Latex-Suite Reference

Srinath Avadhanula

Mikolaj Machowski


Latex-Suite attempts to provide a comprehensive set of tools to view, edit and compile LaTeX documents in Vim. Together, they provide tools starting from macros to speed up editing LaTeX documents to functions for forward searching .dvi documents. Latex-Suite has been possible because of the contributions of many people. Please see latex-suite-credits for a list of people who have helped.

Latex-Suite is released under the Vim charityware license. For license and conditions of use look at |copyright|. Replace all occurrences of ``Vim'' with ``Latex-Suite''. The current copyright holders of Latex-Suite are Srinath Avadhanula and Mikolaj Machowski.


Table of Contents

1 Installation and recommended Settings
2 Inserting Templates
3 Latex-Suite Macros
3.1 Environment Mappings
3.2 Command Mappings
3.3 Font Mappings
3.4 Section Mappings
3.5 Greek Letter Mappings
3.6 Auc-Tex Key Bindings
3.7 Diacritics
3.8 BibTeX Shortcuts
3.9 Smart Key Mappings
3.10 Alt Key Macros
3.11 Custom Macros
3.12 Making your own Macros via IMAP()
4 Package Handling
4.1 Inserting package commands
4.2 Actions taken for supported packages
4.3 Automatic Package detection
4.4 Writing supporting for a package
5 Latex Completion
5.1 Latex-Suite \ref completion
5.2 Latex-Suite \cite completion
5.3 Latex-Suite filename completion
5.4 Custom command completion
6 LaTeX Compiling
6.1 Setting Compilation rules
6.2 Handling dependencies in compilation
6.3 Compiling multiple times
6.4 Customizing the compiler output
6.5 Compiling parts of a file
6.6 Load log file after external compilation
7 Latex Viewing and Searching
7.1 Setting Viewing rules
7.2 Forward Searching documents
7.3 Inverse Searching
8 Latex Folding
8.1 Default Folding Scheme in Latex-Suite
8.2 Customizing what to fold
9 Multiple file LaTeX projects
9.1 Latex-Suite project settings
9.2 Specifying which file to compile
10 Latex-Suite Commands and Maps
10.1 Latex-Suite Maps
10.2 Latex Suite Commands
11 Customizing Latex-Suite
11.1 General Settings
11.2 Place-Holder Customization
11.3 Macro Customization
11.4 Smart Key Customization
11.5 Latex Completion Customization
11.6 Compiler Customization
11.7 Viewer Customization
11.8 Menu Customization
11.9 Folding Customization
11.10 Package Handling Customization
11.11 Template Directory Customization
12 Credits

1 Installation and recommended Settings

If you are reading this, it most probably means that you have already installed Latex-Suite and the help files. If this is not the case, follow the detailed instructions on Latex-Suite's download page.

Make sure that you create a few necessary settings in your ~/.vimrc.

" REQUIRED. This makes vim invoke Latex-Suite when you open a tex file.
filetype plugin on

" IMPORTANT: win32 users will need to have 'shellslash' set so that latex
" can be called correctly.
set shellslash

" OPTIONAL: This enables automatic indentation as you type.
filetype indent on

" OPTIONAL: Starting with Vim 7, the filetype of empty .tex files defaults to
" 'plaintex' instead of 'tex', which results in vim-latex not being loaded.
" The following changes the default filetype back to 'tex':
let g:tex_flavor='latex'

In addition, the following settings could go in your ~/.vim/ftplugin/tex.vim file:

" this is mostly a matter of taste. but LaTeX looks good with just a bit
" of indentation.
set sw=2
" TIP: if you write your \label's as \label{fig:something}, then if you
" type in \ref{fig: and press <C-n> you will automatically cycle through
" all the figure labels. Very useful!
set iskeyword+=:

In the unlikely case that Latex-Suite is installed, but you do not want to use it (e.g., if it is installed system-wide and you use some other package to deal with tex files), you can suppress the loading of Latex-Suite by setting

let b:suppress_latex_suite = 1

in your ~/.vim/ftplugin/tex.vim.

2 Inserting Templates

This functionality is available via the TeX-Suite > Templates menu. This module provides a way to insert custom templates at the beginning of the current file.

When Latex-Suite first starts up, it scans the template directory and creates menu items based on the files found there. When you select a template from this menu, the file will be read in above the first line of the current file.

A template file can utilize placeholders for initializing the cursor position when the template is read in and subsequent movement. In addition, template files can contain dynamic elements such as the time of creation of a file etc, by using vim expressions.

You can place your own templates in the template directory in order for them to be available via the menu.


Templates are also accessible for non-gui users with the command |:TTemplate|. The argument should be name of the corresponding template file. If the command is called without arguments (preferred usage), then a list of available templates is displayed and the user is asked to choose one of them.

3 Latex-Suite Macros

Latex-Suite ships with a very comprehensive set of insert mode and |visual-mode| mappings and menu items to typeset most of the LaTeX elements.


These mappings are are not standard mappings in the sense that only the last character is mapped. See plugin/imaps.vim for further documentation. For example, in the case of the mapping EFI provided by Latex-Suite you can press the characters 'E', 'F' and 'I' as slowly as you wish (unlike the normal imap command where timeout issues are involved). The characters are visible as you type them (unlike normal imaps) and you can use the movement or backspace key to correct yourself unlike normal mappings.

Place Holders

Almost all macros provided in Latex-Suite implement Stephen Riem's bracketing system and Gergely Kontra's JumpFunc() for handling place-holders. This consists of using "place-holders" to mark off locations where the next relevant editing has to be done. As an example, when you type EFI in |insert-mode|, you will get the following:

    \caption{<+caption text+>}

The text <+htpb+> will be selected and you will be left in |select-mode| so that you can continue typing straight away. After having typed in the placement specifier, you can press <Ctrl-J> (while still in insert-mode). This will take you directly to the next "place-holder". i.e, <+file+> will be visually selected with Vim in select mode again for typing in the file name. This saves on a lot of key presses.

Over-riding Latex-Suite Macros

If you wish to change these macros from their default values, for example, if you wish to change `w to expand to \omega instead of its default expansion to \wedge, you should use the IMAP function as described in the Using IMAP() section.

An important thing to note is that if you wish to over-ride macros created by Latex-Suite rather than merely create new macros, you should place the IMAP() calls in a script which gets sourced after the files in Latex-Suite. A good place typically is as a file-type plugin file in the ~/.vim/after/ftplugin/ directory. (Use ~/vimfiles if you are using WINDOWS). For example to over-ride `w to \omega instead of \wedge, place the following line in (say) ~/.vim/after/ftplugin/tex_macros.vim:

call IMAP('`w', '\omega', 'tex')

To delete a mapping, you can use

call IUNMAP('FEM', 'tex')

in ~/.vim/after/ftplugin/tex_macros.vim.


It is important to use a file-name which will get sourced on a FileType event. Therefore you must use a file-name which conforms to the standards as described in |ftplugin-name|.

Pausing Macro expansion

If you wish to temporarily suspend the imaps functionality, then you can set the Imap_FreezeImap to 1. If you set g:Imap_FreezeImap to 1, then it will be a system-wide setting. Setting b:Imap_FreezeImap will affect only the current buffer.

The following sections describe the various editing macros provided by Latex-Suite.

3.1 Environment Mappings

Latex-Suite provides a rich set of mappings to insert, enclose and modify LaTeX environments, i.e, \begin{...} ... \end{...} pairs. There are several possibilities for the customization of the inserted environments, see the section about customizations.

3.1.1 Inserting Environments

Latex-Suite provides the following ways to insert environments Method 1: Pressing <F5>

If you press <F5> in the insert or normal mode while on an empty line, Latex-Suite prompts you with a list of environments you might want to insert. You can either choose one from the list or type in a new environment name. If you press <F5> on a line which already has a word, then that word is used instead of prompting.

See Tex_Env_name for a description of how Latex-Suite uses the word to form the expansion and how to modify Latex-Suite's behavior.

The list of environments which Latex-Suite prompts you with (when <F5> is pressed on an empty line) is formed from the Tex_PromptedEnvironments setting.

In addition to this setting, Latex-Suite also lists environments found in custom packages as described in the section Package actions. Method 2: Using <S-F1>-<S-F4>

The shifted function keys, <S-F1> to <S-F4> can be mapped to insert very commonly used environments. The environments mapped to each key can be customized via the g:Tex_HotKeyMappings setting. Method 3: Using three letter sequences

Environments can also be inserted by pressing a 3 capital letter sequence starting with an E. The sequence of 3 letters generally tries to follow the following rules:

  1. All environment mappings begin with E
  2. If the environment can be broken up into 2 distinct words, such as flushright (flush + right), then the next 2 letters are the first letters of the 2 words. Example:
    flushleft  (_f_lush + _l_eft)  ---> EFL
    flushright (_f_lush + _r_ight) ---> EFR
    minipage   (_m_ini  + _p_age)  ---> EMP
    If on the other hand, the environment name cannot be broken up into 2 distinct words, then the next 2 letters are the first 2 letters of the name of the environment. Example:
    equation (_eq_uation)          ---> EEQ

Unfortunately there are some environments that cannot be split in two words and first two letters in name are identical. In this case shortcut is created from E, first and last letter. Example:

quote     (_q_uot_e_)          ---> EQE
quotation (_q_uotatio_n_)      ---> EQN

Of course, not every last one of the environments can follow this rule because of ambiguities. In case of doubt, pull down the Tex-Environments menu. The menu item should give the hint for the map.

3.1.2 Enclosing in Environments

Latex-Suite provides visual-mode mappings which enclose visually selected portions of text in environments. There are two ways provided to do this. Method 1: Pressing <F5>

You can also select a portion of text visually and press <F5> while still in visual mode. This will prompt you with a list of environments. (This list can be customized via the g:Tex_PromptedEnvironments setting). You can either choose from this list or type in a new environment name. Once the selection is done, Latex-Suite encloses the visually selected portion in the chosen environment. Method 2: Using three letter mappings

You can also select text visually and press a sequence of three characters beginning with , (the single comma character) and the selected text will be enclosed in the chosen environment. The three letter sequence follows directly from the three letter sequence used to insert environments as described here. The following example describes the rule used:

If ECE inserts a \begin{center}...\end{center} environment, then to enclose a block of selected text in \begin{center}...\end{center}, simply select the text and press ,ce. The rule simply says that the leading E is converted to , and the next 2 letters are small case.

Some of the visual mode mappings are sensitive to whether you choose line-wise or character-wise. For example, if you choose a word and press ,ce, then you get {\centering word}, whereas if you press ,ce on a line-wise selection, you get:


3.1.3 Changing Environments

Pressing <S-F5> in normal mode detects which environment the cursor is presently located in and prompts you to replace it with a new one. The innermost environment is detected. For example, in the following source:

    2 & 3 & 4

if you are located in the middle "2 & 3 & 4" line, then pressing <S-F5> will prompt you to change the array environment, not the equation environment. In addition, Latex-Suite will also try to change lines within the environment to be consistent with the new environment. For example, if the original environment was an equation environment with a \label command, then changing it to an equation* environment will delete the \label.

