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LATEX2HTML Frequently Asked Questions
Release 98.1
* Contents
* 1. Overview
* 2. Installation and Further Support
+ 2.1 Getting LATEX2HTML
+ 2.2 Getting Support and More Information
* 3. Known Problems
+ 3.1 Troubleshooting
* Bibliography
1. Overview
This manual describes the LATEX2HTML translator which is used to
create Web pages from document source written for the LATEX
typesetting system, or simply containing LATEX commands.
To use LATEX2HTML to translate a file <file>.tex containing LATEX
commands, simply type:
latex2html <file>.tex
This will create a new directory called <file> which will contain the
generated HTML files, some log files and possibly some images.
Basically the translator reads the source document and creates a
linked set of HTML pages, displaying the information it contains. The
LATEX commands and environments that are found are interpreted either
as ``markup'' instructions, or as macros expanding into more text or
markup commands. Where such markup corresponds to the intended use for
markup tags in the HTML language, a direct translation is made. If
there is no natural way to present the information using simple text
embellished with HTML markup tags, then an image is generated, using
LATEX itself to interpret the portion of code.
Of course this is a drastically over-simplified description of what
LATEX2HTML actually does. Many questions spring readily to mind. The
answers to these and the options available to handle particular
situations are discussed elsewhere in this manual.
* What does ``natural way to present the information'' really mean?
Text and paragraphing clearly should appear as such, whether printed
or on-screen. Different font sizes and styles such as ``bold-face'' or
``italic'' are generally rendered accordingly. However, whereas LATEX
has access to appropriate fonts for specialised purposes such as
mathematical symbols, these cannot be guaranteed to be available with
all Web-browsers. So for information requiring such things, LATEX2HTML
will generally resort to making an image, using LATEX itself to
typeset the material required for that image.
The next page contains a brief overview of how LATEX's standard
environments are handled within LATEX2HTML. It also mentions some of
the extra features that are available.
In general LATEX2HTML attempts to use textual constructions to
represent the required information. Generation of an image is done
only when there is no adequate textual construction with the required
version of HTML, or when specifically requested to do so. Various
extensions, to cope with the different HTML versions and extra
features, are discussed elsewhere. That describes what to expect on
the HTML pages, with little or no changes required to the LATEX
Just as LATEX has various packages which can be used to present
specific types of information in appropriate ways, so is LATEX2HTML
capable of handling the commands from many of these packages. See this
table for a listing of those packages which currently have special
* Some features of HTML have no direct counterpart in a LATEX
typeset document.
Can such features be used with LATEX2HTML?
Any effect currently available with any version of the HTML standard
can be specified for a document processed by LATEX2HTML. New LATEX
commands are defined in the html.sty package; the features that these
commands allow are the subject of a whole section of this manual. Some
of the new commands provide improved strategies for effects already
existing in LATEX; e.g. cross-references and citations. To use these
effectively requires only small changes to the LATEX source.
Other commands define new environments which are completely ignored
when processed by LATEX. Indeed the full scope of HTML 3.2 is
available, using LATEX-like macros to help structure the source,
reduce the tedium of repetitious use of tags, and ensure that all
appropriate tags are correctly closed.
* What determines the amount of information that goes onto a single
HTML page?
How are different pages linked?
The HTML pages can contain whole chapters, sections, (sub)subsections
or (sub)paragraphs. This is fully customisable using the command-line
options discussed in detail in a separate section of this manual.
* Does the original document have to be a valid LATEX document,
typesetting without errors? If not, does it help if it is?
In fact any document can be fed to the LATEX2HTML processor, but it is
designed specifically to recognise and sensibly translate the
intentions expressed by LATEX markup commands. Although sensible
results can be obtained even when the LATEX source is not valid, the
most reliable translations are obtained when it is. Relevant issues
are discussed in a later section.
* When developing a document which contains special HTML features,
is it best to regularly test it in LATEX or with LATEX2HTML?
The answer to such a question changes as the developer gains more
experience with the available tools. Some aspects to be considered are
discussed in a later section of this manual.
Information relevant to obtaining the latest version of LATEX2HTML,
installation within the local environment, and where to look for help
when things do not go as expected, can be found in the support
2. Installation and Further Support
2.1 Getting LATEX2HTML
change_begin 98.1
One way LATEX2HTMLmay be obtained is through one of the three
Comprehensive TEX Archive Network (CTAN) sites. They are located at
* US
United States:,
* UK
United Kingdom:
* DE
In the directory should be the latest
version, uncompressed.
There are also many mirrors. To find the nearest to you, try:
change_end 98.1
change_begin 97.1
For users of Windows NT, there is a port of LATEX2HTML obtainable from Obtain the release from this site
and follow the instructions in the accompanying file README.win32.
Thanks to Fabrice Popineau for this work.
