I seem to have problems compiling a latex document which i ported from my ubuntu machine to my mac machine..

I am using texstudio, and I am for some reason getting this error:

I can't find file `tikzlibraryarrows.meta.code.tex'. ...hadows.blur,positioning,calc,arrows.meta}

Due to this:


The document compiles on my ubuntu machine and how no idea on what could be the cause of the error?...

  • Did you use the MacTeX package to install TeX Live? If so, what does which pdflatex return? Can you compile other documents using 'relive studio'? Jan 20, 2017 at 16:08
  • Sorry for the confusion.. I just edited the post..
    – dfh
    Jan 20, 2017 at 16:15
  • 2
    texstudio is an editor. It has nothing to do with LaTeX, it is just a convenient way to write LaTeX code and call LaTeX. Since it comes this far you have installed some LaTeX installation on your Mac. We need to know what exactly you installed as the answer depends on it.
    – daleif
    Jan 20, 2017 at 16:18
  • I would mean i installed it using homebrew.. brew install texlive.. That should have handled everything.
    – dfh
    Jan 20, 2017 at 16:34
  • 1
    Homebrew often causes problems. Consider installing mactex 2016 and using that instead. Yes it is a little weighty but it is super easy to install and contains everything provided for texlive including the files you are missing
    – daleif
    Jan 20, 2017 at 17:16

2 Answers 2


If you're not running the latest versions, try updating all of your packages through Tex Live Utility (check if pgf and tikz have pending updates). If that doesn't work try upgrading MacTex.

Also try typesetting from Terminal to see if your editor is playing tricks on you and maybe provide us with an example that doesn't work for you.

  • 1
    As @daleif said, Tex Studio is just an editor. You must have an instance of LaTeX installed on your Mac and most likely you used MacTex to do so (and that includes Tex Live Utility to manage packages). To check if that's the case go to  > System Preferences and open the Tex Distribution pane. It should tell which version of TexLive you installed.
    – Maurizio
    Jan 20, 2017 at 16:31
  • 1
    @JohnCollins Really? Then I guess mine is still there from previous versions. Thanks for pointing that out. @dfh in that case pdflatex --versions should give you plenty of information.
    – Maurizio
    Jan 20, 2017 at 17:48
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    @dhf You are using TexLive 2013. Upgrade it by installing MacTeX-2016. You can get rid of the preference pane, read here "Selecting the Active Distribution". (Sorry, there was a typo, it's pdflatex --version and not versions)
    – Maurizio
    Jan 20, 2017 at 19:42
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    @dhf It looks like the folder where pdflatex is symlinked (/Library/TeX/texbin/) isn't in your system's PATH variable. Can you check that? Did you remove TexLive-2013 before installing MacTex-2016? Also try /Library/TeX/texbin/pdflatex --version to make absolutely sure TexLive-2016 is active.
    – Maurizio
    Jan 21, 2017 at 0:02
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    Go to TeXstudio preferences (cmd + ,), select the Commands tab on the left and make sure pdflatex links to /Library/TeX/texbin/ - this is how it looks on my Mac. To see if PATH includes the Tex dir run echo $PATH in the shell, it most likely doesn't.
    – Maurizio
    Jan 21, 2017 at 0:34

Ok, after installing TeX Live 2016 (via MacTeX) make sure you haven't messed up the PATH variable. First, /Library/TeX/texbin should be in your PATH variable (run echo $PATH to check). Second, run which pdflatex and see that the correct pdflatex is found (/Library/TeX/texbin/pdflatex). If either of those are not true you need to edit your .profile or .bash_profile and place the line

export PATH=/Library/TeX/texbin:"$PATH"

as the last line of the file. That should make sure that which pdflatex finds the correct distribution.

Next, make sure you DON'T have any of the TeX related shell variables defined.

Finally, you may very well have to edit the TeXStudio Preferences so that it finds the correct TeX Live distribution. Read the information at <http://www.tug.org/mactex/sierra.html> and, especially, the Updating For El Capitan and Sierra document l

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