Pressing <F5> in normal mode has the same effect as pressing <F5> in insert-mode, namely you will be prompted to choose an environment to insert.

3.2 Command Mappings

Latex-Suite provides a rich set of mappings to insert, enclose and modify LaTeX commands.

3.2.1 Inserting LaTeX commands

Pressing <F7> in insert or normal mode while the cursor is touching a word will insert a command formed from the word touching the cursor.

For certain common commands, Latex-Suite will expand them to include additional arguments as needed. For example, frac becomes \frac{<++>}{<++>}<++>. Otherwise, it will simply change the word under the cursor as follows

word --> \word{<++>}<++>

You can define custom expansions of commands using the Tex_Com_{name} setting as described in here.

If <F7> is pressed when the cursor is on white-space, then Latex-Suite will prompt you to choose a command and insert that instead.The list of commands is constructed from the g:Tex_PromptedCommands setting and also from commands which Latex-Suite finds while scanning custom packages which Latex-Suite finds. See the Package actions section for details on which files are scanned etc.

3.2.2 Enclosing in a command

You can select a portion of text visually and press <F7> while still in visual mode. This will prompt you with a list of commands. (This list can be customized via the g:Tex_PromptedCommands setting). You can either choose from this list or type in a new command name. Once the selection is done, Latex-Suite encloses the visually selected portion in the chosen command.

3.2.3 Changing commands

In both insert and normal mode <S-F7> will find out if you are presently within an environment and then prompt you with a list of commands to change it to.

3.3 Font Mappings

These mappings insert font descriptions such as: \textsf{<++>}<++> with the cursor left in place of the first placeholder (the <++> characters).


  1. first letter is always F (F for font)
  2. next 2 letters are the 2 letters describing the font.

Example: Typing FEM in insert-mode expands to \emph{<++>}<++>.

Just like environment mappings, you can visually select an area and press `sf to have it enclosed in: \textsf{word} or


depending on character-wise or line-wise selection.

3.4 Section Mappings

These maps insert LaTeX sections such as:


etc. Just as in the case of environments and fonts, can be enclosed with a visual selection. The enclosing is not sensitive to character or line-wise selection.

Mnemonic: (make your own!)

SPA for part
SCH for chapter
SSE for section
SSS for subsection
SS2 for subsubsection
SPG for paragraph
SSP for subparagraph

Example: SSE in insert mode inserts


If you select a word or line and press ,se, then you get

\section{section name}

The menu item in Tex-Environments.Sections have a sub-menu called 'Advanced'. Choosing an item from this sub-menu asks a couple of questions (whether you want to include the section in the table of contents, whether there is a shorter name for the table of contents) and then creates a more intelligent template.

3.5 Greek Letter Mappings

Lower case

`a through `z expand to \alpha through \zeta.

Upper case:

`D = \Delta
`F = \Phi
`G = \Gamma
`Q = \Theta
`L = \Lambda
`X = \Xi
`Y = \Psi
`S = \Sigma
`U = \Upsilon
`W = \Omega


LaTeX does not support upper case for all greek alphabets.

Just like other Latex-Suite mappings, these mappings are not created using the standard imap command. Thus you can type slowly, correct using <BS> etc.

3.6 Auc-Tex Key Bindings

These are simple 2 key expansions for some very commonly used LaTeX elements:

`^   Expands To   \Hat{<++>}<++>
`_   expands to   \bar{<++>}<++>
`6   expands to   \partial
`8   expands to   \infty
`/   expands to   \frac{<++>}{<++>}<++>
`%   expands to   \frac{<++>}{<++>}<++>
`@   expands to   \circ
`0   expands to   ^\circ
`=   expands to   \equiv
`\   expands to   \setminus
`.   expands to   \cdot
`*   expands to   \times
`&   expands to   \wedge
`-   expands to   \bigcap
`+   expands to   \bigcup
`(   expands to   \subset
`)   expands to   \supset
`<   expands to   \le
`>   expands to   \ge
`,   expands to   \nonumber
`~   expands to   \tilde{<++>}<++>
`;   expands to   \dot{<++>}<++>
`:   expands to   \ddot{<++>}<++>
`2   expands to   \sqrt{<++>}<++>
`|   expands to   \Big|
`I   expands to   \int_{<++>}^{<++>}<++>

(again, notice the convenient place-holders)

In addition the visual mode macros are provided:

`(  encloses selection in \left( and \right)
`[  encloses selection in \left[ and \right]
`{  encloses selection in \left\{ and \right\}
`$  encloses selection in $$ or \[ \] depending on characterwise or
                                      linewise selection

3.7 Diacritics

These mappings speed up typing European languages which contain diacritic characters such as a-umlaut etc.

+<l>     expands to \v{<l>}
=<l>     expands to \'{<l>}

where <l> is an alphabet.

+}       expands to \"{a}
+:       expands to \^{o}

Latex-Suite also ships with smart backspacing functionality which provides another convenience while editing languages with diacritics.


Diacritics are disabled by default in Latex-Suite because they can sometimes be a little too intrusive. Moreover, most European users can nowadays use font encodings which display diacritic characters directly instead of having to rely on Latex-Suite's method of displaying diacritics.

Set the g:Tex_Diacritics variable to enable diacritics.

3.8 BibTeX Shortcuts

Latex-Suite provides an easy way of entering bibliographic entries. Four insert-mode mappings: BBB, BBL, BBH and BBX are provided, all of which essentially act in the same manner. When you type any of these in insert-mode, you will get a prompt asking you to choose a entry type for the bibliographic entry.

When you choose an entry type, a bibliographic entry template will be inserted. For example, if you choose the option 'book' via the map BBB, then the following template will be inserted:

    author = {<++>},
    editor = {<++>},
    title = {<++>},
    publisher = {<++>},
    year = {<++>},
    otherinfo = {<++>}

<+key+> will be highlighted in select-mode and you can type in the bib-key. After that you can use <Ctrl-J> to navigate to successive locations in the template and enter new values.

BBB inserts a template with only the fields mandatorily required for a given entry type. BBL inserts a template with commonly used extra options. BBH inserts a template with more options which are not as commonly used. BBX inserts a template with all the fields which the entry type supports.


B for Bibliographic entry, L for Large entry, H for Huge entry, and X stands for all eXtras.

3.8.1 Customizing Bib-TeX fields

If you wish the BBB command to insert a few additional fields in addition to the fields it creates, then you will need to define global variables of the form


in you $VIM/ftplugin/bib.vim file, where {type} is a string like 'article', 'book' etc. This variable should contain one of the letters defined in the following table

CharacterField Type

For example, by default, choosing 'article' via BBB inserts the following template by default

    author = {<++>},
    title = {<++>},
    journal = {<++>},
    year = {<++>},
    otherinfo = {<++>}

However, if g:Bib_article_options is defined as 'mnp', then 'article' will insert the following template

    author = {<++>},
    title = {<++>},
    journal = {<++>},
    year = {<++>},
    month = {<++>},
    number = {<++>},
    pages = {<++>},
    otherinfo = {<++>}

If you have some other fields you wish to associate with an article which are not listed above, then you will have to use the Bib_{type}_extrafields option. This is a newline separated string of complete field names which will be included in the template. For example, if you define

let g:Bib_article_extrafields = "crossref\nabstract"

then the article template will include the lines

crossref = {<++>},
abstract = {<++>},


You will need to define Bib_* settings in your $VIMRUNTIME/ftplugin/bib.vim file.

3.9 Smart Key Mappings

Latex-Suite ships with the following smart keys:

Smart Backspace.  Pressing <BS> in insert mode checks to see whether we are just after something like \'{a} and if so, deletes all of it. i.e, diacritics are treated as single characters for backspacing. You might want to disable this feature, if you are editing Chinese, Japanese or Korean text.

Smart Quotes.  Pressing " (English double quote) will insert `` or '' by making an intelligent guess about whether we intended to open or close a quote.

Smart Space.  Latex-Suite maps the <space> key in such a way that $ characters are not broken across lines. It does this by first setting tw=0 so that Vim will not automatically break lines and then maps the <space> key to insert newlines keeping $$'s on the same line.

Smart Dots.  Pressing ... (3 dots) results in \ldots outside math mode and \cdots in math mode.

3.10 Alt Key Macros

Latex-Suite utilizes a set of macros originally created by Carl Mueller in auctex.vim to make inserting all the \left ... \right stuff very easy and to also make some use of the heavily under-utilized <Alt> key.


By default, the mappings involving the <Alt> key are turned off for compatibility with inserting non-ASCII characters. It can be enabled by setting

let g:Tex_AdvancedMath = 1

in your $VIM/ftplugin/tex.vim.


By default, typing Alt-<key> in Vim takes focus to the menu bar if a menu with the hotkey <key> exists. If in your case, there are conflicts due to this behavior, you will need to set

set winaltkeys=no

in your $VIM/ftplugin/tex.vim in order to use these maps.

Customizing the maps

If for some reason, you wish to not map the <Alt> keys, (some European users need to use the <Alt> key to enter diacritics), you can change these maps to other keys as described in the section Customizing Alt-key maps.

3.10.1 <Alt-L>

This is a polymorphic insert-mode mapping which expands to one of the following depending on the character just before the cursor location.

Character before cursorExpansion
(\left( <++> \right)
[\left[ <++> \right]
|\left| <++> \right|
{\left\{ <++> \right\}
<\langle <++> \rangle

If the character before the cursor is none of the above, then it will simply insert a \label{<++>}<++>.

3.10.2 <Alt-B>

This insert-mode mapping encloses the previous character in \mathbf{}.

3.10.3 <Alt-C>

In insert mode, this key is polymorphic as follows:

  1. If the previous character is a letter or number, then capitalize it and enclose it in \mathcal{}.
  2. otherwise insert \cite{}.

In visual mode, it will simply enclose the selection in \mathcal{}

3.10.4 <Alt-I>

This mapping inserts an \item command at the current cursor location depending on which environment the cursor is enclosed in. The style of the \item command is dependent on the enclosing environment. By default, <Alt-I> has styles defined forthe following environments:

thebibliography\item[<+biblabel+>]{<+bibkey+>} <++>
description\item[<+label+>] <++>

<Alt-I> is intelligent enough to account for nested environments. For example,

    \item first item
    \item second item
              \item[label1] first desc
              \item[label2] second
              % <Alt-I> will insert "\item[<+label+>] <++>" if
              % used here
    \item third item
    % <Alt-I> will insert "\item " when if used here.
% <Alt-I> will insert nothing ("") if used here

The style used by <Alt-I> can be customized using the g:Tex_ItemStyle_environment variable.

3.11 Custom Macros

This functionality available via the TeX-Suite.Macros menu, provides a way of inserting customized macros into the current file via the menu.

When Latex-Suite starts up, it scans the $VIM/ftplugin/latex-suite/macros/ directory and creates a menu from the files found there. Each file is considered as a single macro. You can place your own macros in this directory, using placeholders if wanted.

When you choose a macro from the menu, the corresponding file is read into the current buffer after the current cursor position. In non-gui mode, you can use the |TMacro| command instead of choosing from the menu. This command takes the macro file name as an argument. When called without arguments (preferred usage), then a list of available macro files is displayed and the user is prompted to choose one of them).

