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BachoTeX 2004: David Kastrup, AUCTeX


David Kastrup

The referent is project leader for both the AUCTeX and preview-latex projects that are supplemental modes for authoring LaTeX on Emacs. While new releases might happen shortly before BachoTeX, they will not yet contain all features planned for the near future, and most people will not have tried the new releases (if they get out in time). I'll talk about and demonstrate imminent features (available in CVS and to be released soon) and will present features planned for the future.


AUCTeX is the major mode for authoring TeX, in particular LaTeX documents with Emacs.

Imminent features (version 12 and prereleases):

The indenting and filling code has been completely rewritten by Ralf Angeli. One consequence is that entering, formatting and editing .dtx files is fully supported. Another consequence is that formatting conventions can be chosen that lead to very good results in connection with preview-latex.

In other news, PDFTeX, PDFLaTeX (including appropriate viewer), ConTeXt, kpsepath searches are supported now. Menus have been cleaned up (in particular, the Command menu now offers only entries relevant for the major mode), configuration and installation now works with an autoconf-based procedure (also under Windows!). Highlighting changes.

Planned features: (version 13 development branch, 14 release branch): preview-latex will get folded into AUCTeX. Error parsing and task management of both packages will be folded, the complete option and command calling handling from AUCTeX will get replaced by more flexible schemes.


Preview-latex is a WYSIWYG editing and work environment for LaTeX authoring in Emacs. It replaces the source text of user-selectable constructs (like formulas and tables) with LaTeX-rendered images of the same, while allowing transparent editing operations of the underlying source text.

Imminent features (0.7.9): will now fully support rendering by dvipng (just released as 1.0). This makes image regeneration much faster than the previously employed dvips/GhostScript process. preview-latex now also allows copy and paste of rendered images into mail and news articles written with Emacs' mml-mode, either as single images or complete extracts. A few provisions have been made to deal better with new combinations of executables.

Planned features: (0.8) PDFLaTeX support. This is just missing some PostScript setup code from people knowing how GhostScript deals with PDF files. Non-image support: having preview-latex place text properties and folding away footnotes without having to include images would be nice.