I want to use minted package in my tex file. It needs the command-line option --shell-escape to allow external pygmentize program execution. How can I add that option to the tex engine?

My related code snippets are

(add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook
        (lambda ()
          (setq TeX-auto-untabify t     ; remove all tabs before saving
                TeX-engine 'xetex       ; use xelatex default
                TeX-show-compilation t) ; display compilation windows
          (TeX-global-PDF-mode t)       ; PDF mode enable, not plain
          (setq TeX-save-query nil)
          (define-key LaTeX-mode-map (kbd "TAB") 'TeX-complete-symbol)))

I tried to add (add-to-list 'tex-compile-commands '("xelatex --shell-escape -interaction nonstopmode -output-directory %o %f" t "%r.pdf")), but that doesn't help.

1 Answer 1


Add the following line to the list of local variables of the source file:

%%% TeX-command-extra-options: "-shell-escape"

Then you need to do M-x revert-buffer to make it applied.

AUCTeX 12.2: 4.1.3 Options for TeX Processors

How to pass flags to the LaTeX compiler with AUCTeX? - Emacs Stack Exchange

emacs - Adding an option to the PDFLaTeX call from AUCTeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange

  • Are you assuming that one needs AUCTeX for your solution? What if I'm using plain vanillatex-mode? I tried your solution, it didn't work. Commented Dec 12, 2023 at 10:40
  • @OskarLimka I don't think AUCTeX is a must, since I use describe-variable to find TeX-command-extra-options is defined in tex.el. It has been a long time since last time I used latex in emacs, I almost forgot how things go. I think you can try to find if the value of TeX-command-extra-options was passed to tex engine first.
    – Ynjxsjmh
    Commented Dec 12, 2023 at 14:56
  • thank you. This is how the first line of my master latex file looks like %%% -*- mode: latex; reftex-mode: true; coding: mule-utf-8; TeX-command-extra-options: "-synctex=1"; -*- but when I xelatex compile by running 'C-c C-c` emacs issues xelatex \\nonstopmode\\input lecture.tex in the *tex-shell* buffer. Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 9:17
  • 1
    @OskarLimka I don't know what does ; mean in your first line, the format looks werid to me. I use it like this.
    – Ynjxsjmh
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 10:58

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