There are some other tools provided in this menu, namely:

{New} Creates a new (unnamed) buffer in the latex-suite/macros/ directory. Use the command :TexMacroNew in non-gui mode.
{Edit} Opens up the corresponding macro file for editing. Use |:TexMacroEdit| in non-gui mode. When you try to edit {macro} not from local directory Latex-Suite will copy it to your local directory with suffix "-local". If local copy already exists Latex-Suite prompt for overwriting it.
{Delete} Deletes the corresponding macro. Use the prefixed numbers for fast navigation of menus. Use |:TexMacroDelete| in non-gui mode. When you choose to delete {macro} which is not in your local directory Latex-Suite will refuse to delete it.
{Redraw} Rescans the macros/ directories and refreshes the macros list.

3.12 Making your own Macros via IMAP()

If you find the need to create your own macros, then you can use the IMAP() function provided with Latex-Suite. See Why use IMAP() for a short explanation of why you might prefer IMAP() over Vim's standard :imap command. An example best explains the usage:

:call IMAP('NOM', '\nomenclature{<++>}<++>', 'tex')

This will create a Latex-Suite-style mapping, where if you type NOM in insert mode, you will get \nomenclature{<++>}<++> with the cursor left in place of the first <++> characters. See IMAP() syntax for a detailed explanation of the IMAP() command.

For maps which are triggered for a given filetype, the IMAP() command above should be put in the filetype plugin script for that file. For example, for tex-specific mappings, the IMAP() calls should go in $VIM/ftplugin/tex.vim. For globally visible maps, you will need to use the following in either your ~/.vimrc or a file in your $VIM/plugin directory.

augroup MyIMAPs
    au VimEnter * call IMAP('Foo', 'foo', '')
augroup END

IMAP mappings can be removed by IUNMAP, e.g.,

call IUNMAP('FEM','tex')

3.12.1 Why use IMAP()

Using IMAP instead of Vim's built-in :imap command has a couple of advantages:

  1. The 'ttimeout' option will generally limit how easily you can type the left hand side for a normal :imap. if you type the left hand side too slowly, then the mapping will not be activated.
  2. If you mistype one of the letters of the lhs, then the mapping is deactivated as soon as you backspace to correct the mistake.
  3. The characters in lhs are shown on top of each other. This is fairly distracting. This becomes a real annoyance when a lot of characters initiate mappings.

3.12.2 IMAP() syntax

Formally, the syntax which is used for the IMAP function is:

call IMAP (lhs, rhs, ft [, phs, phe])


This is the "left-hand-side" of the mapping. When you use IMAP, only the last character of this word is actually mapped, although the effect is that the whole word is mapped.

If you have two mappings which end in a common lhs, then the mapping with the longer lhs is used. For example, if you do

call IMAP('BarFoo', 'something', 'tex')
call IMAP('Foo', 'something else', 'tex')

Then typing BarFoo inserts "something", whereas Foo by itself inserts "something else".

Also, the nature of IMAP() makes creating certain combination of mappings impossible. For example if you have

call IMAP('foo', 'something', 'tex')
call IMAP('foobar', 'something else', 'tex')

Then you will never be able to trigger "foobar" because typing "foo" will immediately insert "something". This is the "cost" which you incur over the normal :imap command for the convenience of no 'timeout' problems, the ability to correct lhs etc.


The "right-hand-side" of the mapping. This is the expansion you will get when you type lhs.

This string can also contain special characters such as <enter> etc. To do this, you will need to specify the second argument in double-quotes as follows:

:call IMAP('EFE', "\\begin{figure}\<CR><++>\\end{figure}<++>", 'tex')

With this, typing EFE is equivalent to typing in the right-hand side with all the special characters in insert-mode. This has the advantage that if you have filetype indentation set up, then the right hand side will also be indented just as if you had typed it in normally.

You can also set up a Latex-Suite style mapping which calls a custom function as follows:

:call IMAP('FOO', "\<C-r>=MyFoonction()\<CR>", 'tex')

where MyFoonction is a custom function you have written. If MyFoonction also has to return a string containing <++> characters, then you will need to use the function IMAP_PutTextWithMovement(). An example best explains the usage:

call IMAP('FOO', "\<C-r>=AskVimFunc()\<CR>", 'vim')
" Askvimfunc: Asks For Function Name And Sets Up Template 
" Description: 
function! AskVimFunc()
    let name = input('Name of the function : ')
    if name == ''
        let name = "<+Function Name+>"
    let islocal = input('Is this function scriptlocal ? [y]/n : ', 'y')
    if islocal == 'y'
        let sidstr = '<SID>'
        let sidstr = ''
    return IMAP_PutTextWithMovement( 
        \ "\" ".name.": <+short description+> \<cr>" .
        \ "Description: <+long description+>\<cr>" . 
        \ "\<C-u>function! ".name."(<+arguments+>)<++>\<cr>" . 
        \       "<+function body+>\<cr>" . 
        \ "endfunction \" "
        \ )


The file type for which this mapping is active. When this string is left empty, the mapping applies for all file-types. A filetype specific mapping will always take precedence.

phs, phe

If you prefer to write the rhs with characters other than <+ and +> to denote place-holders, you can use the last 2 arguments to specify which characters in the rhs specify place-holders. By default, these are <+ and +> respectively.

Note that the phs and phe arguments do not control what characters will be displayed for the placeholders when the mapping is actually triggered. What characters are used to display place-holders when you trigger an IMAP are controlled by the Imap_PlaceHolderStart and Imap_PlaceHolderEnd settings.

4 Package Handling

Latex-Suite has a lot of functionality written to ease working with packages. Packages here refers to files which you include into the LaTeX document using the \usepackage command.

4.1 Inserting package commands

When you first invoke Latex-Suite, it scans the $VIM/ftplugin/latex-suite/packages directory for package script files and creates a menu from all the files found there. This menu is created under TeX-Suite > Packages > Supported. This menu contains a list of packages "supported" by Latex-Suite. When you choose one of the packages from this menu (for example the amsmath package), then a line of the form


will be inserted into the current file.

The \usepackage line can also be inserted in an easy manner in the current file by pressing <F5> while in the preamble of the current document. This will set up a prompt from the supported packages and ask you to choose from one of them. If you do not find the package you want to insert in the list, you can type in a package-name and it will use that. Pressing <F5> in the preamble on a line containing a single word will construct a \usepackage line from that word.

You can also use the TPackage to insert the \usepackage line.

Once you have inserted a \usepackage line, for supported packages, you can use the Options and Commands menus described in the next section.

4.2 Actions taken for supported packages

Latex-Suite takes the following actions for packages detected when a file is loaded, or a new \usepackage line is inserted using one of the methods described in the previous section.

If you are using the GUI and you have g:Tex_Menus set to 1, Latex-Suite will create the following sub-menus

TeX-Suite > Packages > <package> Options
TeX-Suite > Packages > <package> Commands

where <package> is the package you just inserted (or was detected). You can use these menus to insert commands, environments and options which Latex-Suite recognizes as belonging to this package.


While inserting an option, you need to position yourself in the appropriate place in the document, most commonly inside the square braces in the \usepackage[]{packname} command. Latex-Suite will not navigate to that location.

In addition to creating these sub-menus, Latex-Suite will also scan the $VIM/ftplugin/latex-suite/dictionaries directory and if a dictionary file corresponding to the package file is found, then it will add the file to the 'dict' setting in Vim so you can use the <C-X><C-K> command to complete words from that file.

For example, the SIUnits package has a custom dictionary.

If a package detected at startup is found by Latex-Suite in the current directory or in a location specified by the g:Tex_TEXINPUTS variable, Latex-Suite will scan the package for \newenvironment and newcommand lines and also append any commands and environments found to the list of commands and environments which you are prompted with when you press <F5> or <F7> in insert mode.

In addition, the TeX-Suite > Packages menu also contains the following submenus

Update.  This command is to be invoked with the cursor placed on the package name. If the corresponding package is found, then a sub-menu with the supported commands and options is created.

Update All.  This function reads the preamble of the document for \usepackage lines and if Latex-Suite supports the detected packages, then sub-menus containing the package options and commands are created.

4.3 Automatic Package detection

Whenever Latex-Suite begins editing a new LaTeX file, it scans it for \usepackage{name} lines, and if a supported package is found, then it will create sub-menus and add to the 'dict' setting as described above.

If a master-file has been specified, then it will scan that file instead of the current file. See the section Custom Packages to see which files Latex-Suite will scan in more detail.

For all the packages detected in this manner, Latex-Suite will take certain actions as described in the section package support..

4.3.1 Custom Packages

Often times, the preamble can become too long, and some people prefer to put most of their personalization in a custom package and include that using a \usepackage line. Latex-Suite tries to search such customs package for other \usepackage lines, so that supported packages included in this indirect manner can also be used to create sub-menus, extend the 'dict' setting etc. The most obvious place to place such custom packages is in the same directory as the edited file. In addition, LaTeX also supports placing custom packages in places pointed to by the $TEXINPUTS environment variable.

If you use the $TEXINPUTS variable in LaTeX, and you wish Latex-Suite to search these custom packages for \usepackage lines, then you need to initialize the g:Tex_TEXINPUTS variable.

The g:Tex_TEXINPUTS variable needs to be set in the same format which Vim uses for the 'path' setting. This format is explained in detail if you do

:help file-searching

from within Vim.

Therefore the value of g:Tex_TEXINPUTS will most probably be different from $TEXINPUTS which your native LaTeX distribution uses.


let g:Tex_TEXINPUTS = '~/texmf/mypackages/**,./**'

The ** indicates that all directories below the directory ~/texmf/mypackages and ./ are to be scanned for custom packages.


The present directory '.' is always searched. You need not include that in g:Tex_TEXINPUTS.

4.4 Writing supporting for a package

Supporting a package is easy and consists of writing a vim script with the same name as the package and placing it in the $VIM/ftplugin/latex-suite/packages directory. A package script should define two variables as described in the next two sections. In addition to these two variables, you can also define any functions, environment definitions etc. in this file.

4.4.1 g:Tex_package_option_<package>

This setting is a string containing a comma separated list of options supported by this package.


g:Tex_package_option_mypack = 'opt1,opt2=,sbr:group1,opt3,opt4'

The = suffix means that the option takes a value. Use sbr:group name to separate options into sub-menus. All successive options will be clubbed into the group1 sub-menu till the next sbr: option is encountered.

4.4.2 g:Tex_package_<package>

    g:TeX_package_<package> = "pre:Command,pre:Command1"
More detailed example is in latex-suite/packages/exmpl file (slightly
Here is short summary of prefixes which can be used in package files:
(x - place with cursor, <++> - |placeholder|)

{env:command}  Environment: creates simple environment template
{eno:command}  Environment with option:
{ens:command[<<option>>]...}  Environment special:
{bra:command} Brackets:
{brd:command} Brackets double:
{brs:command[<<option>>]...} Brackets special (as environment special:
{nor:command} Normal:
{noo:command} Normal with option:
{nob:command} Normal with option and brackets:
{pla:command} Plain:
{spe:command} Special:
            command   <-literal insertion of command
{sep:command} creates separator. Good for aesthetics and usability :)
{sbr:command} Breaks menu into submenus. <command> will be title of submenu.
            Can be used also in package variable.

