This manual documents RefTeX (version 29.2), a package to do labels, references, citations and indices for LaTeX documents with Emacs.

Copyright © 1997–2024 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with the Front-Cover Texts being “A GNU Manual”, and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License”.

(a) The FSF’s Back-Cover Text is: “You have the freedom to copy and modify this GNU manual.”

RefTeX is a package for managing Labels, References, Citations and index entries with GNU Emacs.

This manual documents RefTeX version 29.2.

Don’t be discouraged by the size of this manual, which covers RefTeX in great depth. All you need to know to use RefTeX can be summarized on two pages (see RefTeX in a Nutshell). You can go back later to other parts of this document when needed.

Table of Contents

Short Table of Contents

1 Introduction

RefTeX is a specialized package for support of labels, references, citations, and the index in LaTeX. RefTeX wraps itself round four LaTeX macros: \label, \ref, \cite, and \index. Using these macros usually requires looking up different parts of the document and searching through BibTeX database files. RefTeX automates these time-consuming tasks almost entirely. It also provides functions to display the structure of a document and to move around in this structure quickly.

See Imprint, for information about who to contact for help, bug reports or suggestions.

1.1 Installation

RefTeX has been bundled and pre-installed with Emacs since version 20.2.

To turn RefTeX Mode on and off in a particular buffer, use M-x reftex-mode RET. To turn on RefTeX Mode for all LaTeX files, add the following lines to your .emacs file:

(add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook 'turn-on-reftex)   ; with AUCTeX LaTeX mode
(add-hook 'latex-mode-hook 'turn-on-reftex)   ; with Emacs latex mode

That’s all!

To get started, read the documentation, in particular the summary. (see RefTeX in a Nutshell)

In order to produce a printed version of the documentation, use make pdf to produce a reftex.pdf file. Analogously you can use the dvi, ps, or html targets to create DVI, PostScript or HTML files.

1.1.1 Environment

RefTeX needs to access all files which are part of a multifile document, and the BibTeX database files requested by the \bibliography command. To find these files, RefTeX will require a search path, i.e., a list of directories to check. Normally this list is stored in the environment variables TEXINPUTS and BIBINPUTS which are also used by RefTeX. However, on some systems these variables do not contain the full search path. If RefTeX does not work for you because it cannot find some files, See Finding Files.

1.2 RefTeX in a Nutshell

  1. Table of Contents
    Typing C-c = (reftex-toc) will show a table of contents of the document. This buffer can display sections, labels and index entries defined in the document. From the buffer, you can jump quickly to every part of your document. Press ? to get help.
  2. Labels and References
    RefTeX helps to create unique labels and to find the correct key for references quickly. It distinguishes labels for different environments, knows about all standard environments (and many others), and can be configured to recognize any additional labeled environments you have defined yourself (variable reftex-label-alist).
    • Creating Labels
      Type C-c ( (reftex-label) to insert a label at point. RefTeX will either
      • derive a label from context (default for section labels)
      • prompt for a label string (default for figures and tables) or
      • insert a simple label made of a prefix and a number (all other environments)

      Which labels are created how is configurable with the variable reftex-insert-label-flags.

