So, I'd like to know the difference between latexmk and autolatex. So I do a search, and look there is a question on it. Oh, wait, it is closed as a duplicate, well, I'll go to the question is was closed as a duplicate of. Lets see:


Latexmk is one possibility, although I've never used it myself.

Well, that doesn't have much information on it, what about autolatex? It only has 3 upvotes:

For completeness, I will mention autolatex (project page). I have not used it. It's implemented with a combination of perl scripts and makefiles.

With autolatex you can execute on the command line:

$ autolatex -f mydoc.tex

This generates the makefiles in the current directory and makes the default targets.

So neither answer has any information on what the differences between autolatex and latexmk, yet I still can't make a new question on it.

The chat recommended I make a meta question here, and that it would hopefully wind up with improving the list questions answers.

1 Answer 1


I suggest making the more systematic. My proposal, feel free to add your ideas:

Each answer in that question should treat one automation tool exactly (this seems to be true for all but Paul Biggar's answers).

The following information about each tool should be present:

  • Name, with link to homepage or manual if applicable
  • Link to its tag, if it has a dedicated tag.
  • It's basic abilities and basic weaknesses, probably as a list of tools it supports. I suggest: makeindex, makeglossaries, biber, bibtex.
  • How to invoke it, what basic options/parameters it has (this is simple for tools like latexmk, more difficult for tools like arara or make, suggestions on how to treat this are welcomed)
  • Platforms, Licensing (at least in "free"/"non-free", but seeing the list, all seem to be "free")

I hope this makes sense. After all, this is CW, so please bring in your ideas!

  • My one problem with this is that it is only in general: I'd like to know the exact differences between the two programs, so while it would work for differences between say the emacs method and a CLI method, it might not cover fine details. I'd say the question isn't a duplicate, so open it, but add a link to the big list for other alternatives.
    – Canageek
    Jan 13, 2014 at 22:36
  • @Canageek Well, just add a comment why you think it's not a duplicate, and vote for re-open. You'll see what happens ;)
    – yo'
    Jan 13, 2014 at 22:40
  • As long as it isn't "You get murdered in your sleep" ....
    – Canageek
    Jan 13, 2014 at 22:54
  • The question seems to be open again, but it still has the "possible duplicate" message. Does it need to be edited out by hand? Jan 14, 2014 at 7:50
  • 1
    @StephanLehmke It has now had the title edited to better reflect the question.
    – Canageek
    Jan 20, 2014 at 20:57
  • The question has been reopened, but I still think this is an excellent idea.
    – Canageek
    Jan 20, 2014 at 20:57

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