In future it is planned to merge this code with the main distribution.
change_end 97.1
change_begin 97.1
Finally there is the LATEX2HTML developers' CVS repository, at
The files to be found here are the most up-to-date with current
developments, but they cannot be guaranteed to be fully reliable. New
features may be still under development and not yet sufficiently
tested for release. A daily updated compressed archive of the
developers' work may be downloaded from
Warning: Use the files from this site at your own risk.
change_end 97.1
Having obtained a compressed tar version, save it into a file
latex2html-98.1.tar.gz say, then extract its contents with
% gzip -d latex2html-98.1.tar.gz
% tar xvf latex2html-98.1.tar
You should then have the following:
* README file;
change_begin 98.1
* Changes index with latest changes;
* Changes.detailed (no longer supplied);
change_end 98.1
* latex2html Perl script;
* texexpand Perl script1;
* latex2html.config configuration file;
* install-test Perl script, for installation and testing;
* dot.latex2html-init sample initialisation file;
change_begin 97.1
* texinputs/ subdirectory, containing various LATEX style-files;
* versions/ subdirectory, containing code for specific HTML
* makemap Perl script;
* example/ subdirectory, containing the segmentation example,
described in detail in a later section;
* .dvipsrc file;
* pstogif Perl script (no longer supplied);
change_end 97.1
change_begin 97.1
* pstoimg Perl script for image conversion (replaces pstogif );
* configure-pstoimg Perl script for installation;
* Perl input file;
* icons.gif/ subdirectory, containing icons in GIF format;
* icons.png/ subdirectory, containing icons in PNG format;
* makeseg Perl script and examples to handle segmented documents
via a generated Makefile, see makeseg.tex;
change_end 97.1
change_begin 98.1
* foilhtml/ package to support FoilTeX to HTML translation, by
Boris Veystman;
* IndicTeX-HTML/ package that contains Perl and LATEX code for
translating IndicTEX documents (see README file);
change_end 98.1
* docs/ subdirectory, containing the files needed to create a
version of this manual;
* styles/ subdirectory, containing Perl code for handling some
* tests/ contains some test documents for LATEX2HTML.
2.1.1 Requirements
The translator makes use of several utilities all of which are freely
available on most platforms. You may use Archie , or other
Web-searching tools such as FTP search , to find the source code of
any utilities you might need.
For the best use of LATEX2HTML you want to get the latest versions of
all the utilities that it uses. (It will still work with earlier
versions, but some special effects may not be possible. The specific
requirements are discussed below.)
change_begin 98.1
* Perl version 5.002, or later (check with perl -v);
Perl should be compiled to use the csh or tcsh shell, though
LATEX2HTML can also work with the bash shell if Perl is
recompiled to use it as ``full csh''. Don't care about this, you
will be reported about missing things by install-test if there
are any.
change_end 98.1
* LATEX, meaning LATEX2e dated <1995/06/01>, or later;
* dvips or dvipsk , at version 5.58 or later;
* Ghostscript at version 4.02 or later;
* the netpbm library of graphics utilities version 1-MAR-94 (check
with pnmcrop -version).
More specific requirements for using LATEX2HTML depend on the kind of
translation you would like to perform, as follows:
LATEX commands but without equations, figures, tables, etc.
+ Perl
change_begin 98.1
Note: LATEX2HTML requires Perl 5 to operate.
change_end 98.1
Warning 1: You really do need Perl 5.
Versions of LATEX2HTML up to V96.1H work both with Perl 4 at
patch level 36 and Perl 5, though some of the packages may
only work with Perl 5.
Warning 2: Various aspects of Perl, which are used by
LATEX2HTML, assume certain system commands to be provided by
the operating system shell. If csh or tcsh is used to
invoke LATEX2HTML then everything should work properly. Perl
5 eliminates this requirement on the shell.
+ DBM or NDBM , the Unix DataBase Management system, or GDBM ,
the GNU database manager.
Note: Some systems lack any DBM support. Perl 5 comes with
its own database system SDBM, but it is sometimes not part of
some Perl distributions.
change_begin 98.1
The installation script install-test will check that for
you. If no database system is found, you will have to install
Perl properly.
change_end 98.1
LATEX commands with equations, figures, tables, etc.
As above plus ...
+ latex (version 2e recommended but 2.09 acceptable);
+ dvips (version 5.516 or later) or dvipsk
change_begin 98.1
Version 5.62 or higher enhances the performance of image
creation with a significant speed-up. See latex2html.config
for this after you are done with the installation. Do not use
the 'dvips -E' feature unless you have 5.62, else you will
get broken images.
change_end 98.1
change_begin 98.1
gs Ghostscript (version 4.03 or later); with the ppmraw
device driver, or even better pnmraw. Upgrade to 5.10 or
later if you want to go sure about seldom problems with 4.03
to avoid (yet unclarified).
change_end 98.1
change_begin 98.1
The netpbm library. Netpbm 1 March 1994 is recommended. Check
with pnmcrop -version.
change_end 98.1
Several of the filters in those libraries are used during the
PostScript to GIF conversion.
change_begin 98.1
If you want PNG images, you need pnmtopng (current version
is 2.31). It is not part of netpbm and requires
libpng-0.89c.tar.gz and libz (1.0.4) (or later versions).
pnmtopng supports transparency and interlace mode.