    • Referencing Labels
      To make a reference, type C-c ) (reftex-reference). This shows an outline of the document with all labels of a certain type (figure, equation,...) and some label context. Selecting a label inserts a \ref{label} macro into the original buffer.
  3. Citations
    Typing C-c [ (reftex-citation) will let you specify a regular expression to search in current BibTeX database files (as specified in the \bibliography command) and pull out a list of matches for you to choose from. The list is formatted and sorted. The selected article is referenced as ‘\cite{key}’ (see the variable reftex-cite-format if you want to insert different macros).
  4. Index Support
    RefTeX helps to enter index entries. It also compiles all entries into an alphabetically sorted *Index* buffer which you can use to check and edit the entries. RefTeX knows about the standard index macros and can be configured to recognize any additional macros you have defined (reftex-index-macros). Multiple indices are supported.
    • Creating Index Entries
      To index the current selection or the word at point, type C-c / (reftex-index-selection-or-word). The default macro reftex-index-default-macro will be used. For a more complex entry type C-c < (reftex-index), select any of the index macros and enter the arguments with completion.
    • The Index Phrases File (Delayed Indexing)
      Type C-c \ (reftex-index-phrase-selection-or-word) to add the current word or selection to a special index phrase file. RefTeX can later search the document for occurrences of these phrases and let you interactively index the matches.
    • Displaying and Editing the Index
      To display the compiled index in a special buffer, type C-c > (reftex-display-index). From that buffer you can check and edit all entries.
  5. Viewing Cross-References
    When point is on the key argument of a cross-referencing macro (\label, \ref, \cite, \bibitem, \index, and variations) or inside a BibTeX database entry, you can press C-c & (reftex-view-crossref) to display corresponding locations in the document and associated BibTeX database files.
    When the enclosing macro is \cite or \ref and no other message occupies the echo area, information about the citation or label will automatically be displayed in the echo area.
  6. Multifile Documents
    Multifile Documents are fully supported. The included files must have a file variable TeX-master or tex-main-file pointing to the master file. RefTeX provides cross-referencing information from all parts of the document, and across document borders (xr.sty).
  7. Document Parsing
    RefTeX needs to parse the document in order to find labels and other information. It does it automatically once and updates its list internally when reftex-label and reftex-index are used. To enforce reparsing, call any of the commands described above with a raw C-u prefix, or press the r key in the label selection buffer, the table of contents buffer, or the index buffer.
  8. AUCTeX
    If your major LaTeX mode is AUCTeX, RefTeX can cooperate with it (see variable reftex-plug-into-AUCTeX). AUCTeX contains style files which trigger appropriate settings in RefTeX, so that for many of the popular LaTeX packages no additional customizations will be necessary.
  9. Useful Settings
    To integrate RefTeX with AUCTeX, use
    (setq reftex-plug-into-AUCTeX t)

    To make your own LaTeX macro definitions known to RefTeX, customize the variables

    reftex-label-alist          (for label macros/environments)
    reftex-section-levels       (for sectioning commands)
    reftex-cite-format          (for \cite-like macros)
    reftex-index-macros         (for \index-like macros)
    reftex-index-default-macro  (to set the default macro)

    If you have a large number of macros defined, you may want to write an AUCTeX style file to support them with both AUCTeX and RefTeX.

  10. Where Next?
    Go ahead and use RefTeX. Use its menus until you have picked up the key bindings. For an overview of what you can do in each of the different special buffers, press ?. Read the manual if you get stuck, or if you are curious what else might be available. The first part of the manual explains in a tutorial way how to use and customize RefTeX. The second part is a command and variable reference.

2 Table of Contents

Pressing the keys C-c = pops up a buffer showing the table of contents of the document. By default, this *toc* buffer shows only the sections of a document. Using the l and i keys you can display all labels and index entries defined in the document as well.

With the cursor in any of the lines denoting a location in the document, simple key strokes will display the corresponding part in another window, jump to that location, or perform other actions.

Here is a list of special commands in the *toc* buffer. A summary of this information is always available by pressing ?.


Display a summary of commands.

0-9, -

Prefix argument.

Moving around

Goto next entry in the table of contents.


Goto previous entry in the table of contents.

C-c C-n

Goto next section heading. Useful when many labels and index entries separate section headings.

C-c C-p

Goto previous section heading.

N z

Jump to section N, using the prefix arg. For example, 3 z jumps to section 3.

Access to document locations

Show the corresponding location in another window. This command does not select that other window.


Goto the location in another window.


Go to the location and hide the *toc* buffer. This will restore the window configuration before reftex-toc (C-c =) was called.


Clicking with mouse button 2 on a line has the same effect as RET. See also variable reftex-highlight-selection, Fontification.


Toggle follow mode. When follow mode is active, the other window will always show the location corresponding to the line at point in the *toc* buffer. This is similar to pressing SPC after each cursor motion. The default for this flag can be set with the variable reftex-toc-follow-mode. Note that only context in files already visited is shown. RefTeX will not visit a file just for follow mode. See, however, the variable reftex-revisit-to-follow.


Show calling point in another window. This is the point from where reftex-toc was last called.

Promotion and Demotion

Promote the current section. This will convert \section to \chapter, \subsection to \section etc. If there is an active region, all sections in the region will be promoted, including the one at point. To avoid mistakes, RefTeX requires a fresh document scan before executing this command; if necessary, it will automatically do this scan and ask the user to repeat the promotion command.


Demote the current section. This is the opposite of promotion. It will convert \chapter to \section etc. If there is an active region, all sections in the region will be demoted, including the one at point.


