For faster compilation, I'm attempting to use a custom format file. However, it seems to misbehave when I try to use \maketitle … even though I use \title{Test}.


I've created a preamble.tex with the following content:



I've then compiled it to a .fmt file with pdflatex -output-directory /tmp/ -ini -jobname=preamble "&pdflatex" mylatexformat.ltx /tmp/preamble.tex, and it produces preamble.fmt with no warnings or errors.

Then I create a demo.tex with the following content

%& /tmp/preamble






When I attempt to compile this with latexmk -f -pdf -pdflatex -shell-escape -interaction=nonstopmode -output-directory=/tmp /tmp/demo.tex it fails, with the error:

! LaTeX Error: No \title given.

See the LaTeX manual or LaTeX Companion for explanation.
Type  H <return>  for immediate help.

LaTeX Warning: No \author given.

If I remove the \maketitle, it works as expected and I get a PDF containing "Hello".

I also tried setting the title and author with


however, I still ran into the error above.

If anybody could help me work out what is going on, and how I might fix this, that would be much appreciated.

  • This maybe isn't the issue but could you put \usepackage{hyperref} as the last package in preamble.tex and try again? It is uncanny how many issues arise when hyperref isn't the last package loaded so it would at least eliminate that as a cause
    – JamesT
    Feb 12, 2023 at 10:06
  • 1
    I can confirm that putting hyperref last makes no difference. In fact, I've been able to make a much more minimal MWE.
    – tecosaur
    Feb 12, 2023 at 10:41
  • mylatexformat starts reading files from \begin{document}. so you have to move \title{…}, \author{…} etc. after \begin{document}.
    – cabohah
    Feb 12, 2023 at 11:02

1 Answer 1


It seems I have missed a rather crucial part of the mylatexformat docs. The \endofdump command should be in both preamble.tex and demo.tex.

If I add \endofdump to the start of demo.tex, everything works as expected.

  • 1
    Somehow more precisely: mylatexformat has been made to dump the whole preamble of a document. So you just don't need two files. But if you use two file, everything before \begin{document} (or \endofdump) of the document file is ignored. So you cannot set \author, \title and \date before \begin{document} but only after it (or use an addition \endofdump).
    – cabohah
    Feb 12, 2023 at 11:06
  • I'm aware I don't need two files, the idea here is that the same precompiled format file can be used with many .tex files :)
    – tecosaur
    Feb 12, 2023 at 13:04

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