VSCode LaTex插件

2018/05/24 15:58
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LaTeX Workshop

LaTeX Workshop is an extension for Visual Studio Code, aiming to provide all-in-one features and utilities for LaTeX typesetting with Visual Studio Code.

One million downloads! This project won't be successful without contributions from the community, especially project maintainers Jerome Lelong @jlelong, James Booth @jabooth, and all code contributors! Thank you!


  • Build LaTeX (including BibTeX) to PDF automatically on save.
  • View PDF on-the-fly (in VS Code or browser).
  • Direct and reverse SyncTeX. Click to jump between location in .tex source and PDF and vice versa.
  • Intellisense, including completions for bibliography keys (\cite{}) and labels (\ref{}).
  • Syntax highlighting (colorized code) for .tex / .bib files and more.
  • LaTeX log parser, with errors and warnings in LaTeX build automatically reported in VS Code.
  • Real-time linting of LaTeX with ChkTeX to pick up common LaTeX issues as you type.
    • Code Actions (automatic fixes) are offered for many issues found by ChkTeX.
  • LaTeX file formatting.
  • Auto close LaTeX environments: just call LaTeX Workshop: Close current environment from the Command Palette. You can easily assign a shortcut to this action through the Keyboard Shortcuts menu, search for latex-workshop.close-env.
  • Navigate from \begin/\end to the corresponding \end/\begin: while on the begin or end keyword, call LaTeX Workshop: Navigate to matching begin/end from the Command Palette. To define a shortcut, search for latex-workshop.navigate-envpair in the Keyboard Shortcuts menu.
  • Select the current environment name: call LaTeX Workshop: Select the current environment name from the Command Palette. For this command to work, the cursor must be strictly between \begin{...} and \end{...}. To define a shortcut, search for latex-workshop.select-envname in the Keyboard Shortcuts menu. Repeated calls result in selecting the outer environments. Note: this function does not work with the Vim extension.
  • Add a multicursor to the current environment name: call LaTeX Workshop: Add a multicursor to the current environment name from the Command Palette. For this command to work, the cursor must be strictly between \begin{...} and \end{...}. To define a shortcut, search for latex-workshop.multicursor-envname in the Keyboard Shortcuts menu. Repeated calls result in selecting the outer environments.


  • LaTeX distribution in system PATH. For example, TeX Live.
    • Please note MikTeX does not ship with SyncTeX. See this link for a possible solution.
  • Optional: Set your LaTeX recipe (LaTeX Workshop should just work out of the box for users with latexmk installed).
  • Optional: Install ChkTeX to lint LaTeX projects.
  • Optional: Install latexindent.pl for formatting support if it is not provided by your LaTeX distribution.


Installing LaTeX Workshop is simple. You can find it in Visual Studio Code Marketplace, or simply run ext install latex-workshop in VS Code Quick Open (ctrl/cmd + P).


  • Open a .tex file, right click to build, SyncTeX, or show all features.
    • For a complete list, select LaTeX Workshop Actions entry.
  • For reverse SyncTeX from PDF to LaTeX, ctrl/cmd + left mouse click in the PDF.
  • Alternatively, VS Code commands are provided in VS Code Command Palette (ctrl/cmd + shift + P).
    • Type latex workshop to show all related commands.
  • To view an arbitrary PDF file, right click on the file in the explorer and select View PDF.


LaTeX recipe?

LaTeX recipe refers to a sequence/array of commands which LaTeX Workshop will execute sequentially when building LaTeX projects. It is set in File>Preferences>Settings>latex-workshop.latex.recipes. You can create multiple recipes with different tools. Each recipe is an object in the configuration list, consists of a name field and a list of tools to be invoked in the recipe.

The tools in recipes can be defined in latex-workshop.latex.tools, in which each command is a tool. Each tool is an object consists of a name, a command to be spawned, and its arguments (args). To include a tool in a recipe, the tool's name should be included in the recipe's tools list.

