Is there a way to search for what packages you have installed or is there a document that shows all the included packages with MacTex?

Thanks to another post on here I learned how to get the manuals of the packages, but now I need to learn how to find out what I have installed.


So I think I found a list: https://trac.macports.org/wiki/TeXLivePackages

Is this correct?

  • 1
    MacTeX installs a full TeX Live distribution which is extensive. I suggest you simply use any packages and only worry about missing packages if they show up during typesetting. – Herb Schulz Nov 10 '19 at 21:04
  • I'm pretty ignorant and new so I don't know even know enough to know what to try. Is there a like a terminal command that I could use to show me what is installed? – ISwearImCool Nov 10 '19 at 21:08
  • The TeX Live package manager is called tlmgr, you can find the documentation here: tug.org/texlive/doc/tlmgr.html – DG' Nov 10 '19 at 21:22
  • Thank you. I can't give you an answer though because you did a comment. – ISwearImCool Nov 10 '19 at 22:32
  • That's ok. You can accept Alan's answer instead – DG' Nov 11 '19 at 7:06

The very simple answer is that almost all packages you would ever find yourself needing are installed by the full MacTeX, since it installs a full TeX Live distribution. Once you've installed it, there are a couple of ways you can see what has been installed.

Use TeXLive Utility

MacTeX installs the handy TeXLive Utility which is a GUI wrapper for managing your installation. It can be found in the TeX folder installed in Applications. In fact this is probably the first thing you should do after installing a fresh MacTeX anyway, since the installer image is created only once a year. See the following answer for how to use it to update your distribution.

The default panel view when you open the app is the Updates panel, which shows all the packages that have pending updates or have not yet been installed (because they were added to TeX Live after the image was created.) If you choose the Packages panel, you can view a full list of all packages and their current installation status:

enter image description here

Use tlmgr from the Terminal

Alternatively, if you prefer the Terminal, the following command will show you a list of all packages currently installed:

tlmgr info --list --only-installed | less. 

The output is long, so I've piped it through the pager less.

  • There are many packages that are parts of collections so I don’t believe this will show all packages. – Herb Schulz Nov 11 '19 at 18:49
  • @HerbSchulz I'm not sure what "this" refers to? The GUI display or the tlmgr command? As far as I can tell they both display all the package. But in practical terms, such a list is probably of very limited value. In the context of the question, the answer is really "MacTeX installs everything (for some reasonable definition of "everything")." – Alan Munn Nov 11 '19 at 19:54

From the official documentation:

You can find a complete list of files and install locations by double clicking on the MacTEX2019 package and then choosing the menu item “Show Files”. The important fact is that everything in TEX Live is put in the “2019” folder

  • I deleted the package, is there a way to run a terminal command to list them, or a repository where they are located? – ISwearImCool Nov 10 '19 at 21:05
  • Why did you delete the package? Download it again, install it, see the packages. – plr Nov 10 '19 at 21:09
  • 2
    There's no need to redownload the installer. From the terminal, type tlmgr info --list --only-installed | less. (The output is long, so I've piped it through less.) Alternatively, since MacTeX installs TeX Live Utility (in the TeX folder in Applications) you can just open in to see all the installed packages. – Alan Munn Nov 11 '19 at 0:31

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