Netscape Navigator v4.04 has been reported to grok PNG
images! That means your PNG option is not longer ahead of its
change_end 98.1
Segmentation of large documents
If you wish to use this feature, you will have to upgrade your
LATEX to LATEX2e. Some other hyperlinking features also require
Transparent inlined images
If you dislike the white background color of the generated
inlined images then you should get either the netpbm library
(instead of the older pbmplus ) or install the giftrans filter
by Andreas Ley <>. LATEX2HTML now
supports the shareware program giftool (by Home Pages, Inc.,
version 1.0), too. It can also create interlaced GIFs.
If Ghostscript or the netpbm library are not available, it is still
possible to use the translator with the -no_images option.
If you intend to use any of the special features of the translator
then you have to include the html.sty file in any LATEX documents
that use them.
Since by default the translator makes use of inlined images in the
final HTML output, it would be better to have a viewer which supports
the <IMG> tag, such as NCSA Mosaic or Netscape Navigator.
change_begin 97.1
Any browser which claims to be compatible with HTML 3.2 should meet
this requirement.
change_end 97.1
If only a character-based browser, such as lynx , is available, or if
you want the generated documents to be more portable, then the
translator can be used with the -ascii_mode option.
2.1.2 Installing LATEX2HTML
change_begin 98.1
To install LATEX2HTML you MUST do the following:
Specify where Perl is on your system.
In each of the files latex2html , texexpand , pstoimg ,
install-test and makemap , modify the first line saying where
Perl is on your system.
Some system administrators do not allow Perl programs to run as
shell scripts. This means that you may not be able to run any
of the above programs. In this case change the first line in
each of these programs from
# *-*-perl-*-*
eval 'exec perl -S $0 "$@"'
if $running_under_some_shell;
Copy the files to the destination directory.
Copy the contents of the texinputs/ directory to a place where
they will be found by LATEX, or set up your TEXINPUTS variable
to point to that directory.
Run install-test .
This Perl script will make some changes in the latex2html file
and then check whether the path-names to any external utilities
required by latex2html are correct. It will not actually
install the external utilities. install-test asks you whether
to configure for GIF or PNG image generation. Finally it
creates the file which houses pathnames for the
external utilities determined earlier.
You might need to make install-test executable before using
it. Use chmod +x install-test to do this. You may also need to
make the files pstogif , texexpand , configure-pstoimg and
latex2html executable if install-test fails to do it for you.
If you like so, copy or move the latex2html executable script
to some location outside the $LATEX2HTMLDIR directory.
You might want to edit latex2html.config to reflect your
needs. Read the instructions about $ICONSERVER carefully to
make sure your HTML documents will be displayed right via the
Web server.
While you're at it you may want to change some of the default
options in the same file.
If you do a system installation for many users, only care for
general aspects and let the user override them with
Note that you must run install-test now (formerly you needn't). If
you want to reconfigure LATEX2HTML for GIF/PNG image generation, or
because some of the external tools changed the location, simply rerun
configure-pstoimg .
change_end 98.1
This is usually enough for the main installation, but you may also
want to do some of the following, to ensure that advanced features of
LATEX2HTML work correctly on your system:
* To use the new LATEX commands which are defined in html.sty :
Make sure that LATEX knows where the html.sty file is, either by
putting it in the same place as the other style-files on your
system, or by changing your TEXINPUTS shell environment variable,
or by copying html.sty into the same directory as your LATEX
source file.
The environment variable TEXINPUTS is not to be confused with the
LATEX2HTML installation variable $TEXINPUTS described next.
* There is an installation variable in latex2html.config called
$TEXINPUTS , which tells LATEX2HTML where to look for LATEX
style-files to process. It can also affect the input-path of LATEX
when called by LATEX2HTML, unless the command latex is really a
script which overwrites the $TEXINPUTS variable prior to calling
the real latex . This variable is overridden by the environment
variable of the same name if it is set.
* The installation variable $PK_GENERATION specifies which fonts
are used in the generation of mathematical equations. A value of
``0'' causes the same fonts to be used as those for the default
printer. Because they were designed for a printer of much greater
resolution than the screen, equations will generally appear to be
of a lower quality than is otherwise possible. To cause LATEX2HTML
to dynamically generate fonts that are designed specifically for
the screen, you should specify a value of ``1'' for this variable.
