruction" is rather vague. Though likely true in virtually all LaTeX2e documents, you could easily have \defs, \newifs, \begin{filecontents}, \RequirePackage{snapshot}, etc., etc. before \documentclass. It might not be clear to everyone that these are not a "first main instruction". (That is to say, I know that you know this..!)
    – jon
    Feb 13, 2015 at 16:24
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    @jon -- Thanks. I deliberately didn't specify what constitutes a "main instruction". If a reader doesn't know what this term means in the context of a LaTeX document, the whole posting probably doesn't make sense to begin with. Anyway, you've done a splendid job mentioning some non-main instructions, so there's nothing more for me to add. :-)
    – Mico
    Feb 13, 2015 at 16:58
  • You can have a LaTeX2e document without \documentclass: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/94724/…
    – StrongBad
    Feb 13, 2015 at 21:04
  • @StrongBad - I suppose I was using a working definition of "LaTeX document" that includes, as one of its purposes, the desire to actually get something real typeset. Put differently, I'm not particularly concerned with demonstration projects that abuse LaTeX (the executable) for purposes LaTeX (the format) is absolutely not designed for. While such demonstration projects may indeed compile successfully, i.e., without generating error messages, I'd say that little is lost by not considering them to be real LaTeX documents.
    – Mico
    Feb 14, 2015 at 18:05

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