In TeXstudio, what exactly is the difference between Build and view (F5) and Compile (F6)?

  • 1
    Compile the document, then refresh the pdf viewer vs just compile the document
    – daleif
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 14:51
  • Ok, thank you for your comment! Sounds like it should be called Compile and view and Compile then ... ?
    – Stücke
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 15:00
  • 2
    I don't use TeXstudio myself but maybe 'Build' means to do the full process, i.e., compile multiple times to resolve references etc., create the bibliography, create indexes and so on, while 'Compile' is just a single run of the main compiler and nothing else? Then it would make sense to use different names for the two procedures.
    – Marijn
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 15:15
  • Given that this is texstudio it may automatically run, bibtex/biber and other programmes as well so build is more fitting
    – daleif
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


The difference will be apparent if you do not have the produced document opened (either in an external PDF viewer or in the one embedded in TeXStudio).

If you only "Compile", TS will invoke your LaTeX compiler and (re)build your document with it. That's it. If you haven't had it open in a viewer that automatically refreshes, you won't see the document (or the changes) after this has been done.

With "Build and view" on the other hand TS will do the same as before except that now after it has finished compiling the document it will actually open it in the viewer of your choice (might be the embedded one) so that you are immediately able to see your document (or the changes you made). I think this option should probably be called "Compile and view" as the first step really is the same as what "Compile" does (or the compile operation should be named "Build").

  • Is 'Compile' here the same as calling 'pdflatex main' for example? Or does it do a sequence of 'pdflatex' and 'bibtex' commands?
    – zwep
    Commented Jan 21 at 17:07
  • 1
    @zwep iirc this depends on you TeXStudio configuration and I'm not sure what the defaults are. Have a look at the settings - there you can also configure this behavior
    – Raven
    Commented Jan 22 at 8:45

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