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The help is writ­ten in the form of a FAQ list. It is clus­tered into sev­eral sec­tions. It is fo­cused on the CTAN por­tal and not on its con­tents.


How can I down­load a pack­age?

You can down­load the con­tents of a pack­age via the down­load link on the pack­age page or on the CTAN tex-archive page. This down­load link is pro­vided in case that a zip archive for the pack­age is present on CTAN.

Note that not all pack­ages in the cat­a­logue are present as zip archives on CTAN.


Where can I get help on TeX, LaTeX, and friends?

There are many re­sources avail­able to con­tact the TeX com­mu­nity to ask for help. For in­stance see Start­ing out with TeX, LaTeX, and friends and Get­ting Started with TeX, LaTeX, and Friends for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

Note: The CTAN team can not pro­vide in­di­vid­ual sup­port for prob­lems with TeX or ques­tions about us­ing pack­ages.

Where can I re­port prob­lems or re­quest fea­tures for pack­ages on CTAN?

The CTAN team pro­vides help with the tech­ni­cal in­fras­truc­ture only. For the pack­ages please con­tact the pack­age au­thors. The ad­dress can usu­ally be found in the pack­age doc­u­men­ta­tion. The CTAN team will not pro­vide any con­tact in­for­ma­tion.

Where can I give feed­back on the CTAN por­tal?

Feed­back on the por­tal it­self – not the con­tent – can be placed in the Guest Book. This is meant for state­ments. Don't ex­pect that some­one dis­cusses via this page.

If you want to dis­cuss some­thing use the pub­lic mail­ing list to which you can sub­scribe un­der­man/listinfo/ctan­web

The sub­scrip­tion to this mail­ing list is mod­er­ated. Thus it may take a few sec­onds…

Where can I re­quest fea­tures for the por­tal?

Your chances to get a fea­ture into the CTAN por­tal in­crease if you do not just re­quest some­thing but pro­pose to con­tribute some­thing. Keep this in mind when you make a pro­posal.

The pre­ferred com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel is the pub­lic mail­ing list to which you can sub­scribe un­der­man/listinfo/ctan­web

The sub­scrip­tion to this mail­ing list is mod­er­ated. Thus it may take a few sec­onds…


How can I get rid of these HTMLi­fied TeX lo­gos?

You can se­lect a skin which suits you best. Some of them are us­ing text rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the lo­gos. Espe­cially the plain skins are of this type. The skin can be se­lected un­der Set­tings which is ac­ces­si­ble on each page. The se­lected skin is stored in a cookie of the Browser. Thus no lo­gin is re­quired for this fea­ture.

How can I get rid of those strange char­ac­ters af­ter cut and paste?

The CTAN por­tal uses the same hy­phen­ation al­go­rithm as TeX does. For this pur­pose the hy­phen­ation points are in­serted into HTML to en­able the browser to use them. Th­ese – nor­mally in­vis­i­ble – char­ac­ters are mis­in­ter­preted by some pro­grams when the text is pasted.

You can turn off these char­ac­ters with the switch “Ap­ply hy­phen­ation” on the Set­tings page. If it is turned off then the hy­phen­ation char­ac­ters are not in­cluded – but this dis­ables the hy­phen­ation of long words as well.

How can I get rid of the vary­ing ap­pear­ance of the pages?

If you don't have cho­sen your fa­vorite skin the de­fault skin is used. The de­fault skin can vary tak­ing into ac­count sea­sonal events. If you don't like this you can sim­ply se­lect a fixed skin un­der Set­tings which is ac­ces­si­ble on each page.

XML for Struc­tured Ac­cess

How can I get data in a pro­gram with­out pars­ing the HTML?

The cen­tral in­for­ma­tion from the Cat­a­logue is main­tained in the form of XML files. For the pur­pose of the por­tal these XML files are im­ported into a database. In the other di­rec­tion the database can be queried to re­trieve the ma­jor data in the form of the orig­i­nal XML files. The URLs and a de­scrip­tion of the file for­mats can be found un­der Query¬≠ing the CTAN Database.

This is ver­sion 1.4.4 of the CTAN por­tal. For more de­tails see:

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