Installing LaTeX Packages
Finding packages should be easy - just do a WWW search or search/browse a CTAN site. Packages tend to be well documented nowadays - see the dirtree page for example. If you have a latex facility on your own machine, it may have come with installation/update options. On CUED's central system you'll have to install packages in your own file space. LaTeX looks in many places for files, the current directory first. Typing
will give you a fair idea of where it looks. This list of directories searched can be added to using the TEXINPUTS environmental variable. If you type
on a Unix system you'll see if/how it's been set for you. Typing
before using latex will make latex search in your ~/tex/ directory before looking at system files. Note that in this context
- '//' means 'search subdirectories recursively'.
- if you miss out the first or final ':' only your files will be searched
Some packages are just single "*.sty" files. You can just install the file in the same folder as the latex file that uses it. If you want to want to install it for more general use, create a folder called ~/texmf/tex/latex/ and put it there ("~" is short-hand in Unix for your home folder).
Some packages comprise multiple files that should be installed in a folder of their own. The installation instructions are provided with the package. Here's an example of how to download and install a typical package (dirtree) on CUED's central system, creating any necessary folders.
mkdir -p ~/texmf/tex/latex/dirtree cd ~/texmf/tex/latex/dirtree wget http://mirrors.ctan.org/macros/generic/dirtree/dirtree.dtx wget http://mirrors.ctan.org/macros/generic/dirtree/dirtree.ins latex dirtree.ins
The wget command copies files from the WWW. The "*.ins" file of a LaTeX distribution can be LaTeX'd to extract the package code and documentation from the supplied "*.dtx" file.