I have three files, the files main.tex and package.sty located in the same folder and a standalone file fig.tex located in a subfolder sub, using a command from package.sty. The problem is that standalone says it cannot build fig.pdf. I use standalone v1.1b. I give the option --shell-escape.

  • Am I doing something wrong?
  • If not, is there a way to still use the buildnew option, with a setup where a standalone-file in a subdirectory uses a file in a parent-directory?

The file main.tex


The file package.sty


The file test.tex

    \node {$\foo$};

Edit: One option seems to be to place a symbolic link to the package in the subfolder and then use the link. But this is not platform independent, and makes compilation more involved.

  • 1
    I don't think you can use ../ in a \usepackage path. However, without a link, can't you put simply your preamble in the same folder as the standalone input, and use \usepackage{<standalone-subfile-folder>/package} in your main and simply \usepackage{package} in the standalone ?
    – marsupilam
    Aug 11 '17 at 20:08
  • 1
  • 1
    Agreed, that would certainly be sub-optimal (but that's because of the constraint of no links !). Maybe you could make a proxy preamble file in your main folder, simply containing \usepackage{subfolder/package} to hide a bit this unpleasant involvment.
    – marsupilam
    Aug 11 '17 at 20:59
  • 3
    You shouldn't have any path in the argument of \usepackage{} as I understand it. Whether above or below the current directory. You can add to TEXINPUTS to get TeX to look in an additional place, however.
    – cfr
    Aug 12 '17 at 12:52
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    @HeinrichOdy My understanding is that it just happens to work and that this may be regarded as unfortunate. Hence, if it stops working, it will not be a bug as it is not designed to work in the first place.
    – cfr
    Aug 12 '17 at 22:42

The following approach seems natural in latex and also works on a per project way, i.e. when each project requires different packages or is in a different repository.

  • Create a directory structure texmf/tex/latex/ directory
  • Let the environment variable TEXMFHOME point to texmf, e.g. via export TEXMFHOME=<path-to-the-new-texmf-dir>. This puts texmf into the compilers search path. The subdirectories tex/latex are needed because the compiler expects files with different file endings in different places
  • Move package.sty to texmf/tex/latex/
  • Now, you can use \usepackage{package} in sub/fig.tex and in main.tex and the file is found

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