Is there an online manual for low-level LaTeX commands I can download?

I am looking for something which would have, for example:


   \setlength{\parskip}{0pt plus 0.3pt}

2 Answers 2


The LaTeX2e kernel macros are documented in source2e. An unfinished macros2e document lists all of its macros which are deemed directly useful for package authors.

If you need help with the underlying plainTeX macros and primitives (which lie even deeper than the LaTeX kernel) then I suggest the free books TeX for the impatient and TeX by Topic which are freely available on CTAN.

  • 7
    IOW texdoc source2e, texdoc impatient. I would also add texdoc texbytopic.
    – przemoc
    Jul 12, 2011 at 15:59
  • 1
    @Regis: I was studying source2e and the latex.ltx file. Jul 12, 2011 at 16:06
  • 8
    Calling a 400 page manual “for the impatient” is a rather strange definition of “impatient”.
    – Caramdir
    Jul 12, 2011 at 16:12
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    @Caramdir: I sense a disturbance in the Force. The boy has no patience. The LaTeX Companions Third Revised Boxed Set: A Complete Guide and Reference for Preparing, Illustrating and Publishing Technical Documents (3rd Edition) has 3300+ pages. What it is, mere 400 pages?
    – przemoc
    Jul 12, 2011 at 16:22
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    @przemoc: Compared to that, lshort really does seem short.
    – You
    Jul 12, 2011 at 22:38

here is a list of the LaTeX commands in different formats:



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