Today another question came up on how the documentation for a command or a package can be found.

There are some similar ones, but all different in a way:
LaTeX, package documentation look-up
Finding package documentation [duplicate]
Documentation for the animate package with TikZ

Some Q/A's deal with a special environment, e.g. Where do I find documentation for packages in a MiKTeX installation?

Some can't be answered with the simple texdoc <packageName>:
Where is the documentation for the nth package
fp package documentation

Do you see the need for a constructed canonical Q/A (community-Wiki)?

There are different things that have to be considered:

  • CTAN provides the most recent doc, but that might not fit with the version installed on the user machine.
  • The problem with a possible version discrepancy is true for texdoc.net, as well.
  • texdoc behaves different in MikTeX and TeX Live (since it is an alias for mthelp under MikTeX).
  • How can i find out where the command i need help with is defined?

1 Answer 1


I tried to put the question in a nutshell, but the current state doesn't satisfy me at all.

When working with LaTeX one often finds the need to look something up in order to use a command correctly or learn about the basics.

But where can i find the documentation for a package installed with my TeX distribution? Where can i find it for packages not installed?

If i have an unknown command, how can i find out which package defined it?

Right now it seems too broad. Please suggest as much improvements as possible.

  • You're right that the entire LaTeX ecosystem lacks consistent structure (or even infrastructure in places). My colleagues' only recourse was to take apart the source codes themselves (a work product I obviously cannot publish here). For the foreseeable future, there will be no consistent framework for contributors to LaTeX and friends. The fact that there never was might be testament to a lack of political/corporate will, but I believe is better explained by the lack of software engineering know-how (LaTeX community is possibly mostly hard science and psychology).
    – user152148
    Jan 23, 2019 at 2:32

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