In the answer to this thread it is advised to use the package xparse released 05/03/2019 or later. I've been trying to update this specific package, but without success.

First I updated all the packages with the command

tlmgr update --all

hoping that this would automatically install the latest version of xparse (which is in the l3packages bundle). Unfortunately that didn't happen, since compiling the code


the log file shows that I'm using the xparse version released on 2018-10-17.

enter image description here

How can I force the update?

  • The best solution would be to wait for TeX live 2019 to be released or install the pretest version (if you can't wait for another few days: tug.org/texlive, the current plan is to release TeX live 2019 on 2019-04-30). TeX live 2018 is frozen now and won't receive updates any more. (For background see tex.stackexchange.com/q/107017/35864). If you must install xparse on your current frozen TeX live 2018, you need to install the package manually, see tex.stackexchange.com/q/117518/35864 and tex.stackexchange.com/q/73016/35864. (I would not recommend that.)
    – moewe
    Apr 28, 2019 at 15:42
  • If you install the update manually, you are responsible to make sure to install all dependencies to avoid version conflicts. If you update xparse you probably also need to update all other expl3 kernel packages.
    – moewe
    Apr 28, 2019 at 15:43
  • I didn't know that it was only a matter of days till TeX live got updated. Btw, once the update is out, is there some line of code that I can type in the terminal to update it?
    – noibe
    Apr 28, 2019 at 16:28
  • Well you are lucky you only want the update now. TeX live 2018 got frozen at the end of February (which explains why the March update of xparse is not in TeX live 2018) and then it needs a bit of time to ready the next release. In this case roughly until 2019-04-30. There is no officially advertised simple way to update TeX live 2018 to TeX live 2019. You just install TeX live 2019 (you don't have to uninstall TeX live 2018, the versions can coexist). See also tex.stackexchange.com/q/107017/35864 (apparently there are ways to upgrade, but they are not tested much...)
    – moewe
    Apr 28, 2019 at 16:32
  • ensure you download the tds version this will cut installation errors down considerably mirrors.ctan.org/install/macros/latex/contrib/… unpack it to the root of a tds (texmf) folder and your good to go with 2018
    – user170109
    Apr 28, 2019 at 16:33

1 Answer 1


To update a specific <package>, forcibly reinstall it using

tlmgr install --reinstall <package>

That should pull the latest version of the package from CTAN (or one of its mirrors).

  • 1
    But that won't fetch the package from a different version of TeX Live (which is what OP wants: 2020 xparse on TL'19) Feb 8, 2021 at 23:02
  • @PhelypeOleinik: Riiiight. I didn't read between the lines to note that he's wanting an up-to-date version from a later TeX Live version. I'll update my answer to be more comprehensive.
    – Werner
    Feb 8, 2021 at 23:06

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