Command can be also given without prefix:. The result is

5 Latex Completion

Latex-Suite provides an easy way to insert references to labels and bibliographic entries and also provide filename arguments to commands such as \includegraphics. Although the completion capabilities are very diverse, Latex-Suite only uses a single key (<F9> by default) to do all of it. Pressing the <F9> key does different things based on where you are located. Latex-Suite tries to guess what you might be trying to complete at the location where you pressed <F9>. For example, pressing <F9> when you are within a \ref command will try to list the \label's in the present directory. Pressing it when you are in a \cite command will list bibliography keys. Latex-Suite also recognizes commands which need a file name argument and will put up an explorer window for you to choose a filename.

Before you start with Latex-Suite's completion function...

Most of Latex-Suite's completion capabilities depend on the python interface of vim. Both python2 and python3 are supported. Hence,

python print "Hello."


python3 print("Hello.")

should work.

5.1 Latex-Suite \ref completion

Pressing <F9> when you are within a partially completed \ref command will split open a window (named __OUTLINE__) which contains a nicely formatted list of all the \labels found in the present project. The \labels are heirarchically arranged according to which \section, \subsection etc of the overall document structure they are present in. For example, when you first press <F9> after typing \ref{, you should see something like:

+-- 54 lines: 2. Kinematics--------------------------------
+-- 98 lines: 3. Aerodynamics of the MFI thorax------------
+-- 40 lines: 4. Jump Resonance in Fourbar Mechanisms------
+-- 28 lines: 5. Design and Fabrication Issues-------------

Each chapter is |fold|ed away so that you can quickly jump to the correct section/subsection in which the relevant equation is defined. This makes inserting references significantly faster for large projects with hundreds of equations. You can then open some of the folds to see for example:

+-- 54 lines: 2. Kinematics--------------------------------
3. Aerodynamics of the MFI thorax
    3.1. Aerodynamic modeling of the MFI wing forces
        3.1.1. Geometric Specification
                 \nhat =  T_z(\theta_2) T_y(\theta_y)T_x(\theta_x)\nhat_0,
                 T_1(\theta_2) &= T_z(\theta_2)

The <Tab> key is mapped in this window to toggle folds so that you can quickly open/close folds in order to navigate the heirarchy faster. Once you are positioned on a label, press <Enter>. This closes the __OUTLINE__ window, returns to the window in which you pressed <F9> and inserts the reference at the current cursor position.

Filtering labels by prefix

You can press <F9> after typing part of the \label. In this case, Latex-Suite only presents \labels which begin with the already filled characters. You can use this to choose between equations, figures, tables etc. if you consistently label equations to begin with eqn:, figures to begin with fig: etc. For example, with this scheme, pressing <F9> after typing \ref{eqn: will only list equations.


Latex-Suite works the same way if you press <F9> after any command which contains the letters ref. Thus you can complete \eqref in exactly the same manner.


This method of preseting the \labels depends on Vim being compiled with python[3] support. To check if you have this, see the output of the :ver command. If you see something like +python or +python3, you are all set. Failing this, you will need to have python somewhere in your $PATH.

5.2 Latex-Suite \cite completion

Latex-Suite provides an easy way to insert references to bibliographic entries. Pressing <F9> when the cursor is placed inside a partially completed \cite command will split open a new window (named __OUTLINE__) which contains a formatted and syntax highlighted list of all bibtex entries found. For example, pressing <F9> after typing \ref{ should present you with a window which looks something like this:

Article [dickinson:science:99]
   "Wing rotation and aerodynamic basis of insect flight"
   M. H. Dickinson and F-O. Lehman and S. P. Sane
   In Science, 1999

Article [ellington:84:part1]
   "The Aerodynamics of Hovering Insect Flight. I. The Quasi-Steady Analysis"
   Ellington, C P
   In Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 1984

Article [ellington:84:part2]
   "The Aerodynamics of Hovering Insect Flight. II. Morphological Parameters"
   Ellington, C P
   In Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 1984

You can easily jump from one entry to another using the 'n' and 'p' keys (to go to the next / previous entry respectively).

You can also filter out a subset of the bibtex entries by pressing 'f' while in this window. Doing this presents the following prompt:

Field acronyms: (`:let g:Tex_EchoBibFields = 0` to avoid this message)
 [t] title         [a] author        [b] booktitle
 [j] journal       [y] year          [p] bibtype
 (you can also enter the complete field name)
Enter filter criterion [field<space>value]:

At the prompt, type

a ellington

Notice that the letter a is an acronym for author according to the prompt above. Therefore this filter only shows those bibtex entries whose author field contains the text ellington. You can keep narrowing your selection by repeatedly filtering the results. If you would like to remove all the filters and see all entries again, press 'a', which removes all the filters.

You can also sort the bibtex entries based on a field. To do this, press 's'. This will present you with a prompt like in the case of the filter and you are asked to choose a field. In this case, you would type in a single character. This sorts the entries according to that field.


<F9> will also work in a similar way after any command which contains the word cite in it. For example, pressing <F9> will also work with \citenum etc.

The following logic is applied to find out which bibliographic entries are included in the completion.

  1. Firstly, if the present file has a master-file defined for it, then Latex-Suite will perform the following steps on that file instead of on the current file.

  2. First, the file is scanned for a \bibliography command or a \addbibresource command. To explain better, assume that a command


    is found in the present file. For each bibliography file, say file1, Latex-Suite first tries to see if a .bib file, file1.bib can be found. If so, it will scan it for bib-keys of the form @BOOK{ etc., and add these searches to the completion list. If a .bib file cannot be found, then it will try to see if file1.bbl can be found. If so, Latex-Suite will search it for bib-keys of the form \bibitem and add these to the completion list.

    You can set the location where Latex-Suite will search for .bib and .bbl files using the |Tex_BIBINPUTS| variable.

  3. If a \bibliography command is not found, then Latex-Suite tries to scan the present file for a \begin{thebibliography} environment. If found, Latex-Suite searches the present file for bib-keys of the form \bibitem.

5.3 Latex-Suite filename completion

When you press <F9> at a location where Latex-Suite guesses a filename needs to be typed, then a new explorer window will open up with the list of files. You can use this window to change directories etc. Pressing <enter> on a filename in the explorer window will automatically close the explorer window, return to the location where you pressed <F9> from and insert the filename into that position.

Latex-Suite also tries to guess what kinds of files you might not want to insert and hides those accordingly. For example, if you press <F9> when you are located at \includegraphics{, then Latex-Suite knows that you will not want to insert .tex files. Therefore, the explorer window will automatically hide these files.

As of now, Latex-Suite recognizes the following commands for filename completion. Along with the commands, this table also lists the files which Latex-Suite will not show for completing each command.

commandhide pattern
\include \includeonly'^\.,\.[^t]..$'

5.4 Custom command completion

Latex-Suite also recognizes certain commonly used LaTeX commands for the <F9> key. At the moment, the \bibliographystyle, \addtocontents and the \addcontentsline commands are recognized, although more will be added in the future. When you press the <F9> after such a command, Latex-Suite will prompt you with a list of arguments which make sense for the command.

This functionality is available for commands for which a global variable of the form g:Tex_completion_{<command>} is defined where <command> is the command name. This variable is a comma separated list of values which this command takes. For example, the argument to the \bibliographystyle command is commonly one of abbr,alpha,plain,unsrt. Therefore, Latex-Suite defines

let g:Tex_completion_bibliographystyle = 'abbr,alpha,plain,unsrt'

You can define your own completion variables in a similar manner for commands which you might use.

6 LaTeX Compiling

This functionality, available via the TeX-Suite menu, provides various tools to compile and debug LaTeX files from within Vim.

If you are using commonly used LaTeX tools, then you should be all set as soon as you download and install Latex-Suite. In order to compile a LaTeX file, simply press \ll while editing the file. This runs latex on the current file and displays the errors in a |quickfix-window| below the file being edited. You can then scroll through the errors and press <enter> to be taken to the location of the corresponding error. Along with the errors being listed in the quickfix window, the corresponding log file is also opened in |preview| mode beneath the quickfix window. It is scrolled automatically to keep in sync with the error being viewed in the quickfix window. You will be automatically taken to the location of the first error/warning unless you set the g:Tex_GotoError variable to 0.

Latex-Suite also supports compiling LaTeX into formats other than DVI. By default, Latex-Suite supports PDF and PS formats. In order to choose a format other than DVI, use the TTarget command or the TeX-Suite > Target Format menu item. This will ask you to type in the name of the target format you want to compile to. If a rule has been defined for the format (as described in the next section), then Latex-Suite will switch to that format.

Trying to choose a format for which no rule has been defined will result in Latex-Suite displaying a warning message without taking any action.

If you are using a multiple file project and need to compile a master file while editing other files, then Latex-Suite provides a way to specify the file to be compiled as described in latex-master-file.

6.1 Setting Compilation rules

In order to compile LaTeX files into various formats, Latex-Suite needs to know which external programs to call and in which way they need to be called. This information is provided to Latex-Suite via a number of "rules". For each format you want to compile to, you need to specify a rule. A rule is specified by defining a variable of the form:


where <format> is a string like "pdf", "dvi" etc.

Example: By default, Latex-Suite uses the following rule for compiling LaTeX documents into DVI.

g:Tex_CompileRule_dvi = 'latex --interaction=nonstopmode $*'

Default values are also provided for ps and pdf formats. You might want to change these rules in texrc according to your local tex environment.


For win32 users user MikTeX, sometimes the latex compiler's output has a bug where a single number is split across different lines. In this case, put the included vim-latex file distributed with Latex-Suite.

6.2 Handling dependencies in compilation

Latex-Suite also handles compiling dependencies automatically via certain rules which specify the "dependency chain" for each target format. For example, if in your case, you use

.tex -> .dvi -> .ps -> .pdf

to generate pdf files from dvi files, then you will need to specify the following setting in your Latex-Suite configuration (see customizing Latex-Suite for where these settings should go):

let g:Tex_FormatDependency_pdf = 'dvi,ps,pdf'

This is a comma separated string of formats specifying the order in which the formats to be compiled into should be chosen. With this setting, if you set the target format to pdf, then the next time you compile via the \ll shortcut, Latex-Suite will first generate a dvi file, then use that to generate the ps file and finally create the pdf file from that.


If any of the intermediate formats is listed in the g:Tex_MultipleCompileFormats setting as described in the section Compiling multiple times, then Latex-Suite might make multiple calls to the compiler to generate the output file of that format.

Along with the g:Tex_FormatDependency_{format} setting, you should ofcourse specify the rule for compiling to each of the formats as described in the previous section. For example, with the setting above, you could use:

let g:Tex_CompileRule_dvi = 'latex --interaction=nonstopmode $*'
let g:Tex_CompileRule_ps = 'dvips -Ppdf -o $*.ps $*.dvi'
let g:Tex_CompileRule_pdf = 'ps2pdf $*.ps'


By default, Latex-Suite does not specify any compiler dependencies. Each target format for which a rule has been derived will be compiled independently.

