I've installed AucTex as per the official instructions with package-list-packages, however there is no trace of preview-latex. Helm displays no results for M-x auctex.

After installing Auctex with package-list-packages, (load "auctex.el" nil t t) returns true, but (load "preview-latex.el" nil t t) does not.

I've reinstalled Auctex from scratch (by having a backup of my .emacs.d), and arrived the same results.

How can I produce preview-latex.el? And why am I not seeing any traces of Auctex?

  • Do you have all the prerequisites listed here: gnu.org/software/auctex/manual/auctex/… ?
    – elethan
    Jan 13, 2016 at 3:41
  • Your question is based on faulty assumptions. Why do you think helm should provide completions for M-x auctex? What makes you think you should have a preview-latex.el file at all? You shouldn't (ELPA uses auctex-autoloads.el). Does preview work for you? That's what's most important
    – giordano
    Jan 13, 2016 at 22:21
  • @giordano So it would seem... It didn't work the first time, and admittedly I didn't try again the second, I only checked for the existence of preview-latex.el. Yikes. Thank you.
    – Dodgie
    Jan 13, 2016 at 23:21

2 Answers 2


Your question is based on faulty assumptions. As already explained by Karol, configuration for the package installed via ELPA is different from the "standard" configuration, you have NOT to add the lines

(load "auctex.el" nil t t)
(load "preview-latex.el" nil t t)

After you install a package with ELPA, usually you don't have to write anything at all in your init file to load that package, this is also the case for AUCTeX. It is so because ELPA uses its own way to load packages. In particular, for AUCTeX all autoloads are in the file auctex-autoloads.el and there is no preview-latex.el file at all.

In addition, there is no function in AUCTeX containing AUCTeX in the name, so there is no reason for M-x auctex to provide completion for a function.

  • In the comment to that question by Karol I clarified that I did not load the files before believing I had a problem. I did only afterwards (in a scratch buffer) to see why the files I thought should exist would seem to not be known to emacs. Of course, it turns out that was a faulty assumption, and that "preview-latex.el" doesn't actually exist when installed through the package manager. My confusion first came from not seeing any function with auctex in its name, then not seeing the existence of 'preview-latex.el'. Whoops.
    – Dodgie
    Jan 15, 2016 at 19:40

If you install AUCTeX with the package manager you don't have to explicitly load it in your startup file. See the following question/answer: https://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/101900/problems-with-auctex-and-emacs24

The easiest way to check if preview-latex.el is loaded is to check if the following functions are defined: https://www.gnu.org/software/auctex/manual/preview-latex.html. For example, see if you can run M-x preview-at-point RET.

  • Sorry, I should have been more clear: I only attempted to load these files after finding that the install had not gone as expected. I've fixed the question now.
    – Dodgie
    Jan 13, 2016 at 2:36

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