I'm hoping to find an easy solution to this problem.

I want to install the American Economic Association document class and use it in Lyx. I have inserted the class file into the right latex directory and run texhash. Next I created a simple layout file, played it in the layout folder, and reconfigured Lyx. Now, American Economic Association (AEA) appears in my dropdown menu as a document class option in class under the articles heading, but when I try to use the file, it tells me that there is a problem with the layout file.

I suspect that I have no found the correct layout folder. The layout folder I'm using is empty except for the file I added. Is this normal? I can't find, for example, the article.layout file. I should say that Lyx appears to be working normally otherwise. I have no problem compiling normal files.

I'm on a Macbook Pro running OSX Yosemite. The directory I have been using for layout files is /Users/amandaggregg/Library/Application Support/LyX-2.1/layouts, which Lyx preferences indicate should be the right folder.

I know about http://www.troubleshooters.com/linux/lyx/surefire_layout.htm, but it looks complicated and time-consuming. Hoping to find an easier solution.

Looking forward to your responses

  • If you go to File > New From Template, and open AEA.lyx, can you compile it? LyX comes with an AEA layout file. You could search for ".layout" files on your computer: locate ".layout". LyX has two layout directories, one in the installation directory (in lib/layout) and one in your user directory.
    – scottkosty
    Apr 1, 2015 at 15:15
  • Thank you, this worked. I deleted the layout file I made, reconfigured Lyx, and used File > New From Template. Works like a charm. Thank you!
    – Amanda G
    Apr 1, 2015 at 16:28
  • For posterity, I located the layout files in /Applications/LyX.app/Contents/Resources/layouts/ using the locate ".layout" command as you suggested.
    – Amanda G
    Apr 1, 2015 at 16:32

3 Answers 3


Layout Folders

There are generally two folders, where LyX searches for .layout files: A system-wide folder (for all users, usually one needs root privileges to alter this) and a user-specific folder in the users home. It depends on your operating system, where exactly these are located. The directories listed in Preferences->Paths are a good starting point.

Document-Local Layout

However, in most cases it is easier (and preferable) to store the custom .layout file together with the respective LyX-Document (that is, in the same folder as the .lyx file). Then select this by clicking the Local Layout... button under Document Settings->Document Class.

  • Which of the 10 paths in the preferences dialog is searched for system layouts?
    – Autumn
    Dec 19, 2018 at 1:07
  • 1
    @DSJustice: Strangely enough, none. In the preferences you can only configure use-specific paths.
    – Daniel
    Dec 19, 2018 at 11:56

Try running "Tools > Reconfigure". (I had the same problem and this worked for me.)

  • Please, can you complete your little answer, also with the images, more explantions,....?
    – Sebastiano
    May 1, 2020 at 10:54

On Manjaro Linux 21.0.7, with LyX installed from the official repositories (extra/lyx), the paths are configured by default this way:

Preferences view of LyX, showing Working Directory set to $HOME

with "Working directory" set to $HOME. In $HOME, I have a .lyx folder, which has a layouts folder where you can put the .layout file. It looks like this:

❯ tree -L 2 -l .lyx
├── bbxFiles.lst
├── bibFiles.lst
├── bind
├── bstFiles.lst
├── cache
│   ├── 1917147396-png
│   └── index
├── cbxFiles.lst
├── clipart
├── clsFiles.lst
├── configure.log
├── doc
├── examples
├── images
├── kbd
├── layouts
│   └── exam.layout
├── lyxciteengines.lst
├── lyxmodules.lst
├── lyxrc.defaults
├── packages.lst
├── scripts
├── session
├── styFiles.lst
├── templates
├── textclass.lst
├── ui
└── xtemplates.lst

You can see the exam.layout file I was trying to install. After placing it in the layouts folder, do Tools > Reconfigure inside LyX and then restart LyX, and it should work.

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