6.3 Compiling multiple times

Most LaTeX compilers need to be re-run several times in several commonly occurring situations in order to get a final camera ready copy. For example, when \label's change, when new \cite commands are added etc. If the target format you are compiling to requires multiple compilations, then you will need to include the format in the g:Tex_MultipleCompileFormats setting. This is a comma separated string of formats which need multiple compilations to be generated correctly.

By default, this setting contains just the dvi format. If you use the pdflatex compiler to generate pdf files, then you might want to also include pdf into the above setting.

For every format included in the g:Tex_MultipleCompileFormats setting described above, Latex-Suite will use the following logic to generate the file. Note that although the following description uses latex to refer to the compiler, it could be some other compiler such as pdflatex for generating pdf output.

  1. If there was a .idx file, then remember its contents.
  2. Run latex.
  3. If the .idx file changed due to the latex compiler, then run makeindex to redo the .ind file and then remember to rerun latex.
  4. If the .aux file generated by the latex compiler contains a \bibdata line, then it means that we are using a .bib file. Therefore, run bibtex.


    This means that we will always run bibtex whenever we use the \bibliography command whether or not we actually need to. At this time, Latex-Suite does not parse the .aux file before and after the latex compiler to see if we are required to rerun bibtex.

  5. If the .bbl file changes because of this, then remember to rerun latex again.
  6. Also, we check to see if the LaTeX compiler gives certain standard warnings which notify that we need to compile once again. In this case also, remember to rerun LaTeX.
  7. If we found we had to rerun latex, then we repeat the steps above but not running makeindex or bibtex again.

The LaTeX file is compiled atmost 5 times using this logic. These steps will ensure that on most platforms/environments, you will get a clean output with all the cross-references, citations etc correctly labelled and ordered.

6.4 Customizing the compiler output

Most LaTeX compilers produce a very large amount of output during compilation, most of which is not relevant to debugging type-setting errors. The compiler plugin provided with Latex-Suite (which is an enhanced version of the standard compiler plugin maintained by Artem Chuprina), provides a way to filter the compiler output so that the actual errors/warnings can be presented much more concisely.

The compiler plugin is set up by default to function in a "non-verbose", "ignore-common-warnings" mode, which means that irrelevant lines from the compiler output will be ignored and some very common warnings are also ignored. Latex-Suite does this via the global variable g:Tex_IgnoredWarnings. This is a list of patterns, which can be used to filter out (or ignore) some or the warnings and errors reported by the compiler. See the link above for its default value.

Latex-Suite uses the g:Tex_IgnoreLevel setting to set a default ignore level. For example, for the default value of 4, Latex-Suite ignores warnings and errors matching the first 4 patterns in g:Tex_IgnoredWarnings.

In addition to setting a default value of the ignore level, Latex-Suite provides the ability to set the level dynamically, using the TCLevel command. For example, if you issue the command:

TCLevel 3

from within Vim, then the next time you compile the document, Latex-Suite will ignore warnings and errors which match the first three patterns in g:Tex_IgnoredWarnings.

When TCLevel is called with the unquoted string strict as follows:

TClevel strict

then Latex-Suite switches to a "verbose", "no-lines-ignored" mode which is useful when you want to make final checks of your document and want to be careful not to let things slip by.

See the explanation of the settings g:Tex_IgnoredWarnings and g:Tex_IgnoreLevel to find out how to customize the filtering done by Latex-Suite

6.5 Compiling parts of a file

Latex-Suite also provides a way to compile a fragment of a document. This can be very useful while debugging a complex equation or one chapter in a book, etc.

To do this, visually select a portion of the text and press \ll while in visual mode. The visually selected portion will be saved to a temporary file with the preamble from the current document prepended. Latex-Suite will then switch focus to this temporary file and compile it. Continue to debug this file as required and then replace the portion of the original file with this one.

Pressing \lv while viewing the temporary file will view the output file generated from the temporary file, not the original file

Two commands |TPartComp| and |TPartView| are provided to be able to get this functionality via the command line.

From release 1.6 onwards of Latex-Suite, the temporary file created for part compilation will reside in the same directory as the file from which the fragment is being created. This ensures that any relative path-names defined in the fragment will still work. Latex-Suite will attempt to clean the temporary file(s) created when Vim exits.

6.6 Load log file after external compilation

If you do not use Latex-Suite, but an external program or script to compile your tex documents, you can use

:cg | copen

to load (and parse) the .log file.

If you use vim to compile your documents, you might want to use

:let $max_print_line=1024

such that latex will not wrap the filenames. Otherwise, you could use it as an environment variable or simply use

max_print_line=1024 pdflatex ...

in your terminal. If you are using latexmk, you should set

$ENV{'max_print_line'} = '1024';
        $log_wrap = $ENV{'max_print_line'};

in your ~/.latexmkrc.

7 Latex Viewing and Searching

7.1 Setting Viewing rules

In order to view the output files created by compiling the source files, you need to specify which external program Latex-Suite should call. You can specify the external program using one of two settings Tex_ViewRule_format or Tex_ViewRuleComplete_format. By default, Latex-Suite has default settings for viewing various common output formats via the Tex_ViewRule_format settings, so that if you are using commonly used programs, you should be all set to view compiled files from within Vim by simply pressing \lv.


The viewing function also takes the *.latexmain file into account to decide which file to show.

If pressing \lv does not work, then it most probably has to do with incorrect settings of the g:Tex_ViewRule_<format> where <format> is the format you are attempting to view. See the link above for how to set this according to your system.


On Windows and OS/X, you can leave the view rule empty to open the document with the default viewer on your system. On Linux/UNIX systems, you can use the xdg-open command to open the document with the default viewer.

In addition to viewing the files, Latex-Suite also supports forward and inverse searching for certain common tools for viewing documents. See the next few sections for details on forward and inverse searching, including an overview of viewers.

7.2 Forward Searching documents

Forward searching refers to making a viewer display a given document at a given location from within Vim. At present, these viewers are known to support forward searching, but viewers that are not listed here may work, too:

ViewerOSSupported documentsComment
SkimApple / OS X TigerPDFSupports also inverse searching
PDFViewApple / OS XPDFNo longer in development, supports also inverse searching
TeXniscopeApplePDF, DVI 
YAPWindowsDVI, PSships with MikTex
Sumatra PDFWindowsPDF 
okularLinux/UNIXDVI, PDF, PS and many moreIncluded in KDE 4

Pressing \ls from within Vim should make the viewer display the portion of the document where your cursor is placed.


OS/X users need to set the g:Tex_TreatMacViewerAsUNIX flag to 1 and provide a UNIX-like viewrule, that expects as arguments the document, the linenumber and the sourcefile in this order.

Enabling Forward and Inverse Searching

Most DVI viewers need "source-special" information in order to do forward (and inverse) searching. This information is embedded in the dvi file if the LaTeX source is compiled with the --src-specials option. By default, Latex-Suite does not supply this argument to the compiler. See the section on g:Tex_CompileRule_dvi to find out how this option can be set.

Pdf viewers usually use a synctex(.gz) file. This can be enabled with the compiler flag


for pdflatex. Within this suite it is however enabled by default, unless you change g:Tex_CompileRule_pdf.

7.3 Inverse Searching

Inverse searching refers to a viewer (either pdf or dvi) telling Vim to display the LaTeX source file at a given location. Usually this happens with double-clicking or clicking while pressing the shift/control button in the viewer window. The actual method depends on the viewer application.

You will need to enable searching in order to use this functionality.

You will also need to specify certain settings to the viewer conveying the syntax which it needs to use to tell Vim how to display the source file.

In windows you need to supply the following command in the apporpriate setting of your viewer:

"C:\Program Files\vim\vim74\gvim" -c ":RemoteOpen +%l %f"

Or if you have (g)Vim added to your $PATH simply:

gvim -c ":RemoteOpen +%l %f"

The command :RemoteOpen is supplied when you install Latex-Suite. In YAP, you can set this option under View > Options > Inverse Search in the Command Line field. And in SumatraPdf you can set this option under Settings > Options > Set inverse search command-line.

On *nix machines, Latex-Suite attempts to call the DVI viewer in such a way that it already knows how to communicate with Vim. If this does not seem to be working, you can use the RemoteOpen command described above.

8 Latex Folding

Latex-Suite ships with the plugin SyntaxFolds.vim which is a plugin for creating "fake" syntax folds on the fly. The fold method is actually manual but the folding is based on LaTeX syntax. This offers a speed increase over regular syntax folding. Ofcourse it has the disadvantage that the folds are not dynamic, i.e newly created syntax items are not automatically folded up. (This is a compromise between speed and convenience).

When you open up a LaTeX file, all the portions will be automatically folded up. However, no new folds will be created until you press \rf. (rf stands for "refresh folds").

The fold-text is set to the first line of the folded text unless the fold is a table, figure etc. (an environment). In this case, if a \caption and/or a label is found in the folded region, then those are used to make a more meaningful fold-text, otherwise the second line of the environment is displayed along with the name of the environment. In other words, the following

    \caption{The Slider Crank Mechanism.}
% a LaTeX comment.
    \sin(\pi) = 0

will be shown as:

+---  5 lines: figure (fig:slidercrank) : The Slider Crank Mechanism. -----
% a LaTeX comment.
+---  3 lines: equation () : \sin(\pi) = 0 --------------------------------

8.1 Default Folding Scheme in Latex-Suite

By default, Latex-Suite creates folds in the following manner:


The indentation shows the "nestedness" of the folding scheme. See the next section to see how you can change this scheme.

8.2 Customizing what to fold

From version 1.6 onwards, the folding in Latex-Suite can be controlled to a large extent via a number of global variables.

8.2.1 Tex_FoldedSections

This entry defines which sections will be folded. This setting is a comma separated list of section names. The default value is:


Each of the entries in the list will fold up a section of the corresponding name and the corresponding %%fakesection. The %%fakesection section is provided as a means for the user to group lines into "fake" sections. In particular, it is useful to fold the introduction of a section that is not part of a subsection:

%%fakesubsection Introduction
A short introduction of the features of Latex-Suite.
Installation instructions.

Without the %%fakesubsection the introduction would not be folded separately from the section.

It is also possible, to add section names at the same level of hierarchy. These have to be separated by "|". This is, e.g., useful for the KOMA classes, which add "\addcap":

" let g:Tex_FoldedSections = 'part|addpart,chapter|addchap,section|addsec,subsection,subsubsection,paragraph,subparagraph'

See also advanced fold settings.

8.2.2 Tex_FoldedEnvironments

This entry defines which environments will be folded. It is a comma separated string of words each of which defines a single environment. The default setting is


The words need not be standard Latex environments. You can add any word you like. Also, each word will fold up all environments whose name begins with that word. For example, in the setting above, the word "align" folds up the \begin{align}, \begin{align*}, \begin{aligned} environments. To avoid this, you can replace the word "align" with "align}".

See also advanced fold settings.

8.2.3 Tex_FoldedCommands

This entry defines which commands will be folded. It is a comma separated string of words each of which defines a single command. The default setting is empty, i.e no commands are folded. The words need not be standard Latex commands. You can use whatever words you like. Each word will fold all commands whose name begins with that word as in the case of the Tex_FoldedEnvironments variable.


It is very difficult to fold commands reliably because it is very difficult to create a regexp which will match a line containing unmatched parentheses (or curly brackets), but will not match a line containing matched parentheses.

