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Prevent pdflatex from writing a bunch of files.

I'm not a super-user of LaTeX, I only use it for small reports with lots of maths. I often have to do it with other people so we put everything in a dropbox folder. Is there a way to prevent TexShop from making all those .aux, .syntec.gz and .log files while compiling ? We don't use them at all and it makes our folder pretty messy when we have several documents in LaTeX.

  • 5
    This seems to be a duplicate of Prevent pdflatex from writing a bunch of files.. Have a look on it and tell use if you still have questions. Note these files are used by the compiler itself and are always created, except if you use \nofiles in the preamble. However, you won't get any table of contents or any cross-referencing! See also Deleting external/auxiliary files?. Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 10:25
  • TeXShop-specific: In your ~/Library/TeXShop/Engines folder, copy XeLaTeX.engine to a file PdfLaTeXhide.engine. Modify the xelatex command to begin with pdflatex; then append a line SetFile -a V *.aux *.log *.synctex.gz. This will hide all the aux files in the Finder. To use it, select "PdfLaTeXhide" in the typeset menu of your TeXShop window (after restarting TeXShop.) Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 0:52

2 Answers 2


No. LaTeX creates and uses these and some other files. You can look at them and you will understand its use. For example, *.aux files are used to include labels positions which will be read in a second compilation, *.toc contains table of contents, *.bbl bibliography information, etc.

You cannot avoid them but use Leo Liu's solution to place them in another folder.


Configure your TeXShop to use

pdflatex -output-directory=SOME_OTHER_DIR


  • 2
    This will break the feature that the pdf is shown after typesetting. See here.
    – normanius
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 11:44

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