I noticed that it is encouraged to leave out unnecessary packages out of an MWE. Also other question/answers stress the minimal nature of a MWE.

However, sometimes some packages need to be loaded before others, or they have conflicting options.
A novice LaTeX user might not know about these conflicts, and when all packages are included in the MWE, more experienced users can point out that the packages are not loaded correctly.

Wouldn't it then be useful if all packages are included?

  • 13
    Eliminating "irrelevant" packages is part of isolating the problem and, therefore, a first step towards solving it.
    – jub0bs
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 20:47
  • 1
    Basically anyone would aim for a shortest-possible-simple-code to get a reproducible error while posting MWE. Commented Dec 13, 2013 at 3:11

1 Answer 1


Firstly, the aim is that Questions and Answers on this site are as widely applicable as possible. The extra packages that you load, may not be needed at all by another user. For example, you may be writing you document in Czech, but loading babel with the czech option is not the cause of the problem you are having, and the answer given will thus help a person writing in English (with babel) or Swedish (with a different babel option) too. In particular, your standard lists of packages is not the same list another person uses, this is (partly) why they are packages rather part of the core of LaTeX.

Removing extra packages makes example coder shorter and clearer. Thus it will be easier for someone visiting the site later to decide whether the question answer are relevant to their problem.

Also removing unnecessary packages is helpful in locating, where the problem may lie, and is a useful debugging technique in itself. There may indeed be a bug in a package, or there may be a problem with loading order.

In any case, in the act of creating a MWE you may well reduce the code to the point where you can see the error or solution yourself, and so asking on this site is no longer necessary.

  • 9
    I've found the answer to a LOT of my questions when making MWE, and a lot of it is discovering that the problem is due to a package I've set up wrong, or that it isn't with the package I thought it was, as when I remove that it is still there (or when I remove another one it goes away.)
    – Canageek
    Commented Dec 12, 2013 at 1:11
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    I hate wen I solve a question in the process of building a MWE to duplicate an error. Too much work for no reputation gain. Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 23:06

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