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The CTAN archive.

The CTAN root directory

This is the root of the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network directory tree. Most information in CTAN is contained in subdirectories:

biblio
Systems for maintaining and presenting bibliographies within documents typeset using TeX
digests
Collections of TeX mailing list digests, TeX-related electronic magazines, and indexes, etc., of printed publications
dviware
Printer drivers and previewers, etc., for .dvi files
fonts
Fonts written in Metafont, and support for using fonts from other sources (e.g., those in Adobe Type 1 format)
graphics
Systems and TeX macros for producing graphics
help
FAQs (de fr uk) and similar direct assistance; the catalogue
indexing
Systems for maintaining and presenting indexes of documents typeset using TeX
info
Manuals and extended how-to information; errata for TeX-related publications, collections of project (e.g., LaTeX and NTS) documents, etc.
install
ZIP files of ready-to-install CTAN packages. The package contained in CTAN directory a/b/c/d/ appears as install/a/b/c/d.tds.zip — each such file may be unzipped directly into a TDS tree, and should contain no “tree prefix”
language
Support for various languages; hyphenation patterns
macros
TeX macros; several directories have significant sub-trees:
context
The Context distribution and contributed material
generic
Macros that work in several environments
latex
The LaTeX distribution and contributed material
plain
Donald Knuth’s example macro set and contributed material
obsolete
Material which is now obsolete, but which needs to remain on the archive for some reason (such as the 1992 LaTeX 2.09 distribution). The tree maintains a ‘shadow hierarchy’ — for example obsolete/macros has the same basic structure as macros.
support
TeX support environments and the like
systems
TeX systems; organised by operating environment, but also including:
knuth
Donald Knuth’s current distribution.
generic
Complete systems that can potentially operate in more than one operating environment.
TeX Live
The Live collection of freely distributable TeX material, including the TeX Live on-line installer.
MiKTeX
The distribution of MiKTeX; CTAN provides a home for MiKTeX’s package repository, part of its online installer.
tds
The TeX Directory Structure standard (the output of the TUG TDS working group)
usergrps
Information supplied by TeX User Groups
web
Literate Programming tools and systems

Searching CTAN

Searching is a topic which is under active development: the CTAN team hope to be able shortly to provide significant new tools.

The CTAN team also strongly recommend use of the TeX Catalogue Online, CTAN Edition

In addition, CTAN archives maintain lists of their contents as plain text files, in a number of ways:

  1. Sorted by name
  2. (This is a big file…around 10M bytes).
  3. New or changed in the last 7 days (This is usually a more manageable size...)

This is an experimental page. Comments, to the CTAN team, will be most welcome.

Page maintained by Robin Fairbairns.
Last updated 2009-09-14

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