Writing (La)TeX documents with AUCTeX in Emacs

David Kastrup
Bochum, Germany
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Emacs 22.1 has been released last year and is pretty much available in every up–to–date serious software collection. Emacs 22.2, mostly a bug–fix release, is slated to appear “soon”, and development on Emacs 23.1 continues at a rapid pace. Both the multi–tty and unicode–2 feature branches have been merged and problems are being shaken out. Release management has been passed from Richard Stallman to Stefan Monnier and Chong Yidong.

For the TeX/LaTeX user, Emacs 22.1 offers improved Unicode support for editing, advanced version control system integration, desktop interaction and input, syntax highlighting activated by default, new ports for Windows, MacOSX and GTK+ using the native toolkits for graphic support and toolbars and providing a native, well integrated look for those desktop environments, transparent access to files accessible with su, sudo, ssh and other shell accounts: in short, finding a good reason to leave your Emacs window as the central work integration point is becoming more difficult.

The development of the TeX authoring environment AUCTeX has been at somewhat less break-neck speed, though. Some consolidation has happened, some packages are supported better than previously, some setups work better out of the box. By now, most changes are of evolutionary nature. Best supported are still LaTeX and .dtx files, while plain TeX and ConTeXt support is not worked on fervently at the moment.

The RefTeX package for managing cross references and bibliographical citations in LaTeX has been placed into the AUCTeX repository and is maintained and released from there.