If you do, then check to see whether your version of dvips
supports the command-line option -mode . If it does, then also set
the installation variable $DVIPS_MODE to a low resolution entry
from , such as toshiba .
It may also be necessary to edit the MakeTeXPK script, to
recognise this mode at the appropriate resolution.
change_begin 97.1
If you have PostScript fonts available for use with LATEX and
dvips then you can probably ignore the above complications and
simply set $PK_GENERATION to ``0'' and $DVIPS_MODE to "" (the
empty string). You must also make sure that gs has the locations
of the fonts recorded in its file. This should
already be the case where GS-Preview is installed as the viewer
for .dvi-files, using the PostScript fonts.
change_end 97.1
If dvips does not support the -mode switch, then leave
$DVIPS_MODE undefined, and verify that the .dvipsrc file points
to the correct screen device and its resolution.
* The installation variable $AUTO_PREFIX allows the filename-prefix
to be automatically set to the base filename-prefix of the
document being translated. This can be especially useful for
multiple-segment documents.
* The makemap script also has a configuration variable $SERVER ,
which must be set to either CERN or NCSA, depending on the type of
Web-server you are using.
* To set up different initialization files:
For a ``per user'' initialization file, copy the file
dot.latex2html-init in the home directory of any user that wants
it, modify it according to her preferences and rename it as
.latex2html-init . At runtime, both the latex2html.config file
and $HOME/.latex2html-init file will be loaded, but the latter
will take precedence.
You can also set up a ``per directory'' initialization file by
copying a version of .latex2html-init in each directory you would
like it to be effective. An initialization file
/X/Y/Z/.latex2html-init will take precedence over all other
initialization files if /X/Y/Z is the ``current directory'' when
LATEX2HTML is invoked.
Warning: This initialization file is incompatible with any version
of LATEX2HTML prior to V96.1. Users must either update this file in
their home directory, or delete it altogether.
* To make your own local copies of the LATEX2HTML icons:
Please copy the icons/ subdirectory to a place under your WWW
tree where they can be served by your server. Then modify the
value of the $ICONSERVER variable in latex2html.config
change_begin 97.1
Alternatively, a local copy of the icons can be included within
the subdirectory containing your completed HTML documents. This is
most easily done using the -local_icons command-line switch, or by
setting $LOCAL_ICONS to ``1'' in latex2html.config or within an
initialization file, as described above.
change_end 97.1
Warnings: If you cannot do that, bear in mind that these icons will
have to travel from Livermore, California!!! Also note that several
more icons were added in V96.1 that were not present in earlier
versions of LATEX2HTML.
* To make your own local copy of the LATEX2HTML documentation:
This will also be a good test of your installation. Firstly, to
obtain the .dvi version for printing, from within the docs/
directory it is sufficient to type:
make manual.dvi
This initiates the following sequence of commands:
latex manual.tex
makeindex -s manual.idx
makeindex -s -o manual.gls manual.glo
latex manual.tex
latex manual.tex which the two configuration files and for the makeindex program, are used to create the
index and glossary respectively. The 2nd run of latex is needed
to assimilate references, etc. and include the index and glossary.
(In case makeindex is not available, a copy of its outputs
manual.ind and manual.gls are included in the docs/
subdirectory, along with manual.aux .)
The 3rd run of latex is needed to adjust page-numbering for the
Index and Glossary within the Table-of-Contents.
Next, the HTML version is obtained by typing:
make manual.html
This initiates a series of calls to LATEX2HTML on the separate
segments of the manual; the full manual is thus created as a
``segmented document'' (see a later section). The whole process
may take quite some time, as each segment needs to be processed at
least twice, to collect the cross-references from other segments.
The files necessary for correct typesetting of the manual to be
found within the docs/ subdirectory. They are as follows:
+ style-files: l2hman.sty , html.sty , htmllist.sty ,
justify.sty ,
changebar.sty and url.sty
+ inputs: changes.tex , credits.tex , features.tex ,
hypextra.tex ,
licence.tex , manhtml.tex , manual.tex , overview.tex ,
problems.tex , support.tex and userman.tex
+ sub-directory: psfiles/ containing PostScript graphics used
in the printed version of this manual
+ images of small curved arrows: up.gif , dn.gif
+ filename data: l2hfiles.dat
+ auxiliaries: manual.aux , manual.ind , manual.gls
The last three can be derived from the others, but are included
for convenience.
change_begin 98.1
To get a printed version of the `Changes' section:
Due to the burgeoning size of the Changes file with successive
revisions of LATEX2HTML, the `Changes' section is no longer
supported for the manual. Please refer to text file Changes
instead which is part of the distribution.
change_end 98.1
* To join the community of LATEX2HTML users:
More information on a mailing list, discussion archives, bug
reporting forms and more is available at
2.2 Getting Support and More Information
A LATEX2HTML mailing list has been set up at the TeX Users Group.
