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Direc­tory info/latex-veryshortguide



This is the README.md file for the vsg LaTeX class.


This is a doc­u­ment class de­rived from the orig­i­nal Very Short Guide to LaTeX, a 4pp folder de­signed as an aide-mé­moire for peo­ple who have just done a course in LaTeX and need some­thing by them on their desk the next day to re­fresh their mem­o­ries. It is not in­tended as a sub­sti­tute for full doc­u­men­ta­tion.

This class is de­signed for this doc­u­ment only, but adds pa­ram­e­ter­i­sa­tion to al­low re­for­mat­ting tweaks for dif­fer­ent pa­per sizes (A4 and Le­gal) to al­low it to be printed two-sided as a 4pp folder.

Please do not com­plain that there is no math here. It won't fit. Some­one else can do a math leaflet. IANAM.

Nor­mal in­stal­la­tion

This class is dis­tributed from CTAN in a zip file which al­lows it to be in­stalled au­to­mat­i­cally by the TeX Live up­date man­ager tlmgr and sim­i­lar au­to­mated in­stallers. If you are us­ing au­to­mated pack­age in­stal­la­tion, no fur­ther ac­tion is re­quired.

TDS in­stal­la­tion

This class is also avail­able as a .tds.zip file. TDS is the TeX Direc­tory Struc­ture, the stan­dard lay­out for a mod­ern TeX in­stal­la­tion. This en­ables the class to be un­zipped di­rectly into your Per­sonal TeX Direc­tory (see be­low for what this is and how to cre­ate one on your sys­tem).

  • In­stall it on any TDS-com­pli­ant per­sonal sys­tem (lap­top, desk­top, work­sta­tion, ta­ble, smart­phone, PDA, etc) by un­zip­ping it straight into your Per­sonal TeX Direc­tory (folder). This will put all the files into the right places, so you can start us­ing them im­me­di­ately.
  • If you haven't yet cre­ated a per­sonal TeX di­rec­tory, see be­low for de­tails of what one is, and how to cre­ate it.
  • On a shared (mul­tiuser) sys­tem like a server, un­zip it into the $TEXMFLOCAL di­rec­tory in­stead (see be­low), and run your TeX di­rec­tory-in­dex­ing pro­gram (eg tex­hashmk­texlsr, etc) so that ev­ery­one can use it.
  • If you are us­ing an old non-TDS-com­pli­ant sys­tem, see be­low un­der Man­ual In­stal­la­tion.

Your Per­sonal TeX Direc­tory

This is a di­rec­tory (folder) on sin­gle-user sys­tems where you should put all your lo­cal man­ual mod­i­fi­ca­tions (up­dates, and ad­di­tions such as new or up­dated classes, pack­ages, and fonts) that are not han­dled au­to­mat­i­cally by the TeX Live up­date man­ager (tlmgr). The name and lo­ca­tion are fixed:

Ap­ple Mac OS X
Unix and GNU/Linux
MS-Win­dows 95/XP
MS-Win­dows 2007 and above

Create that folder now if it does not al­ready ex­ist. Put (or un­zip) all ad­di­tions to your sys­tem that are not han­dled by tlmgr into this di­rec­tory, fol­low­ing ex­actly the sub­di­rec­tory struc­ture that is used in your main TeX dis­tri­bu­tion (un­zip­ping a TDS file does this for you). This is what en­ables LaTeX to find stuff au­to­mat­i­cally.

If you are a Win­dows user run­ning MiKTeX ####

When you cre­ate the folder, you must add it to MiKTeX's list of sup­ported fold­ers. Run the MiKTeX Main­te­nance/Set­tings pro­gram, se­lect the Roots tab, and add the folder. You only have to do this once.

Each time you add or re­move soft­ware in your per­sonal TeX folder, you must also click on the Update FNDB but­ton in the General tab.

Unix (Mac and GNU/Linux) users do not need to (in­deed, should not) run their file­name database in­dexer (mk­texlsr or tex­hash) for files put in your per­sonal TeX di­rec­tory.

