Lockstep brought up an interesting idea in a comment.

Is it perhaps possible to either create a page or a section in the FAQ the explains the common diagnostic tools?

By diagnostic tools, I mean things like lipsum or filecontents. This might come shocking to Will Robertson, but not everyone knows what lipsum is =). Granted, the concept of the diagnostic tools is easy enough to understand. But for new users of this site, it may not be immediately obvious that some parts of the proposed solution is just meant for illustration that the solution works, and is not actually necessary.

(I know that it is unrealistic to expect all users to have read the FAQ in detail, but this way at least we can throw the FAQ at them when questions come up, or better yet, do so preemptively when using these packages in an answer.)

If you think that such a page may be useful, please also answer with

What packages/tools would you include in such a page?

  • Since this belongs in the FAQ, I’ve tagged it accordingly. Oct 24, 2010 at 10:04
  • 1
    Since we are trying to come up with the text we want in the FAQ, it is good to have answers be CW, so everyone can tweak the results. Is it OK for a moderator to CW this question, so that future answers will automatically be CW? Oct 24, 2010 at 20:37
  • @Charles Stewart: good idea. Since I cannot do it myself, I flagged for mod attention. Oct 24, 2010 at 23:16
  • CW'd as requested. (For other mods, it's in the "mod" link under the question) Oct 25, 2010 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


In the comment Willie Wong mentioned, I wanted to provide a link to a topped thread in a German-speaking forum, but couldn't figure out how to put links into comments. So here's the example I was thinking of.

For the non-German-speaking (probably the majority), the linked thread deals (among other things) with the following error-avoiding LaTeX issues:

  • Multiple compilation;
  • Deletion of auxiliary files;
  • Package load order;
  • Fabricating minimal examples, with special how-to's for including external graphics, using the filecontents package and checking the version of used files.

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