I saw someone using the [final] option for the beamer documentclass and wanted to see what it did. So I searched the package documentation here on CTAN and also found the directory on my computer that has the beamer source (/usr/local/texlive/2015/texmf-dist/tex/latex/beamer on my machine) and then searched the files recursively for the word "final" (using grep -R final ./*) with no interesting results.

So my question is: where can one find the meaning of arbitrary documentclass options?

I am really surprised that looking through the source itself didn't yield the answer, since at some point, the options have to be parsed, I assume...

  • 1
    As far as I know, there is no [final] option – only a [draft] option. Perhaps it is an option for a package that beamer loads without option? Normally the options are described in the documentation (texdoc beamer).
    – Bernard
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 22:23

1 Answer 1


Options to \documentclass are global options. That means they can be options for the document class and/or the following packages.

Class beamer does not know about option final. But packages like graphics can pick the global option. In case of graphics the meaning of option final is the default behavior of the package and the opposite of option draft that does not include the images and prints boxes with the image file name instead.

Options are usually documented in the documentation of the class or package that defines them. Since beamer does not define option final, it cannot be found in its documentation. In case of package graphics (as example), options final and draft are described in section "4.1 Package options" of the graphics user guide:

draft: suppress all the `special' features. In particular graphics files are not included (but they are still read for size info) just the filename is printed in a box of the correct size.

final: The opposite of draft. Useful to over-ride a global draft option specified in the \documentclass command.

Further reading:

  • This seems like exactly what I needed to know. In the example that I had seen, they used the graphicx package, which presumably has similar options.
    – Zach Boyd
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 22:33
  • Is it customary to accept an answer right away if it meets one's needs or wait a day or two for the rest of the community to have a chance? I feel like I have seen people do both...
    – Zach Boyd
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 22:34
  • @ZachBoyd Package graphicx is an extension to package graphics. Internally, it loads package graphics and passes options final, draft to it. Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 22:35

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