In­stal­la­tion on shared sys­tems

On multi-user sys­tems (Unix-based), iden­tify the shared lo­cal di­rec­tory tree with the com­mand

kpsewhich -expand-var

This will give you the lo­ca­tion of the shared texmf di­rec­tory into which you must in­stall these files.

Do not for­get to run the tex­hash or mk­texlsr (file­name in­dexer) pro­gram af­ter in­stal­la­tion, oth­er­wise the files will not be found by LaTeX and noth­ing will work!

Man­ual in­stal­la­tion (non-TDS sys­tems)

To in­stall this soft­ware man­u­ally, un­zip the zip file into a tem­po­rary di­rec­tory and move the vsg.cls file from the tex/latex/veryshortguide di­rec­tory to a lo­ca­tion (di­rec­tory/folder) where LaTeX will find it on your sys­tem. This is re­ferred to in some doc­u­men­ta­tion as “the TEXINPUTS di­rec­tory”, al­though it may be called some­thing else on your sys­tem.

It is your re­spon­si­bil­ity to know where this lo­ca­tion is. See the ques­tion in the TeX FAQ at http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/tex­faq2html?la­bel=inst-wlcf for more in­for­ma­tion. If you do not know, or can­not find it, or do not have ac­cess to it, your TeX sys­tem may be out of date and need re­plac­ing.

Last re­sort

In an emer­gency, or as a last re­sort on un­man­age­able sys­tems, it is pos­si­ble sim­ply to put the vsg.cls file in your cur­rent work­ing di­rec­tory (the same folder as your .tex files).

While this may work, it is not sup­ported, and may lead to other re­sources (pack­ages, fonts, etc) not be­ing found.


Make this the first line of your LaTeX doc­u­ment:


Read the doc­u­men­ta­tion for the op­tions avail­able. The doc­u­men­ta­tion is dis­tributed as a PDF doc­u­ment in the zip file. You can also re­gen­er­ate it by type­set­ting the vsg.dtx file with LaTeX (and BibTeX/biber and makein­dex) in the nor­mal way.

Bugs and TODO

No out­stand­ing re­ported bugs at the time of this ver­sion.


The fol­low­ing state­ment is in­cluded in the source code:

 Transformed from vsg.xml by ClassPack db2dtx.xsl
 version 16.00 (Makefile with XeLaTeX) on Friday 12 August 2016 at 10:42:12
 vsg.cls is copyright © 2009-2016 by Peter Flynn <peter@silmaril.ie>

 This work may be distributed and/or modified under the
 conditions of the LaTeX Project Public License, either
 version 1.3 of this license or (at your option) any later
 version. The latest version of this license is in:


 and version 1.3 or later is part of all distributions of
 LaTeX version 2005/12/01 or later.

 This work has the LPPL maintenance status `maintained'.
 The current maintainer of this work is Peter Flynn <peter@silmaril.ie>

 This work consists of the files vsg.dtx and vsg.ins,
 the derived file vsg.cls, and any ancillary files listed
 in the MANIFEST.

Down­load the con­tents of this pack­age in one zip archive (1.3M).

LaTeX-veryshort­guide – The Very Short Guide to

This is a 4-page re­minder of what does. It is de­signed for print­ing on A4 pa­per, dou­ble-sided, and fold­ing once to A5. Such an ‘im­posed’ ver­sion of the doc­u­ment is pro­vided in the dis­tri­bu­tion, as PDF. An anal­o­gous ver­sion is pro­vided in ‘le­gal’ for­mat.

Home pagehttp://la­tex.sil­maril.ie/veryshort­guide/
Ver­sion 2016-08-12
Li­censeThe Project Public Li­cense 1.3
Copy­right2009–2016 Sil­maril Con­sul­tants
Main­tainerPeter Flynn
Con­tained inTeX Live as la­tex-veryshort­guide
MiKTeX as la­tex-veryshort­guide
Topics tu­to­rial ma­te­rial for
See also -brochure
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