It's clear that AUCTeX has some way of determining the documentclass, since some functions behave differently depending on which documentclass is selected. For example, LaTeX-insert-item behaves differently when the documentclass is beamer.

I'm writing some custom code that needs to test what the documentclass is. Obviously, I could roll my own code to do this, but I'd prefer to use the same functionality as AUCTeX. Is there a function or variable in AUCTeX that contains this information? I looked, but did not find anything.



2 Answers 2


AUCTeX doesn't really know the class used in a document, all the packages and class loaded are listed in the variable TeX-active-styles. The only problem with it is that it mixes packages and classes, but this isn't usually a big deal since packages tend not to have the same name of a class.

You can search for the wanted package/class with member:

(if (member "beamer" TeX-active-styles)
    ;; true...
  ;; false...

In addition, starting from AUCTeX 11.88 there is also the possibility to check for the options passed to a specific package or class (and here packages and classes are separated) with functions LaTeX-provided-class-options-member and LaTeX-provided-package-options-member, but if there are no options passed to a package/class these functions are useless.

Before version 11.88, all the options were listed in TeX-active-styles too, making it impossible to distinguish between options and packages/classes.

Actually, the different behavior you describe for \item is obtained by adding the ("itemize" . LaTeX-item-beamer) entry to LaTeX-item-list in style/beamer.el, so TeX-active-styles is not used at all.


You can check TeX-style-hook-list:

(if (member '("beamer") TeX-style-hook-list)
    (message "beamer is used")
  (message "beamer is not used") )


My solution is based on expecting aux file auctex creates for each tex file you visit. When I wrote this solution emacs parsed that file and it worked. Now when I open the same tex file emacs doesn't seem to read this file anymore. So one has to force emacs to read it:

(load (concat (file-name-directory buffer-file-name)
              (file-name-sans-extension (file-name-nondirectory  buffer-file-name))
              ".el") )
(if (member '("beamer") TeX-style-hook-list)
    (message "beamer is used")
  (message "beamer is not used") )

then it works.

  • The whole load can be reduced to (TeX-normal-mode), but querying TeX-style-hook-list with member doesn't make sense since it's an alist, assoc is more useful. Anyway, what AUCTeX really does internally is looking at TeX-active-styles, not TeX-style-hook-list.
    – giordano
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 9:46

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