Just to make things safer, only lines which start a command but do not contain additional curly braces after the command has started are folded. In other words, if you wanted to fold the the command "mycommand", then the lines

\mycommand{This is a line
and some more text on the next line

will be folded, but the lines

\mycommand{This is a \textbf{line}
and some more text

will not be folded. This is a bug which is very difficult to fix.

See also advanced fold settings.

8.2.4 Tex_FoldedMisc

This entry defines fold syntax for certain items which do not naturally fit into the section, environment of command lists. It is a comma separated list of words. The default value is:



Unlike the other Tex_FoldedXXXX variables, the words in this setting are limited to take values from the following list:

commentsFolds up contiguous blocks of comments
itemFolds up the \items within list environments
preambleFolds up the preamble of a document. (The part between the \documentclass command and the \begin{document} environment)
<<<Folds defined manually by the user using the <<< and >>> strings as fold-markers.

Any other words in the Tex_FoldedMisc setting are silently ignored.

See also advanced fold settings.

8.2.5 Advanced Fold setting details

The order of the words in the Tex_FoldedXXXX variables is important. The order defines the order in which the folds are nested. For example, the value "subsection,section" for the Tex_FoldedSections variable will not fold any subsections at all. This is because the folds are created in the reverse order in which they occur in the Tex_FoldedSections setting and also, once a fold is created, the interior of the fold is not examined for creating additional folds. In the above case, this means that a \section is folded first and then its interior is not examined further. The correct value should have been "section,subsection"

Each of the fold setting variables Tex_FoldedSections, Tex_FoldedEnvironments etc., as explained previously is a comma separated string of variables. However, to make it easier to add to the default settings without having to repeat the whole default setting again, Latex-Suite uses the following logic in forming the complete setting string from the Tex_FoldedXXXX variables. If the variable starts with a comma, then Tex_FoldedXXXX is added to the end of the default string rather than replacing it. Similarly, if it ends with a comma, then it will be prepended to the beginning of the default setting rather than replacing it.

For example, if Tex_FoldedEnvironments is set to the string "myenv", then only an environment of the form \begin{myenv} will be folded. However, if the Tex_FoldedEnvironments setting is ",myenv", then the \begin{myenv} environment will be folded after all other environments in the default setting have been folded. On the other hand if Tex_FoldedEnvironments is of the form "myenv,", the \begin{myenv} environment will be folded before the rest of the environments in the default setting.

9 Multiple file LaTeX projects

Many LaTeX projects contain multiple source files which are \included from a master file. A typical example of this situation is a directory layout such as the following


In the above case, main.tex will typically look like

% file: main.tex



In such situations, you will need to convey to Latex-Suite that main.tex is the main file which \inputs the other files. This is done by creating an empty file called main.tex.latexmain in the same directory in which main.tex resides. This file is called the master file in this manual. See Tex_MainFileExpression for an alternative way of specifying the master file.


Here main.tex.latexmain is (obviously) a different file from main.tex itself. main.tex need not be renamed. This ofcourse restricts each directory to have a single master file.

Each time Latex-Suite opens a new LaTeX file, it will try to see if it is part of a multiple file project by searching upwards (to the root of the file-system) from the current file's directory to see if it finds a file of the form *.latexmain. If such a file is found, then it is considered that the current file is part of a larger project. The name of the LaTeX master file is inferred directly from the first part of the *.latexmain file as described in the example above.

9.1 Latex-Suite project settings

If a master file is found, then Latex-Suite :sources the file. Thus this file needs to contain valid Vim commands. This file is typically used to store project specific settings.

Some typical per-project settings which are best put in the master file are


9.2 Specifying which file to compile

In the example described previously, if you are editing intro/intro.tex and press \ll, then you still want Latex-Suite to compile main.tex, because intro/intro.tex is merely a fragment which is \input'ed into main.tex. If the master file is already specified using the *.latexmain convention described previously, then Latex-Suite will automatically compile the master file when you are editing any of its \input'ed fragments. Thus pressing \ll while editing intro/intro.tex will compile main.tex.

If you wish to use some different logic to specify the main file name, you can specify a custom expression via the Tex_MainFileExpression variable. This is a string containing a valid vim expression. In addition, you can use a variable modifier which is in the format used for |filename-modifiers|, for example, ':p:h'. You should utilize this variable to modify the filename of the main file.

let g:Tex_MainFileExpression = 'MainFile(modifier)'
function! MainFile(fmod)
    if glob('*.latexmain') != ''
        return fnamemodify(glob('*.latexmain'), a:fmod)
        return ''

10 Latex-Suite Commands and Maps

This section describes the maps and commands used in Latex-Suite. It also describes a way to change the map sequences according to your preference.

10.1 Latex-Suite Maps

Most of the mappings used in Latex-Suite can be mapped to a different key combination to suit your particular needs. An example best explains the procedure for doing this. Suppose you want to remap the <C-j> key which Latex-Suite (actually imaps.vim) uses to jump to the next placeholder. To do this, you first need to find out which <Plug> mapping <C-j> is derived from. You will need to look at the relevant section of this manual to do this. For example, the section IMAP mappings has the information that the <C-j> key is derived from <Plug>IMAP_JumpForward. Therefore to remap the <C-j> key to say <C-space>, you will need to put a statement like the following in your ~/.vimrc.

imap <C-space> <Plug>IMAP_JumpForward


To change the IMAP mappings which affect jumping between placeholders, the map statement above has to be placed in your ~/.vimrc. For other mappings you can place the map statement in your $VIM/ftplugin/tex.vim file. The reason for this is that the <C-j> maps are created in plugin/imaps.vim, which is sourced as soon as Vim starts before sourcing any ftplugin files.

10.1.1 IMAP mappings

These mappings are utilized for jumping between placeholders as described here. See the parent section to find out how to use this information to change the default maps.

Plug mapDefault Key

<Plug>IMAP_JumpForward takes you to the location of the next place-holder.

<Plug>IMAP_JumpBack takes you to the previous place-holder.

<Plug>IMAP_DeleteAndJumpForward deletes the presently selected place-holder and jumps to the next place-holder irrespective of whether the present placeholder is empty or not and ignoring the value of place-holder settings like g:Imap_DeleteEmptyPlaceHolders and g:Imap_StickyPlaceHolders

<Plug>IMAP_DeleteAndJumpBack deletes the presently selected place-holder and jumps to the previous place-holder irrespective of whether the present placeholder is empty or not and ignoring the value of place-holder settings like g:Imap_DeleteEmptyPlaceHolders and g:Imap_StickyPlaceHolders

10.1.2 Alt-Key mappings

These mappings are are described in the section Alt key macros. See the parent section to see how to use the following information to remap keys.

Plug MappingDefault Key

10.2 Latex Suite Commands

10.2.1 :TMacro [{macro}]

When used without any arguments lists all available macros defined in runtime ftplugin/latex-suite/macros/ directories and prompts you to choose one of them. With one argument |:read| this macro under cursor position. With more than one argument it will not work :) In Vim >= 6.2 works completion of names of macros (see 'wildmenu', 'wildmode' for more about command-line completion).

10.2.2 :TMacroEdit [{macro}]

Splits window for editing {macro}. When used without any arguments lists all available macros defined in runtime ftplugin/latex-suite/macros/ directories and prompt you to choose one of them. When you try to edit {macro} not from local directory Latex-Suite will copy it to your local directory with suffix "-local". If local copy already exists Latex-Suite prompt for overwriting it. In Vim >= 6.2 works completion of names of macros (see 'wildmenu', 'wildmode' for more about command-line completion).

10.2.3 :TMacroNew

Splits window to write new macro. Directory in new buffer is locally changed to Latex-Suite/macros/.

10.2.4 :TMacroDelete [{macro}]

Delets {macro} from your local ftplugin/latex-suite/macros/ directory. When used without any arguments lists all available macros defined in Latex-Suite/macros/ directory and prompt you to choose one of them. When you choose to delete {macro} which is not in your local directory Latex-Suite will refuse to delete it. In Vim >= 6.2 works completion of names of macros (see 'wildmenu', 'wildmode' for more about command-line completion)

10.2.5 :TPackage [{package, ...}]

When used without any arguments lists name of the packages for which support is available. If you are using Vim GUI and have Tex_Menus set to 1, then it will list all files found in the $VIM/ftplugin/latex-suite/packages directory. Otherwise, Latex-Suite will list files found in the $VIM/ftplugin/latex-suite/dictionaries directory. Choosing a file from the list will insert a


line into the buffer at the current cursor location. For Vim 6.2 and above, you can use command-line completion to choose a package file. You can also call TPackage with one or more package names separated with spaces in which case, Latex-Suite will insert \usepackage lines for each of them in turn.

After inserting the \usepackage line(s), Latex-Suite will support it (them) in various ways as described in the section Actions taken for supported packages.

10.2.6 :TPackageUpdate

This command `reads' name of package under cursor and turns on possible support.

10.2.7 :TPackageUpdateAll

After issuing this command latexSuite scans the file in looking for not declared packages, removing not needed entries from Packages menu and turning off not necessary packages' dictionaries.

10.2.8 :TTemplate [{template}]

When used without any arguments lists all available templates from latex-suite/templates/ directory and prompts to choose one of them. With one argument :0|read| {template} file. With more than one argument it will not work :) In Vim >= 6.2 works completion of names of macros (see 'wildmenu', 'wildmode' for more about command-line completion)

10.2.9 :TSection [{argument}]

Used without any arguments inserts last section type (|latex-sectioning|). Accepts arguments: n> inserts section name in <n> logical level. Levels are:


+<n> inserts section name <n> logical levels above the last used comand
-<n> inserts section name <n> logical levels below the last used comand
+ inserts section name one logical level below the last used command (equal to +1).
++ inserts section name two logical levels below the last used command (equal to +2).
- inserts section name one logical level over the last used command (equal to -1).
-- inserts section name two logical levels over the last used command (equal to -2).

Command accepts also latexSuite mappings (|latex-macros|) without preceding S and in lowercase:

:TSection pa

will result in \part{}. It is possible to use full names of sections: :TSection part

10.2.10 :TSectionAdvanced

Accepts the same arguments as |TSection| but leads to a couple of questions (whether you want to include the section in the table of contents, whether there is a shorter name for the table of contents) and then creates a more intelligent template.

10.2.11 :TLook

Accepts one argument. Will look through .tex files in directory of edited file for argument. It can be regexp. You don't have to enclose argument in "". <cr> takes you to location. Other keys work as described in |latex-viewer|. Note: TLook uses :grep command and is using 'grepprg'. Its regular expressions can be different from those of Vim.

10.2.12 :TLookBib

Accepts one argument. Will look through .bib files in directory of edited file for argument. It can be regexp. You don't have to enclose argument in "". <cr> takes you to location. Other keys work as described in |latex-viewer|.


TLookBib uses :grep command and is using 'grepprg'. Its regular expressions can be different from those of Vim.

10.2.13 :TLookAll

Accepts one argument. Will look through all files in directory of edited file for argument. It can be regexp. You don't have to enclose argument in "". <cr> takes you to location. Other keys work as described in |latex-viewer|. Note: TLook uses :grep command and is using 'grepprg'. Its regular expressions can be different from those of Vim.

