I'm using vim to write my latex and have a makefile that simply runs PDFLatex on the main TeX file. The output from this is often incredibly dense and difficult to parse with the human eye. What's more there is usually a great deal and useful information will have left the terminal window before I have seen it.

I am quite used to situations like in gcc where you can force it to halt on warnings, which would currently be my desired behaviour (but I can't find a way to do this). What's more, there are things that I would like to be warned about (for example overfull bounding boxes) that don't come with "LaTeX Warning" along side them. So I would be unsure of how to grep this to get all useful information.

Is there any standard command line method to achieve what I am looking for? Alternatively, a method of parsing the log file to easily list these typesetting errors would be useful.

  • have you seen the answers to what-is-your-favorite-vi-or-vim-command-trick
    – cmhughes
    May 3, 2012 at 10:10
  • I've just read them and I don't see how any apply. The best I can find is a toggle between "verbose" and "silent" output mode, which isn't what I'm asking for.
    – V.S.
    May 3, 2012 at 12:44
  • You might want to have a look at the script texloganalyser that's installed along with TeX Live. For example texloganalyser -h file.log will show "Overfull \hbox" warnings.
    – egreg
    May 3, 2012 at 14:31
  • Also there's pplatex ppdflatex, which can be obtained from stefant.org/web/projects/software/pplatex.html This program runs latex or pdflatex and nicely summarizes the errors and warnings. May 3, 2012 at 15:36
  • I think \usepackage[l2tabu, abort]{nag} will get you at least part of the way there.
    – jon
    May 7, 2012 at 18:54

1 Answer 1


There's no way to make TeX stop at warnings.

You can go to Plan B: the script texloganalyser (included in TeX Live) has facilities for showing different bits of the log file.

As pointed to by John Collins, also pplatex and ppdflatex are meant to do this: https://github.com/stefanhepp/pplatex

  • I think a redefinition of \PackageWarning to internally call \PackageError should be a feasible way to stop at some warnings (which then become errors, of course). If there are other warning macros, they could probably also be altered. It's not completely clear, what the benefit of that approach were, but it's at least possible. Aug 12, 2014 at 17:59
  • @PatrickHäcker I don't think that making errors out of warnings really solves the problem, as the compilation is driven by a Makefile.
    – egreg
    Aug 12, 2014 at 19:36

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