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SpiX 🦜 Yet another compilation tool: simple, human readable, no option, no magic

SpiX is yet another compilation tool for .tex files. It aims at being simple and human readable. Every piece of configuration is written in the .tex file itself, in a clear format (a list of console commands).

Why SpiX?

With SpiX, the compilation process of a .tex file (Is it compiled using latex? pdflatex? xelatex? lualatex? Should I process its bibliography? with bibtex or biber? Is there an index?) is written in the .tex file itself, in a human-readable format (a shell script). That way:

  • when you want to compile two years later, you don't have to guess the compilation process;
  • you can send the .tex file to someone, and that's it: no need to send detailed instructions or a Makefile along with it (everything is in the .tex file);
  • the compilation process is human readable: it can be understood by anyone who is able to read a very basic shell script. In particular, one can read it even if she does not know SpiX.

The .tex file

Write the compilation process of your .tex file as a shell script, before the preamble, as lines starting with %$:

% Compile this file twice with lualatex.
%$ lualatex foo.tex
%$ lualatex foo.tex
Hello, world!

You can also replace the file name with $texname. That way, you don't have to worry about the file name when writing your commands.

% Compile this file twice with lualatex.
%$ lualatex $texname
%$ lualatex $texname


To compile the .tex file, run SpiX:

spix foo.tex

Spix will parse the .tex file, looking for shell snippets (lines before the preamble starting with %$), and run them.

That's all!


The complete documentation is available on readthedocs.

To compile it from source, download and run:

cd doc && make html

What's new?

See changelog.

Download and install

The preferred way to install SpiX used pip:

python3 -m pip install spix

Other installation methods can be found in the documentation.


Copyright 2020 Louis Paternault

SpiX is licensed under the Gnu GPL 3 license, or any later version.

Download the contents of this package in one zip archive (1.5M).

SpiX – Yet another compilation tool: simple, human readable, no option, no magic

SpiX offers a way to store information about the compilation process for a tex file inside the tex file itself. Just write the commands as comments in the tex files, and SpiX will extract and run those commands.

Everything is stored in the tex file (so that you are not missing some piece of information that is located somewhere else), in a human-readable format (no need to know SpiX to understand it).

Bug trackerhttps://framagit.org/spalax/spix/issues
Version1.1.0 2020-07-23
LicensesGNU General Public License, version 3 or newer
Copyright2020 Louis Paternault
MaintainerLouis Paternault
Contained inTeX Live as spix
MiKTeX as spix
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