I was reading the appendix to "The Errors of TeX" by Knuth (errorlog.tex, written with plain TeX) and I noticed that there is a PDF file errorlog.pdf with nice hyperlinks and I was wondering how that is possible.

It looks like magic to me, since the plain TeX file apparently has nothing related to hyperlinks. I've noticed that the PDF file was generated with pdftex, so I was wondering if there is some pdftex-specific technique allowing such hyperlinks.

Does anybody know what kind of modifications are necessary (if any) in order to compile Knuth's file with pdftex and get those hyperlinks?

1 Answer 1


The errorlog.pdf is actually generated by project latex-tds. The aim of the project is the generation of hyper features like links and bookmarks to the documentation of LaTeX(2e) and some more or less close bundles (tools, amsmath, ...).

errorlog.tex loads logmac.tex that defines the macros used in errorlog.tex. Project latex-tds has some patches in logmac.tex.diff that adds the links for pdfTeX. The generation of errorlog.pdf is done by running pdfTeX on the driver file errorlog.drv of project latex-tds. It contains some media size setting stuff and defines the fields title and author for the PDF information dictionary. Then it loads errorlog.tex that includes the modified logmac.tex with hyper link support.

  • I don't see any hyperlink stuff in logmac.tex on CTAN (it's dated 1991): could we have a clue as to where the appropriate code is?
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 20:55
  • I forgot to mention that I compiled the tex file myself with pdftex and got no hyperlinks. The logmac.tex file I have (it's in the directory where the errorlog.tex is) is from 1991 as Joseph pointed out.
    – Mafra
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 21:02
  • @JosephWright I forgot, the modifications to add link support is also be done by latex-tds. I have rewritten the answer. Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 21:06

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