I am a beginner to coding latex.

I am planning to write a paper using latex. For that, I am going to use the following style file, https://dsw19.rutgers.edu/spconf.sty , which is mentioned in IEEE data science workshop website,https://2019.ieeedatascience.org/author-information.php.

When I ran this style file, I am getting this error.

! Undefined control sequence.
l.121 \renewcommand

I am not sure what I should do here, because this error is obtained by just running the .sty file mentioned in the web site. To run this file, I used texworks software.

Can anyone help me to figure out what should I do here ?

Thank you.

  • 3
    You compile the .sty file? That is literally impossible.
    – user156344
    May 7, 2019 at 16:23
  • You have to create a .tex file and compile the tex file rather than the sty file. Short example for the tex file: \documentclass{article} \usepackage{spconf} \begin{document} content... \end{document}
    – user188399
    May 7, 2019 at 16:24
  • also you have to use pdflatex, the error message suggests you used pdftex (which is plain tex, not latex) May 7, 2019 at 16:52
  • @DavidCarlisle Thank you. I will use that May 7, 2019 at 16:56
  • if referencing bibliography materials ensure you download the .bst too the sty has very rudimentary instructions in its header to build your own submission.tex but you need to look at other simpler examples to understand where problems may arise
    – user170109
    May 7, 2019 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


Your tutor may be testing your ability to learn for yourself and may not appreciate me point out that the file you have downloaded is just part of a set of nearly a dozen files to be found at


The template file you should be compiling in Latex or pdfLaTeX is

However as instructed save a copy as yourname.tex since running the template itself would overwrite the template.pdf and you need that for standard reference. (Also to replace any borked attempts at yournames :-)

Ensure you download all files in that area and read the instructions well, certainly this is a significant challenge for a freshman to latex, However I guess your professor must know it is achievable in the timeframe he has allotted.

The first hurdle is understanding that in tex editors you need multiple passes, usually pdfLaTeX then bibtex then more runs of pdfLaTeX to resolve cross references, TeXworks should include pdfLaTeX+bibtex as an option but you may need to add an extra pdfLaTeX run some times.

When editing sample images and bib files also keep copies of sources for testing problems or odd behaviours :-)

A useful command that a novice user may not appreciate is Files > Remove Auxiliaries. Do not use this between runs as the auxiliaries are the cross index between tex and secondary processes however it IS useful to clear auxiliaries and start fresh run IF you do have issues after a bad run.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .