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6.3. TeX errors

The material in this section (up to Section 6.3.1) is taken from the TeX FAQ item on How to approach errors.

Since TeX is a macroprocessor, its error messages are often difficult to understand; this is a (seemingly invariant) property of macroprocessors. Knuth makes light of the problem in the TeXbook, suggesting that you acquire the sleuthing skills of a latter-day Sherlock Holmes; while this approach has a certain romantic charm to it, it's not good for the 'production' user of (La)TeX. The following (derived, in part, from an article by Sebastian Rahtz in TUGboat 16(4)) offers some general guidance in dealing with TeX error reports, and other answers in this section deal with common (but perplexing) errors that you may encounter. There's a long list of "hints" in Sebastian's article, including the following:

The best advice to those faced with TeX errors is not to panic: most of the common errors are plain to the eye when you go back to the source line that TeX tells you of. If that approach doesn't work, the remaining answers in this section deal with some of the most common error messages you may encounter using LyX and a TeX system provided by a common Linux distribution as your starting point. For more on TeX errors, consult the “Joy of TeX errors” section of the TeX FAQ. You should not ordinarily need to appeal to the wider public for assistance (see TeX mailing lists), but if you do, be sure to report full backtraces (see errorcontextlines above) and so on.

Last updated Mon Sep 24 01:19:25 CEST 2007 Permalink: http://www.karakas-online.de/mySGML/tex-errors.html All contents © 2002-2007 Chris Karakas