How can I have Emacs call the Latex command every time after I save my .tex file?


A solution: while playing with ELisp and looking around, I added this to .emacs and it seems to work quite well (just don't press C-x C-s too much frequently, say every 5 secs):

(defun run-latex ()
    (let ((process (TeX-active-process))) (if process (delete-process process)))
    (let ((TeX-save-query nil)) (TeX-save-document ""))
    (TeX-command-menu "LaTeX"))
(add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook (lambda () (local-set-key (kbd "C-x C-s") #'run-latex)))

The advantage of this solution over latexmk is that it is quicker to put working because I don't have to customize anything (and risking making mistakes). Also, in case I want to remove it, I only have to comment the last line (add-hook ... in your .emacs.

Anyway, latexmk seems also another interesting path I will try when I have more time.

Thanks for your answers and help.

  • I don't see why you can't just call the latex command which in turn causes a save of the file. Isn't that the same thing?
    – Vivi
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 12:59
  • In that case you have to always type "y" when asked for to save the file before the latex command runs. But, your solution would be good if I knew how to configure Emacs to save the file every time before the latex command is run. Do you know how?
    – mljrg
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 13:29
  • I hit "save" quite frequently when I'm typing my documents (and of course don't want to run LaTeX each time). Better safe than sorry. :)
    – egreg
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 14:02
  • 1
    @mljrg If you add (setq TeX-save-query nil) to your .emacs file then C-c C-c will not ask for confirmation before saving the file. It will save automatically on compile.
    – Vivi
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


Please search this forum for latexmk, which does exactly what you ask.

EDIT: See here: Compile using latexmk in emacs

There are more threads in this forum, if you search for 'latexmk' and 'emacs'.

  • That seems to be one way, but I have everything already configured in Emacs (that is, I have source links, direct and inverse search working, etc), so I would prefer a simple solution inside Emacs. Is there one?
    – mljrg
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 12:21
  • 1
    @mljrg: Run Latexmk in preview-continuous mode instead of LaTeX. If you are using AUCTeX it’s not difficult to add a new command to the list inspected by C-c C-c.
    – mhp
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 14:41
  • @mhp But in that case I still have to do C-x C-s then C-c C-cdon't I? I just wanted to do C-x C-sand have the file saved and Latex run.
    – mljrg
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 15:16
  • @mljrg: No, once you’ve started Latexmk in preview-continuous mode it recompiles your document every time you press C-x C-s.
    – mhp
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 15:47
  • @mhp Can you tell me how to do that? I changed the entry AUCTeX\Tex Command Group\Latex Command to "latexmk -pvc" but it did not worked. Thanks
    – mljrg
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 16:15

Since my elisp skills are rather poor, I can only suggest a general Idea. Using TeX-sace-query and/or TeX-sace-document you can re-bind C-x C-s to first save the file(s) and then run your TeX-run-TeX with the appropriate parameter.

As a side remark, I have the following in my .emacs:

(require 'tex-buf)
(defun run-latexmk ()
  (let ((TeX-save-query nil)
        (TeX-process-asynchronous nil)
        (master-file (TeX-master-file)))
    (TeX-save-document "")
    (TeX-run-TeX "latexmk"
         (TeX-command-expand "latexmk -pdf %t" 'TeX-master-file)
    (if (plist-get TeX-error-report-switches (intern master-file))
        (TeX-next-error t)
      (minibuffer-message "latexmk done"))))

(add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook
          (lambda () (local-set-key (kbd "C-0") #'run-latexmk)))

which binds C-0 to SAVE and then run latexmk.

  • I have added this to .emacs (defun my-run-latex () (interactive) (TeX-command "LaTeX" 'TeX-master-file -1)) (add-hook 'after-save-hook 'my-run-latex), it is working, but I am getting an error "Wrong type argument: stringp, nil" and I don't know why. Also I would like to check if the file extension is .tex, and only in this case the hook would call latex on the file.
    – mljrg
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 12:52
  • Your solution runs synchronously and blocks if I save the file two times in a row.
    – mljrg
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 16:35
  • Your solution was helpful to reach mine above. Thanks!
    – mljrg
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 16:56
  • @mljrg: Usually I'm using the "preview" option of latexmk, and just save the file. BTW, with latexmk you hardly have to customize anything...
    – Dror
    Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 9:49

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