I am writing my reports which need to reference complete *.java files with latex. I am using the Texlipse Eclipse plugin to do the editing.

Right now I am referencing the complete path to each *.java file within the *.tex file like so:


Since we are collaborating on the source files and the documentation with help of a VCS, it would be nice to have a means to reference a relative path within the latex document.

The folder structure within the project-file always looks like this:


But since editing takes place under different systems, where the project-files are located at different absolute path on the filesystem, it would be nice to have a possibility to just reference the relative path when invoking \lstinputlisting.

Also, it would be great, if it would be possible to automatically parse a directory for all *.java files, and automatically include them within the \lstinputlisting.

Is there a means in latex to achieve these desired features?

  • Please wait, I am preparing the answer. :-) Dec 5, 2010 at 2:45
  • You can use \write18 to execute commands on the system, but this is generally considered unsafe and thus disabled by default. You can enable it by passing arguments like -shell-escape to pdflatex. I think it's better to run something outside of latex to generate the file listing that you can parse in TeX.
    – TH.
    Dec 5, 2010 at 6:41
  • @elements, @TH, I have written the application in c#, please see the last part of my answer. Use Mono .NET runtime to compile and run the application. Dec 5, 2010 at 14:18
  • I don’t understand the problem. TeX works just fine with relative paths. Just use something like this: \lstinputlisting{Foo.java}. Dec 5, 2010 at 15:07
  • @Konrad, the topic starter @elementz wants to include any java source code in a directory under the directory in which the main TeX input file resides automatically and using relative paths. Dec 5, 2010 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


Create a batch file

If you are working on a non-Windows computer, please adapt the following batch.

rem batch.bat takes 2 mandatory arguments.
rem %1 represents your java code directory path.
rem %2 represents main TeX input file name (aka jobname).
set curdir=%CD%
cd %1
dir /b *.java > %curdir%\%2.xport

For the sake of simplicity, save this batch in the same directory in which your main TeX input file exists. In your case, save it in latex_documentation directory.

If you want to reuse this batch for other projects, you should set the system variable PATH to a directory in which this batch exists.

Main input file




    \immediate\write18{batch ..\dirsep src \jobname}% edit . to any directory in which the code exist.
    %\newread\myfile% should not be in a macro
    %\newcount\TotalFiles% should not be in a macro
        \read\myfile to \mydata
            \lstinputlisting[caption={\href{\mydata}{\mydata}}]{"../src/\mydata"}\newpage% also edit . here.
            \advance \TotalFiles by 1

There are \the\TotalFiles\ files in total.

DON'T forget to pass -enable-write18 to TeX compiler!

The trick, to escape \, is taken from SamB's answer


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