I am using a Makefile together with the latexmk utility to build PDFs from LaTeX files. My question is at the bottom. Here is some background:

The relevant parts of my Makefile are the following:

LATEXOPT=--shell-escape --file-line-error
LATEXMKOPT=-quiet -pdf

%.pdf: %.tex
      -pdflatex="${LATEX} ${LATEXOPT} ${NONSTOP} %O %S" $<

This structure is adapted from the example in this link.

I compile a LaTeX source file.tex into file.pdf using

make file.pdf

This runs latexmk on file.tex and continuously recompiles it (using the -pvc "preview continuously" option) with pdflatex whenever file.tex is modified. Combined with a PDF viewer that updates automatically, this lets me edit file.tex and see the updated PDF whenever I save.

This works perfectly while latexmk runs in the background. The problem is when I want to end latexmk. It tells me

=== Watching for updated files. Use ctrl/C to stop ...

As soon as I type Ctrl-C, make says

make: *** Deleting file `file.pdf'

I believe this is because I stopped building the file.pdf target abruptly, so make thinks something went wrong. Therefore, my question is

How do I preview continuously and exit latexmk, all while using make, without the PDF being deleted?

1 Answer 1


After asking this question I read this from the make documentation. It turns out that make does not delete the dependencies of the special target .PRECIOUS when interrupted. Adding the line

.PRECIOUS: %.pdf

seems to solve my problem.


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