When building the project, the first recipe is used. You can compile with another recipe by command latex-workshop.recipes. By default latexmk is used. This tool is bundled in most LaTeX distributions, and requires perl to execute. For non-perl users, the following texify toolchain from MikTeX may worth a try:

"latex-workshop.latex.recipes": [{
  "name": "texify",
  "tools": [
"latex-workshop.latex.tools": [{
  "name": "texify",
  "command": "texify",
  "args": [

As you may notice, there is a mystic %DOC% in the arguments. Symbols surrounded by % are placeholders, which are replaced with its representing string on-the-fly. LaTeX Workshop registers the following placeholders:

Placeholder Replaced by
%DOC% The LaTeX root file path and name without .tex extension
%DOCFILE% The LaTeX root file name without .tex extension
%DIR% The LaTeX root file path

Alternatively, you can also set your commands without the placeholder, just like what you may input in a terminal. As most LaTeX compiler accepts root file name without extension, %DOC% and %DOCFILE% do not include .tex extension. Meanwhile, texify requires the extension. So in the above tool %DOC% and .tex are concatenated for completeness.

From toolchain to recipe?

If you have a custom toolchain defined in pre-4.0 versions of LaTeX Workshop, you may want to migrate the existing configuration to the new recipe system. This can be easily done with the following steps:

  1. Create a tool in latex-workshop.latex.tools for each step in the original toolchain.
  2. Name the tools with the name field.
  3. Create a recipe in latex-workshop.latex.recipes with its tools field set as a list of the defined names in Step 2.
  4. Name the recipe with the name field.
  5. Happy typesetting.

Root file?

While it is fine to write all contents in one .tex file, it is common to split things up for simplicity. For such LaTeX projects, the file with \begin{document} is considered as the root file, which serves as the entry point to the project. LaTeX Workshop intelligently finds the root file when a new document is opened, the active editor is changed, or any LaTeX Workshop command is executed.

To find the root file, LaTeX Workshop will follow the steps below, stopping whenever one is found:

  1. Magic comment % !TEX root = relative/or/absolute/path/to/root/file.tex. If such comments exist in the currently active editor, the referred file is set as root.
  2. Self check If current active editor contains \begin{document}, it is set as root.
  3. Root directory check LaTeX Workshop iterates through all .tex files in the root folder of the workspace. The first one with \begin{document} is set as root.

If no root file is found, most of the features in LaTeX Workshop will not work.

Magic comments?

LaTeX Workshop supports both % !TEX root and % !TEX program magic comments. The former is used to define the root file, while the latter helps select compiler program. However, it is advised to use the recipe system instead of magic program to define the building process, since the latter is only implemented for backward compatibility.

For % !TEX program magic comment, its arguments are defined in latex-workshop.latex.magic.args:

"latex-workshop.latex.magic.args": [

Suppose there is a line % !TEX program = xelatex in the root file. Upon building the project, LaTeX Workshop will parse the root file and figure out that xelatex should be used. Arguments are included to invoke the compiler.

When using % !TEX program with bibliographies, a bib compiler must be defined with % !BIB program comment, e.g., % !BIB program = bibtex. Otherwise the extension will only run one-pass compilation with the specified LaTeX compiler.

Spell check?

Code Spellchecker did a great job. Users may also find other extensions better alternatives, e.g., Spell Right and LanguageTool. Especially the last one is credited for its multi-lingual support.

Build on save?

By default, the extension compiles the project upon saving any tex files. If you want to disable this feature, setting the configuration item latex-workshop.latex.autoBuild.onSave.enabled to false will do.


From version 5.3.0 there is an experimental implementation on docker support following the idea of @Arxisos. You can set latex-workshop.docker.enabled to true to use tianon/latex. It is advised that the image is 'pre-'pulled.

@Arxisos created snippets for LaTeX binaries in docker, and @lippertmarkus had another short description on how to use docker with LaTeX Workshop.


The code for this extension is available on github at: https://github.com/James-Yu/LaTeX-Workshop


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