I use MacOS, LateXTools in Sublime Text as a TeX editor, and MacTeX as a TeX distribution. I store my macros in a folder named TEXINPUTS on Dropbox, and set up symlinks to the relevant location in my texmf tree.

sudo ln -s /Users/nickriches/Dropbox/TEXINPUTS /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/tex/latex

This has worked fine under a variety of different MacOSes, but I am running into problems under MacOS Catalina. When I compile a document, it does not find the relevant .tex files stored in TEXINPUTS. This is very odd because when I do a system check with LaTeXTools, the location where the symlink has been created shows up as possible path for TEXINPUTS;


So as far as I can see, TeX knows where to look. But it is still not finding the relevant .tex files. I've also tried setting the variable on the command line using EXPORT;

export TEXINPUTS=.:/usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/tex/latex/$TEXINPUTS

which didn't work. Finally, I tried to enter the path in LaTeXTools builder settings;

("env:" {"TEXINPUTS": ".:/usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/tex/latex/TEXINPUTS"}

but for some reason, when I did this I lost the ability to compile any document.

Any pointers greatly welcomed!

  • 1
    you want a trailing : in ("env:" {"TEXINPUTS": ".:/usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/tex/latex/TEXINPUTS"} otherwise you not only add your directory, you remove all the standard places. similarly your export should have no$ and should have a : so export TEXINPUTS=.:/usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/tex/latex/TEXINPUTS: or if the issue is the symlink use /Users/nickriches/Dropbox/TEXINPUTS instead of usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/tex/latex/TEXINPUTS ? Jun 20, 2020 at 10:14
  • I'm not sure what is happening that changed when you installed Catalina gut I know that Dropbox sometimes leads to problems.. Assuming you are using the TeX Live installed by the MacTeX installer why not put the link in your personal tree, ~/Library/texmf/tex/latex? Jun 20, 2020 at 12:38
  • Thanks for tip about colon at end of path, but adding it via "export" or in the LaTeXTools settings does not help. I didn't understand the issue about the symlink. I need to link from dropbox to relevant location in texmf. The path mentioned by Herb does not exist in MacOD Catalina Jun 20, 2020 at 16:30
  • Okay, I have now done this. In the first place, the path I used to create the symlink was wrong! Secondly, I needed to place the path in the LaTeXTools settings file. Although the relevant path is appearing when LaTeXTools does a systems check for some reason it will not look in that location when compiling unless the path is added to the settings file. I was able to do this with help from David - I hadn't known it was necessary to add the colon at the end. I am not sure whether to put this as an answer myself, or maybe David can place his comment as an answer, and I can tick it. Jun 20, 2020 at 17:23

2 Answers 2


With MacTeX, TeX will look in ~/Library/texmf/tex and its subdirectories for input files, so the simplest approach is to put the symlink under that directory.


Ahh... My path was wrong. It needed to end TEXINPUTS/TEXINPUTS as for some reason I had placed the genuine TEXINPUTS folder inside another one called TEXINPUTS.

However, it's still the case that I needed to put the path inside my LaTeXTools settings file (with the colon at the end) in order for TeX to find the TEXINPUTS file. So there seems to be something amiss with the way LaTeXTools automatically detects files inside texmf. Hopefully this information will be useful to someone.

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