I'm new to Emacs and AUCTeX and I want to have consistent syntax highlighting.

Besides the "normal" \cite command, I'm also using commands like \citeauthor or \Citeauthoror self defined commands like \cians{...} which have bibtex keys as arguments and are used to cite literature.

  • How can I change syntax coloring in AUCTeX so that those commands and their arguments have the same colors as the \cite command?

I'm sorry, I'm not very experienced with Emacs, so for me those customizations are very difficult, I tried and found the Font Latex User Keyword Classes, but I do not know how to apply them (if this should be the right solution).

  • 1
    This question might be useful: tex.stackexchange.com/q/42086/3731.
    – Ricardo
    Dec 30, 2012 at 16:51
  • @Ricardo: thanks, this was indeed helpful. however I'd also like to know how to add more commands to the list of those who are treated as citations or references Dec 30, 2012 at 17:08
  • These two questions might be useful, as far as fontification goes: tex.stackexchange.com/q/42086/3731 and tex.stackexchange.com/a/86119/3731.
    – Ricardo
    Dec 30, 2012 at 17:58
  • Check if this question helps: tex.stackexchange.com/q/31966/3731 If not, consider opening a new question, in the spirit of one post per question, so that other users may find it more easily.
    – Ricardo
    Dec 30, 2012 at 18:04
  • @Ricardo: I turned your answer post to a comment. Links to other answers do not qualify as new answers on this site, but should be posted as comments. If they actually answer the question it should be closed as a duplicate. Dec 31, 2012 at 10:04

1 Answer 1


As described in this answer to AUCTeX – new commands recognized as such you can fontify macros of choice by adding them to the variable font-latex-match-reference-keywords which is meant to list

Keywords for macros defining or related to references, like ‘\ref’.

Thus, to fontify the macros you mention add the following to your .emacs:

(setq font-latex-match-reference-keywords
    ("citeauthor" "[{")
    ("Citeauthor" "[{")
    ("cians" "[{")))

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