shell script for compiling LaTeX files
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btex is yet another (!) LaTeX compiler that grew out of my desire to make compiling into dvi or ps or pdf quickly.


  1. Copy the file btex to a directory which is in your PATH. For instance /usr/local/bin.
  2. Copy the files from to a directory which is in your PATH. For instance /usr/local/bin.


  • The first time you run btex, it should create a configuration file as $HOME/.config/btex.config
  • You can open that file and set a pdf and/or ps and/or dvi viewer and set other options.
  • It is not mandatory to modify or configure the config file. btex will run perfectly fine with the default untouched configuration, but you will see less options in the menu during the execution of the program.


btex can be run simply as if you were running latex with no arguments. For instance if you are used to running:

$ latex file.tex

then you can simply do

$ btex  file.tex

Via the configuration file, you can set extra options that will be passed to latex directly. You can also set the default output format by setting the MODE variable in the configuration file.

Look at btex --help for more information.

zsh completion:

A zsh completion file _btex is included. An elementary zsh completion, without using the file _btex, can be achieved by simply adding the following line to your zshrc:

$ echo 'compdef _gnu_generic btex' >> ~/.zshrc
$ exec zsh

A more elaborate completion can be obtained by placing the file _btex in some completion directory and adding that directory to your zsh's fpath:

$ mkdir -p ~/.config/zsh-completion
$ cp _btex ~/.config/zsh-completion
$ echo 'fpath=( ~/.config/zsh-completion $fpath )' >> ~/.zshrc
$ exec zsh

If you enable this advanced completion, then do not use the compdef line in your ~/.zshrc.