The LATEX2HTML mailing list archive is available.
(Thanks to Ian Foster <> and Bob Olson
To join send a message to: < >
with the contents: subscribe
To be removed from the list send a message to:
with the contents: unsubscribe
The mailing list also has a searchable online archive at It is
recommendable to start with that URL first, to get in touch with the
topics actually discussed and to search for articles related with your
3. Known Problems
Here are some of the problems that were known to exist with previous
versions of LATEX2HTML. Most of those that were real errors are either
fixed completely in the current version (V98.1), or are much less
likely to occur within correct LATEX source. (Some are not really
errors but indications of poor style in the user's choices among
various ways to organise their source code.)
Several are indeed limitations inherent in the way LATEX2HTML
currently performs its processing.
* Correctness and Efficiency:
The translator cannot be guaranteed to perform as expected.
Several aspects of the implementation need optimisation and
improvement. Apart from possible bugs the translator may place
heavy demands on your resources.
change_begin 97.1
The current version works much more efficiently than previous
versions; many subtle bugs have been identified and eliminated.
change_end 97.1
change_begin 98.1
The process of command substitution has been improved
significantly, resulting in memory savings and faster document
text translation.
change_end 98.1
* Unrecognised Commands and Environments:
Unrecognised commands are ignored and any arguments are left in
the text. Unrecognised environments are passed to LATEX and the
result is included in the document as one or more inlined
change_begin 97.1
There are very few standard LATEX commands that are not
recognised. Many common TEX commands are recognised also, even
though not explicitly mentioned in the LATEX #!lamp:latex!#.
Any aberrant commands should be reported to the LATEX2HTML
mailing list.
change_end 97.1
* Cross-references:
References in environments that are passed to LATEX for
processing (e.g. a \cite, or a \ref command), are not processed
correctly. \label commands are handled correctly.
change_begin 97.1
All citation, reference and label commands should work
correctly now. Report any problems to the LATEX2HTML mailing
change_end 97.1
* Order-Sensitive Commands:
Commands which affect global parameters during the translation,
and are sensitive to the order in which they are processed may
not be handled correctly. In particular, counter manipulation
(e.g. \newcounter, \setcounter, \stepcounter, etc.) commands
may cause problems.
change_begin 97.1
Counter commands now work correctly; dependencies are also
change_end 97.1
* Index:
The translator generates its own index by saving the arguments
of the \index command. The contents of the theindex environment
are ignored.
change_begin 97.1
This remains true. When using the makeidx package, very
sophisticated Indexes can be built automatically. The Index for
this manual is a good example.
change_end 97.1
* New Definitions:
New definitions (\newcommand, \newenvironment, \newtheorem and
\def), will not work as expected if they are defined more than
once. Only the last definition will be used throughout the
change_begin 97.1
This remains true. Stylistically it is bad to declare new
environments or theorems outside of the document preamble, so
these should cause no problems anyway.
Changes to commands using \def or \renewcommand should usually
be made only locally, within special environments, to set a
needed parameter; e.g. a basic length in a picture environment.
But when such environments force an image to be generated, then
LATEX will make the correct redefinition.
change_end 97.1
* Scope of declarations and environments:
If the scope of a declaration or environment crosses section
boundaries, then the output may not be as expected, because
each section is processed independently.
change_begin 97.1
This is inherent to the way LATEX2HTML does its processing. It
will not be fixed until later versions change this strategy;
e.g. when LATEX2HTML-NG becomes fully integrated.
change_end 97.1
* Math-mode font-size changes:
Math-mode font changes made outside the math-mode are not
honoured. Thus the two equations in $a_b$ and {\LARGE $a_b$}
would come out looking the same. The trick is to write $a_b and
$\mbox{\LARGE $a_b$}$.
change_begin 97.1
This remains. The work-around is effective.
change_end 97.1
3.1 Troubleshooting
Here are some curable symptoms:
* Cannot run any of the Perl programs:
If your Perl installation is such that Perl programs are not
allowed to run as shell scripts you may be unable to run
latex2html , texexpand , pstoimg and install-test . In this
case change the first line in each of these programs from
: # *-*-perl-*-*
eval 'exec perl -S $0 "$@"'
if $running_under_some_shell;
* The install-test script gives uninformative error messages:
If, for any reason, you have trouble running install-test , do
not despair. Most of what it does is to do with checking your
installation rather than actually installing anything. To do a
manual installation just change the variable $LATEX2HTMLDIR in
the beginning of the file latex2html to point to the directory
where the LATEX2HTML files can be found.
Also, make sure that the files pstoimg , texexpand and
latex2html are executable; if necessary use the Unix chmod
command to make them executable.
* It just stops.