10.2.14 :TPartComp

No argument allowed but accepts range in all formats. Define fragment of interest with :'a,'b, :/a/,/b/, :'<,'> or :20,30. All other rules of compilation apply.

10.2.15 :TPartView

Show last compiled fragment. All rules of viewing apply but |latex-searching|.

10.2.16 :Tshortcuts [{arg}]

Show shortcuts in terminal (not using menu). Without {arg} you will see simple menu prompting for one of them. Possible arguments:

gGeneral shortcuts
eEnvironment shortcuts
fFont shortcuts
sSection shortcuts
mMath shortcuts
aAll shortcuts

11 Customizing Latex-Suite

Customizing Latex-Suite is done by defining certain global variables in $VIM/ftplugin/tex.vim, where $VIM corresponds to ~/.vim for *nix machines and ~/vimfiles for windows machines. This file is not part of the Latex-Suite distribution. You will need to create this file yourself (or modify it if it exists) if you need to change any default settings. Since this file is not included as part of the Latex-Suite distribution, it will not be over-written in subsequent updates.

The default settings in Latex-Suite are defined in $VIM/ftplugin/latex-suite/texrc. Please take a look at this file if you find this documentation incomplete or confusing. That file is also well documented.

This chapter describes the various settings which effect Latex-Suite and their default values. The settings are broken up into sections according to the behavior which they influence.

11.1 General Settings

11.1.1 Tex_Debug

Default Value0

If set to 1, then Latex-Suite will create certain global debug statements which can be printed by doing

:call Tex_PrintDebug()

11.1.2 Tex_UsePython

Default Value1

If Latex-Suite detects that your vim is python enabled (using has('python') and has('python3')), then it tries to use python in certain places to speed things up. If this misbehaves, you can set this to zero, in which case, Latex-Suite will use vimscript to accomplish the same.

11.2 Place-Holder Customization

Latex-Suite uses place-holders to minimize using the movement keys while typing. The following settings affect how place-holders are used.


These setting need to be set in your ~/.vimrc, not $VIM/ftplugin/tex.vim because these settings affect the behavior of imaps.vim, which is a global plugin, not a file-type plugin.

11.2.1 g:Imap_UsePlaceHolders

Default Value1

Setting this to zero completely disables using place-holders.

11.2.2 g:Imap_PlaceHolderStart & g:Imap_PlaceHolderEnd


These settings affect the strings displayed at the beginning and end of the place-holder string. Set these strings to a value different than a commonly occurring sequence of characters.


If you use the latin1 encoding and do not type in french, then you can set these strings to the \xab and \xbb characters (the french quotation marks).

11.2.3 g:Imap_DeleteEmptyPlaceHolders

Default Value1

When set to one, non-descriptive or empty place-holders are deleted on pressing <Ctrl-J>.

11.2.4 g:Imap_StickyPlaceHolders

Default Value1

When set to 1, in visual mode, <Ctrl-J> takes you to the next placeholder without deleting the current placeholder.

11.2.5 g:Imap_GoToSelectMode

Default Value1

When set to 1, <Ctrl-J> will switch to select mode after selecting the placeholder. Otherwise, it will switch to visual mode.

11.3 Macro Customization

11.3.1 Customizing the macros concerning environments Tex_Env_name

If you wish to wish to expand certain environments differently from the way Latex-Suite does it, you can define custom expansions using global variables of the form Tex_Env_{name} where name corresponds to the environment.

For example, if you press <F5> after typing theorem, Latex-Suite will by default expand it to


However, if you wish change this to


then define the following variable

let g:Tex_Env_theorem = "\\begin{theorem}\<CR><++>\<CR>\\end{theorem}"

If the expansion uses special keys such as carriage return etc, then use double-quotes and use the "\<key>" notation for special keys. Backslashes have to be doubled.

You could even use strings returned by functions as the expansion by using the IMAP_PutTextWithMovement() function.

If the name of the environment contains special characters (for example, the align* environment), then use the following form:

let g:Tex_Env_{'align*'} =
         \ "\\begin{align*}\<CR><++> &= <++>\<CR>\\end{align*}<++>"

This will make pressing <F5> after align* expand to

     <++> &= <++>
 \end{align*}<++> Tex_EnvLabelprefix_name

By default, Latex-Suite inserts labels without prefixes. The setting Tex_EnvLabelprefix_{name}, where name corresponds to the environment, is used to create labels with prefixes automatically. For instance, if you use

let g:Tex_EnvLabelprefix_equation = "eq:"

the prefix eq: is inserted in all labels in generated equations:


This setting works for the environments figure, table, theorem, definition, lemma, proposition, corollary, assumption, remark, equation, align and multline. Tex_EnvEndWithCR
Default Value0

If Tex_EnvEndWithCR is set to 1, a carriage return (i.e., line break) is inserted between \end{environment} and the last placeholder:

<++> Tex_ItemsWithCR
Default Value0

If Tex_ItemsWithCR is set to 1, a carriage return (i.e., line break) is inserted after \item and the placeholder, e.g., itemize<F5> is expanded to

\end{itemize} Tex_LabelAfterContent
Default Value1

If Tex_LabelAfterContent is set to 0, the label is placed before the content of the environment:

\end{equation}<++> g:Tex_UseMenuWizard
Default Value0

If this variable is set to 1, then when an environment is chosen from the menu then for selected environments, Latex-Suite asks a series of questions on the command line and inserts a template with the corresponding fields already filled in. Setting this to zero will insert a template with place-holders marking off the places where fields need to be filled. g:Tex_PromptedEnvironments
Default Value'equation,equation*,align,align*,enumerate,itemize,figure,table'

This string represents a comma separated list of fields corresponding to environments. Pressing <F5> in insert-mode in the body of the document asks you to choose from one of these environments to insert.

Leaving this string empty will leave the <F5> key unmapped g:Tex_HotKeyMappings
Default Value'equation*,equation,bmatrix'

This string represents a comma separated list of environments which are mapped to <Shift-F-1> through <Shift-F-4>. For example, pressing <Shift-F-2> with this setting inserts the equation environment.

Leaving this string empty will leave <Shift-F-1> through <Shift-F-4> unmapped.


Only the first four fields of this list are used. The rest are silently ignored.

11.3.2 Customizing the macros concerning commands Tex_Com_name

If you wish to define new expansions for fast command insertion as described here, or redefine expansions from the default values in Latex-Suite, you will need to define variables of the form g:Tex_Com_{name} where name is a command name. For example, with the setting

let g:Tex_Com_frac = "\\frac{<++>}{<++>}<++>"

pressing <F7> after typing frac will change it to \frac{<++>}{<++>}<++>

See Tex_Env_name for additional details on how to create this setting in various special circumstances. g:Tex_PromptedCommands
Default Value 'footnote,cite,pageref,label'

This string represents a comma separated list of LaTeX commands which Latex-Suite uses for the <F7> and <S-F7> maps as described here.

Leaving this string empty will leave the <F7> key unmapped. Tex_ItemStyle_environment

This setting affects the style which Latex-Suite uses to insert an \item when <Alt-I> is pressed as described here. By default Latex-Suite defines styles for the following environments:

thebibliography\item[<+biblabel+>]{<+bibkey+>} <++>
description\item[<+label+>] <++>

Each style is defined by a variable of the form g:Tex_ItemStyle_{envname} where envname is the name of the environment for which the style is defined. For example, by default

g:Tex_ItemStyle_description = '\item[<+label+>] <++>'

Redefining the style for a particular environment or defining a style for an entirely new environment is simply a matter of setting the value of a variable of the corresponding name.

11.3.3 Enabling / disabling macros

The following variables disable various parts of the macro functionality of Latex-Suite. See the links to the relevant sections to see what functionality setting each of the variables to zero will take away.

SettingLink to relevant sectionDefault Value
g:Tex_EnvironmentMaps Environment Mappings1
g:Tex_EnvironmentMenus 1
g:Tex_FontMaps Font Mappings1
g:Tex_FontMenus  1
g:Tex_SectionMaps Section Mappings1
g:Tex_SectionMenus  1

11.3.4 g:Imap_FreezeImap

Default Value0

This option when set to 1, temporarily freezes Latex-Suite's macro expansion. It might be useful when you are using some other keymap which is causing excessive macro expansion. Use a buffer-local variable of the same name if you wish to affect just the present buffer.

11.3.5 g:Tex_CatchVisMapErrors

Default Value1

With so many visual maps, its helpful to have a way of catching typing errors made in visual mode. What this does is to prompt you to correct your visual mode mapping if you start out with g:Tex_Leader and then type some illegal keys. It basically maps just the g:Tex_Leader character to a function.

11.3.6 g:Tex_Diacritics

Default Value0

Whether or not you want to use diacritics.

11.3.7 g:Tex_Leader

Default Value'`'

The mappings in Latex-Suite are by default prefixed with the back-tick character. For example, `/ inserts \frac{<++>}{<++>}<++> etc. You can change the prefix with the following setting. ',', '/', '`' are preferred values. '' or '\' will lead to a lot of trouble.

g:Tex_Leader is also used for visual mode mappings for fonts.

11.3.8 g:Tex_Leader2

Default Value','

In order to avoid clashes between the large number of visual mode macros provided, the visual mode macros for environments and sections start with a character different from g:Tex_Leader.

11.4 Smart Key Customization

These settings affect the smart key functionality as described here.

11.4.1 g:Tex_SmartKeyBS

Default Value1

Whether or not <Backspace> deletes diacritics.

11.4.2 g:Tex_SmartKeyQuote

Default Value1

Whether or not the smart quotes functionality is available.

If enabled, the quote characters can be customized by setting the following variables:


Non-English users will want to change these settings to their locale. These global variables will be ignored if there are buffer-local variables (with the same name), which may be set in the language specific package files, such as $VIM/ftplugin/latex-suite/packages/german.

11.5 Latex Completion Customization

The following settings affect the completion functionality in Latex-Suite.

11.5.1 Window size settings

These three settings affect the aesthetics of the completion functionality.

SettingExplanationDefault Value
g:Tex_ViewerCwindowHeightThe height of the cwindow which displays the list of \labels etc.5
g:Tex_ViewerPreviewHeightThe height of the preview window which shows the context of a \label etc.10
g:Tex_ExplorerHeightThe height of the explorer window which lists the files from which to choose an image file.10
g:Tex_ImageDirThe directory to scan for images''

11.5.2 g:Tex_BIBINPUTS

Default Value''

This string describes the directories which are scanned while trying to search for .bib and .bbl files. See the cite completion section for more details.

This string should be set in the syntax accepted by Vim's native 'path' setting. Do not include the present directory '.'. While searching for bibliography files, the present directory will be prepended to this variable.

11.5.3 Tex_UseOutlineCompletion

When set to 1 (default), Latex-Suite searches for \labels in all .tex files of your project, starting with the main file when <F9> is pressed. See \ref completion for details.

11.5.4 Tex_UseSimpleLabelSearch

When set to 1 and if Tex_UseOutlineCompletion is 0, Latex-Suite searches for \labels in all .tex files in the directory containing the file being edited when <F9> is pressed. See \ref completion for details.

