The title says it all I hope, I'd like to configure Emacs to use XeLaTeX instead of pdfLaTeX, which is the default. I'm using MiKTeX on Windows (it's in my PATH), if that makes a difference.

I'm pretty sure there must be a simple way to achieve this, but I'm by no means an Emacs expert.

  • 2
    Why on earth do you refuse to use AUCTeX? – Keks Dose Jan 13 '13 at 16:59
  • 1
    I have a couple of reasons. First, because it's not available everywhere; Second, every time I wish to upgrade Emacs I have to go through this long page to make sure I didn't mess up anything. Third, I just don't see the value added.. Lastly, why should I accept to use AUCTeX? :-) – gpo Jan 13 '13 at 18:57
  • Use xemacs, that one comes with AUCTeX integrated ;-) – vonbrand Jan 19 '13 at 1:50
  • Lots of reasons not to use AUCTeX, but principally a) it's mainly for mathematicians, so it's full of good stuff I simply don't need; b) it changes the key-bindings. – Peter Flynn Feb 16 '16 at 15:16
  • Difficulty of installation is no longer an issue for AUCTeX, as it is now easily available from ELPA or EmacsMirror. – Radon Rosborough Feb 12 '17 at 21:27

It's a piece of cake, as it should be! :

(setq latex-run-command "xelatex")


You can run shell commands like pdflatex or biber on files in the various file manager modes. Dired is the most widely used one. There's also a number Midnight Commander clones.

See: http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/CategoryDirectories.

But I still think you should give AUCTeX a second chance. If the versions available for Windows or Mac are not up to date (I have no idea), you might be better off running a Linux VM or setting up a Linux system on another partition. Although Emacs package management is getting much, much better, Linux package management still makes life with Emacs easier.

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