Check the style files that you are using. It is possible that
you are using a style file which contains raw TEX commands. In
such a case start LATEX2HTML with the option -dont_include
<style-file name> . Alternatively, add the name of the style to
the variable $DONT_INCLUDE in your $HOME/.latex2html-init
file. If you don't have such a file then create one and add the
$DONT_INCLUDE = "$DONT_INCLUDE" . ": <style file name>";
1; # This must be the last line
Another reason why LATEX2HTML might stop is that the LATEX
source file itself contains raw TEX commands. In this case you
may put such commands inside a latexonly environment.
change_begin 97.1
The $VERBOSITY variable can be used to create tracing
messages, which may help to locate which command or environment
was being processed when everything stopped.
change_end 97.1
change_begin 97.1
* It appears to be doing nothing.
Perhaps the processor has fallen into an unending loop. Usually
there will be a bad definition, or other faulty source code,
which has caused this. The $VERBOSITY variable can be set to
generate tracing messages, which may help to locate which
command or environment is being processed repeatedly. Try
setting a value of `3'; e.g. using the commandline switch
-verbosity 3 . This will print command and environment names,
as thaey are processed. It should soon become apparent where
any such looping occurs.
* It just fills the endlessly with dots.
No `perhaps' here; the processor has definitely fallen into an
unending loop. See the previous item for how to detect which
command or environment is causing the problem.
change_end 97.1
change_begin 98.1
* Perl cannot parse the latex2html script:
If Perl refuses to start LATEX2HTML and issues errors, your
Perl version is not up to date. Update your Perl to 5.003 or
later. You can check which version of Perl you are using by
invoking Perl with the -v option.
If Perl issues errors during runtime, this is most probably
related to bugs within LATEX2HTML or one of its modules. In
this case you will need help from the developers or experienced
users; this can be obtained via the discussion list.
* It crashes (dumps core) as soon as it starts :
Update your Perl to 5.003 or later.
change_end 98.1
change_begin 98.1
* It does not show any of your images:
You can't run LATEX2HTML in a subdirectory that contains a dot
within the directory name, such as latex2html-98.1, or in name
of any higher directory. This is because dvips 's -o option
will change 98.1 into 98.001 and use that as the resulting
output file, instead of image001 . The PostScript files will
be placed higher up in the directory tree.
For instance, if pwd returns something like:
and you run LATEX2HTML, then dvips will generate image output files
called latex2html-98.001, latex2html-98.002, ... instead of image001,
image002, image003, ... in the subdirectory where your .html
files were created. As a result the images will not show in
your documents.
If you are getting File Not Found errors, then turn on the
$DEBUG flag in latex2html.config to see what options are
passed to dvips . If there are some dots in names, then look
above that directory to see if files are being generated there.
One obvious fix is to rename the offending directory to remove
the `.' from its name.
If that is not possible, then define an alternative location
for image generation to take place; set $TMP to contain the
name for this location. Typically $TMP = '/usr/tmp'; . (This
use of $TMP is a good thing to do anyway, especially if your
Unix account is subject to quota limitations.)
* It stops after having run LATEX, displaying a message about dvips :
See the previous item.
change_end 98.1
* dvips complains about incorrect arguments:
Please use a version which supports the command-line options -M
, -S , -o and -i . ``Recent'' versions, at least after 5.516,
do support them.
* It gives an ``Out of memory'' message and dies:
Try splitting your source file into more than one file, using
the LATEX commands \input or \include. Also, try using the
-no_images option.
change_begin 97.1
Perhaps the processor has fallen into an infinite loop. Usually
there will be a bad definition, or other faulty source code,
which has caused this. See an earlier problem for how to set
the $VERBOSITY variable to help locate the bad code leading to
this memory exhaustion.
change_end 97.1
As a last resort you may consider increasing the virtual memory
(swap space) of your machine. As an indication of what you
might be able to do on your machine, a very long book (about
1000 printed pages) required about 24MB of RAM and over 150MB
of swap space to convert on a local Sun Sparc ELC running SunOS
change_begin 97.1
Much of this memory would have been consumed during
image-generation. This part of the processing is much more
efficient in V97.1.
change_end 97.1
change_begin 98.1
* install-test issues ``dbm'' related error messages:
LATEX2HTML requires a DataBase Management system (NDBM , GDBM ,
or SDBM ) in order to run. This is usually part of each
Unix-like operating system and SDBM is part of Perl 5, but
sometimes this is either missing on your operating system or
left out in a binary Perl distribution. Use to find one or
(better) update to a complete Perl 5 distribution.
* latex2html issues ``dbm'' related error messages:
If you get warnings like
ndbm store returned -1, errno 28, key "xyz" at latex2html line 123
this is related to an overflow of LATEX2HTML internals. You will need
help from the list, here.
If you get real error messages which cause LATEX2HTML to abort,
run install-test to check if your DataBase management works.