11.5.5 g:Tex_ProjectSourceFiles

Default Value''

This setting is meant to be initialized on a per-project basis using the Latex-Suite master file as described in Latex-Suite Project section. It is a list of source files which are used in the project. If defined, then instead of using the logic described in Tex_UseSimpleLabelSearch to search for files in which to search for \labels, we simply search for \labels in this list. This significantly reduces the time it takes to generate the list of possible completions for large projects.

The list is specified as a whitespace separated list of filenames relative to the location of the main file.

11.5.6 Tex_UseCiteCompletionVer2

When set to 1 (default), Latex-Suite uses python to parse your bib-file. See \cite completion for details.

11.5.7 g:Tex_RememberCiteSearch

Default Value0

When this variable is non-zero, then Latex-Suite will try to remember results from the \cite completion. This is only used if Tex_UseCiteCompletionVer2 is set to 0.

11.6 Compiler Customization

The following settings affect Latex-Suite's compilation functionality

11.6.1 g:Tex_DefaultTargetFormat

Default Valuedvi for windows/*nix and pdf for mac

Use this setting to choose the default target format. For example, setting this to pdf makes Latex-Suite compile a pdf file when you press \ll and fire up the pdf viewer on pressing \lv. Make sure that a rules for compiling and viewing have been defined for this target format as described here and here.

11.6.2 g:Tex_CompileRule_<format>

Here <format> refers to the target format for which this rule is defined. Latex-Suite supports compiling into dvi, ps and pdf by default. All these rules are strings defined by default as follows:

g:Tex_CompileRule_dvi'latex -interaction=nonstopmode $*'
g:Tex_CompileRule_ps'ps2pdf $*'
g:Tex_CompileRule_pdf'pdflatex -interaction=nonstopmode $*'

If you desire forward and inverse searching via Latex-Suite, you will need to change g:Tex_CompileRule_dvi to include -src-specials. However, this has been known to cause problems with the output file. Therefore, use this with care.

11.6.3 g:Tex_FormatDependency_<format>

Default Value''

By default, there are no format dependencies defined. Each definition is of the form above where <format> is a string such as 'dvi' etc.

The value of each string is a comma separated string such as 'dvi,ps'. See the Compiler dependency section to see how to use/specify this setting

11.6.4 g:Tex_MultipleCompileFormats

Default Value'dvi'

This is a comma separated string of formats for which the compiler needs to be called multiple times in order to get cross-references, citations etc right. See the Compiling multiple times section for details.

11.6.5 g:Tex_IgnoredWarnings

Default Valuea new-line separated list of patterns as described below

The default value of this setting is

\"specifier changed to\n".
\"You have requested\n".
\"Missing number, treated as zero.\n".
\"There were undefined references\n"
\"Citation %.%# undefined"

This setting defines a set of patterns which will be filtered out when displaying the output from the latex compiler. This is to aid in filtering out very common warnings/errors.


Remember to check the value of g:Tex_IgnoreLevel when you change this setting. For example, if you append a new pattern which you would like to ignore by default, increase the value of g:Tex_IgnoreLevel.

11.6.6 g:Tex_IgnoreLevel

Default Value7

This setting defines a "filter level" or an "ignore level". A value of 7 for instance means that any warning/error matching with any of the first 7 fields of g:Tex_IgnoredWarnings will be ignored. Setting this value to zero will mean that no error/warning is ignored. However, even with a value of zero, Latex-Suite will filter out most of the text which a LaTeX compiler typically produces. Use

TCLevel strict

from within Vim in order to see all the lines from the compiler's output.

11.6.7 g:Tex_UseMakefile

Default Value1

When set to 1, then if a makefile or Makefile is present in the current directory, then Latex-Suite sets the makeprg option to just "make <target>", where <target> is the target format chosen using the TCTarget or TTarget commands.

When set to 0, then Latex-Suite will set the makeprg setting to whatever is defined by the g:Tex_CompileRule_target setting.

11.6.8 g:Tex_GotoError

Default Value1

If set to 1, then pressing \ll will take you to the location of the first warning/error, otherwise you will remain in the original location but the errors/warnings will be listed in the preview window.

11.7 Viewer Customization

The following settings affect how Latex-Suite will display compiled files.

11.7.1 g:Tex_ViewRule_<format>

Here <format> refers to a format such as dvi, ps, etc. This variable defines the program which will be called to display a file of that format.

By default, Latex-Suite defines viewer programs for viewing DVI, PS and PDF formats as follows:

g:Tex_ViewRule_dvi'yap -1''xdvi'

For Macintosh systems, these strings are left empty by default. This lets the system pick the program for each format. If you define these variables for Mac, the system choice will be over-ridden.

Latex-Suite appends file.format to the above settings while calling the external programs. For example, with

let g:Tex_ViewRule_dvi = 'yap -1'

yap is called as

!start yap -1 file.dvi

from within Vim. (The initial start is used on Windows platforms is to make yap start as a separate process.) If you find the way Latex-Suite constructs the command line too restrictive, you can use the Tex_ViewRuleComplete_format setting for more complete control on how the command line is constructed while calling the external program for viewing.


For windows, you will need to set the $PATH variable to include the paths to yap, AcroRd32, gsview32 and any other programs. See your system documentation for how to do this.

Default Viewing Format

To change the default format for viewing files, set the g:Tex_DefaultTargetFormat variable.

11.7.2 Tex_ViewRuleComplete_<format>

Here <format> refers to the extension of a output format such as dvi, html etc.

Tex_ViewRuleComplete_format takes precedence over Tex_ViewRule_format if both are specified. By default, Latex-Suite does not define values for Tex_ViewRuleComplete_format for any format. Unlike in the case of Tex_ViewRule_format, Latex-Suite does not modify Tex_ViewRuleComplete_format at all in constructing the command line. The only modification is to substitute '$*' everywhere in the string with the name of the file being viewed (without the extension).


Make sure you make the process go into the background otherwise vim will wait for the viewer to terminate before letting you edit the file again.

To make a process go into the background on a *nix platform, use a trailing & in the setting. On Windows, use start at the beginning of the setting. Example: Suppose you have a latex->html converter which converts a file say foo.tex to a file foo/index.html. Then you would use:

" On *nix platform
let g:Tex_ViewRuleComplete_html = 'MozillaFirebird $*/index.html &'
" On windows platform
let g:Tex_ViewRuleComplete_html = 'start MozillaFirebird $*/index.html'

11.8 Menu Customization

In addition to using the variables defined in this section to affect the menu-layout permanently (i.e, the layout Latex-Suite will start with), you can also use the TeX-Suite > Configure Menu menu to dynamically configure the menu layout after Latex-Suite has started.

11.8.1 g:Tex_Menus

Default Value1

If set to 0, Latex-Suite will suppress showing all menus. Useful if you mostly work in terminals.

11.8.2 g:Tex_MainMenuLocation

Default Value80

This setting decides the location of the first top-level Latex-Suite menu. You can for example shift all the menus created by Latex-Suite to the very end by setting this value to a large number like 990.

11.8.3 g:Tex_MathMenus

Default Value1

The Tex-Math menu consists of hundreds of mathematical symbols used in LaTeX. This menu comprises about 75% of the menus.

11.8.4 g:Tex_NestElementMenus

Default Value1

This setting controls the "compactness" of the menus. If set to 1, then the Font, Counter and Dimensioning menus are collected together in a single menu called Tex-Elements, otherwise, they will each get a separate menu.

11.8.5 g:Tex_PackagesMenu

Default Value1

Setting this to zero will stop Latex-Suite from automatically creating the TeX-Suite > Packages > Supported menu at startup. You can still create the menu after startup by going to TeX-Suite > Configure Menu.

11.8.6 g:Tex_NestPackagesMenu

Default Value1

If this option is set, Latex-Suite creates the packages option within the TeX-Suite menu. Otherwise, it is a top-level menu entry.

11.8.7 g:Tex_MenuPrefix

Default Value'TeX-'

This string is the prefix added to all the menus created by Latex-Suite. If you define this variable with a dot ('.') as the last character, then all the menus created by Latex-Suite will be nested under a single master menu. For example, set this to '&LaTeX-Suite.' to nest all menus under a menu called &LaTeX-Suite.

11.8.8 g:Tex_UseUtfMenus

Default Value0

This setting controls whether Latex-Suite uses utf-8 symbols to display some of the mathematical symbols in the TeX-Math menu. It is necessary for your system/GUI to support utf-8. Setting this to 1 has the side-effect of setting the 'encoding' option of Vim to 'utf-8'.

11.9 Folding Customization

The following settings control the folding functionality of Latex-Suite, see also Customizing what to fold.

11.9.1 g:Tex_Folding

Default Value1

Setting this to zero completely disables Latex-Suite's folding functionality. However, the TexFoldTextFunction() is still available in case you want to use another folding scheme but still want to continue using the fold text function.

11.9.2 g:Tex_AutoFolding

Default Value1

This setting controls whether Latex-Suite automatically creates manual folds for a file when it is opened. You can still use the \rf mapping to refresh/create folds even when this variable is set to zero.

11.10 Package Handling Customization

These settings affect the custom packages functionality in Latex-Suite

11.10.1 g:Tex_TEXINPUTS

Default Value''

This setting describes the directories scanned by Latex-Suite while searching for custom user packages as described in the custom packages section. Do not include the present directory in this setting. The present directory is always scanned for custom packages.

This string should be set in the syntax accepted by Vim's native 'path' setting.

11.11 Template Directory Customization

This setting describes the directories scanned by Latex-Suite to search for templates.

11.11.1 g:Tex_CustomTemplateDirectory

Default Value''

A comma separated list of directories. If left empty, Latex-Suite searches in $VIM/ftplugin/latex-suite/templates/.

12 Credits

And finally, the credits:

Artur R. Czechowskimaintains the BSD package of Latex-Suite. Lots of valuable feedback.
Lubomir Host provided the diacritics and also helped in development.
Alexander Wagner valuable suggestions during development.
Luc Hermitte his variation of Stephen Riehm's bracketing system is used in Latex-Suite.
Gergely Kontra the clever little JumpFunc() in imaps.vim is due to him. The implementation of the templates also borrows from mu-template.vim by him.
Dimitri Antoniou author of ltags and also provided the nice tip about forward / reverse search on DVI documents.
Stephen Riehm the extremely helpful bracketing system is from him.
Alan Schmitt provided macros/folding elements. Continued feedback, bug-reports/fixes.
Hari Krishna Dara for ExecMap(), the clever little function which makes typing visual mode mappings so much easier and error-free.
Alan G Isac for the comprehensive BibT() function for entering bibtex entries.
Gontran Baerts for libList.vim
Peter Heslin useful discussion and also a lot of bug fixes. the %%fakesection in folding.vim.
Zhang Lin-bo lots of very useful additions to folding. The code for customizing the folding scheme is due to him.

A large number of functions in Latex-Suite come from various other people. Some of those people might have been missed here. Each function should however have the author's name/e-mail above it. Thats the more authoritative place to check out who has done what.

The current maintainer(s) of Latex-Suite is(are)

Srinath Avadhanula <>
Mikolaj Machowski <>
Benji Fisher <>