You will probably need to re-install Perl 5 (see above topic).
change_end 98.1
change_begin 97.1
This can happen when an image is being created from a large
piece of LATEX source code. The image-reuse mechanism uses the
code itself to construct a database key. If too long, the key
is invalid and may crash DBM or NDBM . (In fact this error
should no longer occur in V97.1, so please advise the
LATEX2HTML developers if you get error messages of this kind.)
The message should contain the name of environment which caused
the problem, along with an identifying number; e.g.
eqnarray268. To find which exact piece of code this represents,
run LATEX2HTML again, using the -debug switch. Then look at the
files in the TMP subdirectory of the working directory named
TMP/part001, TMP/part002, etc. Use the unix grep command: grep
268 <dir>/TMP/part* to find that number in these files. This
should enable you to locate exactly where the problem occurs.
One solution may be to wrap the whole environment within
\begin{makeimage} and \end{makeimage}. This will still cause
the image to be created, but uses just the environment name and
number as the database key.
change_end 97.1
* The \verb"ABC" command doesn't work:
This is a nasty bug. Please use any character other than
quotes; e.g. \verb+ABC+.
* Cannot get the ``tilde'' (~) to show:
The trick here is to use the command \~{}.
Alternatively try using something like: mylink">mylink
Warning: Some browsers may not be able to interpret the %7E as a
``tilde'' character.
change_begin 98.1
Alternatively use the \char126 command. Anyway, tildes within
\htmladdnormallink and familiar commands are now handled correctly.
change_end 98.1
* Macro definitions don't work correctly:
As mentioned in other places, not all plain TEX \def-initions can be
converted. But you may also have problems even when using LATEX
definitions (with \newcommand and \newenvironment) if such definitions
make use of sectioning or \verbatim commands. These are handled in a
special way by LATEX2HTML and cannot be used in macro definitions.
In general the macro handling mechanism is inefficient and very
fragile. Avoid using macros if possible.
change_begin 97.1
A greater range of macros definitions can now be handled, especially
if appropriate declarations are added to an initialization file.
change_end 97.1
* \input commands:
There is a bug in the expansion of \input commands which causes a
problem when more than one \input command appears on the same line.
There is no quick fix other than suggesting that you put each \input
command on a line by itself, in the LATEX source files.
* \input commands in verbatim environments:
change_begin 98.1
Should no longer cause problems (actually since 97.1). \input commands
are also handled right within comment environments as declared with
\excludecomment. Alternatively you might want to use either the
verbatim or the verbatimfiles package.
change_end 98.1
* Optional arguments in description environments:
If you have optional arguments for the \item command in a description
environment containing nested ``]'' characters then these may not show
up correctly. To avoid the problem enclose them in {}s;
e.g. \item[{[nested [angle [brackets] are ok]]}]
* LATEX2HTML behaves differently even when you run it on the same
If you notice any strange side-effects from previous runs of
LATEX2HTML, try using the option -no_reuse and choose (d) when
prompted. This will clear any intermediate files generated during
previous runs. Note that this option will disable the image-reuse
* Cannot convert PostScript images which are included in the LATEX
It is likely that the macros you are using for including PostScript
files (e.g. \epsffile) are not understood by LATEX2HTML. To avoid this
problem enclose them in an environment which will be passed to LATEX
anyway; e.g.
\epsffile{ <PostScript file name>}
Another reason why this might happen is that your shell environment
variable TEXINPUTS may be undefined. This is not always fatal but if
you have problems you can use full path-names for included PostScript
files (even when the PostScript files are in the same directory as
the LATEX source file). Alternatively try setting TEXINPUTS to `.::'.
With some TEX and LATEX installations setting TEXINPUTS to `.::' may
cause problems in the normal operation of LATEX. If you get errors
such as LATEX complaining that it can no longer find any style files
then you must set TEXINPUTS to "<path to your LaTeX installation>:."
if you want to use both LATEX and LATEX2HTML.
* Some of the inlined images are in the wrong places:
There are several known ways that this may occur.
* Perhaps one of the inlined images is more than a page (paper page)
long. This is sometimes the case with very large tables or large
PostScript images. In this case you can try specifying a larger
paper size (e.g. `a4', `a3' or even `a0') instead of the default
(`a5') using the LATEX2HTML variable $PAPERSIZE in the file
latex2html.config .
This reason for the error should no longer occur with V97.1.
Please report it on the mailing-list, if it does.
* More likely is that some inappropriate LATEX code has caused an
error, resulting in an extra page (or pages) being generated.
Examine the images.log file, to see if it reports any LATEX
* A much rarer reason is that by default the dvips program reverses
the PostScript pages it generates. If your dvips program behaves
in this way try changing the line:
$DVIPS = "dvips";
$DVIPS = "dvips -r0";
within the file latex2html.config .
* Yet another reason for images appearing out of place, especially
while developing a document, is that the browser's image cache is
providing out-of-date versions rather than getting the latest
version afresh. When this occurs there will often be images
stretched or shrunk to fit the wrong sized imaging area; this
symptom is browser-dependent. Flushing the cache, then reloading
the HTML document, should clear up the problem.
* Unacceptable quality of converted images:
Try changing the size of the image (see image conversion).
* The bibliographic references are missing:
Run latex and then bibtex on the original source file in order to
generate a .bbl file. LATEX2HTML may need the .bbl file in order to
generate the references.
* The labels of figures, tables or equations are wrong:
This can happen if you have used any figures, tables, equations or any
counters inside conditional text; i.e. in a latexonly or a htmlonly
* Problems after changing the configuration files:
Please make sure that the last line in the configuration files (i.e.
.latex2html-init and latex2html.config ) is:
1; # This is the last line
This is a Perl quirk.
* Problems when producing the .dvi version:
If you are using any of the new LATEX commands which are defined in
the html.sty file make sure that html.sty is included; e.g. as one
of the optional arguments to the \documentclass command.
Of course you also have to make sure that LATEX knows where the
html.sty file is, either by putting it in the same place as the other
style-files on your system, or by changing your TEXINPUTS shell
environment variable 2.
* Some of the fonts are translated incorrectly:
There is a fault in way the LATEX scoping rules have been interpreted
in LATEX2HTML. Consider this:
\ttfamily fixed-width font.
nothing here
default font.
When processed by LATEX, the effect of the \tt command is delimited by
the beginning of the environment ``something'', so that ``default
font'' will appear in the default font. But LATEX2HTML will not
recognise ``something'' as a delimiter and ``default font'' will
appear in the wrong font.
To avoid this problem (until it is fixed) you may delimit the scope of
some commands explicitly using {}'s; i.e.
\texttt{fixed-width font}.
nothing here
default font.
change_begin 98.1
Nesting of font changing commands is now handled right. Such problems
should not occur furthermore.
change_end 98.1
* Cannot get it to generate inlined images:
Run LATEX2HTML with the -debug switch, and have a look in the
directory of the generated HTML files for two files images.tex and
images.log . Do you notice anything unusual in them? Copy images.tex
into the directory of your original LATEX file and run latex on
images.tex . Can you see any errors in images.log ? If yes, can you
fix images.tex to get rid of the errors?
After fixing images.tex you can put it back in the directory of HTML
files created by LATEX2HTML and run LATEX2HTML on the original
document using the option -images_only .
However if you make changes or additions to the original source then
the same problems may occur again, so it is better to understand why
the changes were required and alter the source code appropriately.
If you get into a mess delete all the image files and run LATEX2HTML
again. Often it is sufficient to just delete the file .
If you still get into a mess, try running LATEX2HTML with the options
-no_reuse and -no_images ; e.g.
cblipca% latex2html -no_reuse -no_images test.tex
This is LaTeX2HTML Version 95 (Tue Nov 29 1994) by Nikos Drakos,
Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds.
OPENING /tmp_mnt/home/cblelca/nikos/tmp/test.tex
Cannot create directory /usr/cblelca/nikos/tmp/test: File exists
(r) Reuse the images in the old directory OR
(d) *** DELETE *** /usr/cblelca/nikos/tmp/test AND ITS CONTENTS OR
(q) Quit ?
Reading ...
Processing macros ....+.
Reading test.aux ......................
Translating ...0/1........1/1.....
Writing image file ...
Doing section links .....
*********** WARNINGS ***********
If you are having problems displaying the correct images with Mosaic,
try selecting "Flush Image Cache" from "Options" in the menu-bar
and then reload the HTML file.
Then try to have a look in the file images.tex (as described earlier)
and perhaps fix it. Once you are happy that images.tex is OK, run
LATEX2HTML again with the option -images_only .
Some problems in displaying the correct inlined images, may be due to
the image caching mechanisms of your browser. With some browsers a
simple ``Reload Current Document'' will be enough to refresh the
images but with others (e.g. Mosaic ) you may need to request for the
cache to be refreshed. With Mosaic try selecting ``Flush Image
Cache'' from ``Options'' in the menu-bar and then reload the HTML
* It cannot do slides, memos, etc.
If you use SliTEX you can go a long way just by replacing the {slides}
argument of the \documentclass command with something like {article}
just before using LATEX2HTML. One problem may be that all your slides
will end up in the same HTML file. If you use lslide.sty you may get
much better results (use to find this or any other style files).
... script1
Initially written by Robert S. Thau, completely rewritten by
Marek Rouchal and Jens Lippmann.
... variable2
If you don't know how to do either of these things, copy (or
link) html.sty to the directory of your LATEX document.
Jens Lippmann