Rename the label at point. While generally not recommended, this can be useful when a package like fancyref is used where the label prefix determines the wording of a reference. After a promotion/demotion it may be necessary to change a few labels from ‘sec:xyz’ to ‘cha:xyz’ or vice versa. This command can be used to do this; it launches a query replace to rename the definition and all references of a label.


Hide the *toc* buffer, return to the position where reftex-toc was last called.


Kill the *toc* buffer, return to the position where reftex-toc was last called.

C-c >

Switch to the *Index* buffer of this document. With prefix ‘2’, restrict the index to the section at point in the *toc* buffer.

Controlling what gets displayed

Change the maximum level of toc entries displayed in the *toc* buffer. Without prefix arg, all levels will be included. With prefix arg (e.g., 3 t), ignore all toc entries with level greater than arg (3 in this case). Chapters are level 1, sections are level 2. The mode line ‘T<>’ indicator shows the current value. The default depth can be configured with the variable reftex-toc-max-level.


Toggle the display of the file borders of a multifile document in the *toc* buffer. The default for this flag can be set with the variable reftex-toc-include-file-boundaries.


Toggle the display of labels in the *toc* buffer. The default for this flag can be set with the variable reftex-toc-include-labels. When called with a prefix argument, RefTeX will prompt for a label type and include only labels of the selected type in the *toc* buffer. The mode line ‘L<>’ indicator shows which labels are included.


Toggle the display of index entries in the *toc* buffer. The default for this flag can be set with the variable reftex-toc-include-index-entries. When called with a prefix argument, RefTeX will prompt for a specific index and include only entries in the selected index in the *toc* buffer. The mode line ‘I<>’ indicator shows which index is used.


Toggle the display of label and index context in the *toc* buffer. The default for this flag can be set with the variable reftex-toc-include-context.

Updating the buffer

Rebuild the *toc* buffer. This does not rescan the document.


Reparse the LaTeX document and rebuild the *toc* buffer. When reftex-enable-partial-scans is non-nil, rescan only the file this location is defined in, not the entire document.

C-u r

Reparse the entire LaTeX document and rebuild the *toc* buffer.


Switch to the *toc* buffer of an external document. When the current document is using the xr package (see xr: Cross-Document References), RefTeX will switch to one of the external documents.

Automatic recentering

Toggle the display of a dedicated frame displaying just the *toc* buffer. Follow mode and visiting locations will not work that frame, but automatic recentering will make this frame always show your current editing location in the document (see below).


Toggle the automatic recentering of the *toc* buffer. When this option is on, moving around in the document will cause the *toc* to always highlight the current section. By default, this option is active while the dedicated *TOC* frame exists. See also the variable reftex-auto-recenter-toc.

In order to define additional commands for the *toc* buffer, the keymap reftex-toc-mode-map may be used.

If you call reftex-toc while the *toc* buffer already exists, the cursor will immediately jump to the right place, i.e., the section from which reftex-toc was called will be highlighted. The command C-c - (reftex-toc-recenter) will only redisplay the *toc* buffer and highlight the correct line without actually selecting the *toc* window. This can be useful to quickly find out where in the document you currently are. You can also automate this by asking RefTeX to keep track of your current editing position in the TOC. The TOC window will then be updated whenever you stop typing for more than reftex-idle-time seconds. By default this works only with the dedicated *TOC* frame. But you can also force automatic recentering of the TOC window on the current frame with

(setq reftex-auto-recenter-toc t)

The section macros recognized by RefTeX are all LaTeX section macros (from \part to \subsubparagraph) and the commands \addchap and \addsec from the KOMA-Script classes. Additional macros can be configured with the variable reftex-section-levels. It is also possible to add certain LaTeX environments to the table of contents. This is probably only useful for theorem-like environments. See Defining Label Environments, for an example.

3 Labels and References

LaTeX provides a powerful mechanism to deal with cross-references in a document. When writing a document, any part of it can be marked with a label, like ‘\label{mark}’. LaTeX records the current value of a certain counter when a label is defined. Later references to this label (like ‘\ref{mark}’) will produce the recorded value of the counter.

Labels can be used to mark sections, figures, tables, equations, footnotes, items in enumerate lists etc. LaTeX is context sensitive in doing this: A label defined in a figure environment automatically records the figure counter, not the section counter.

Several different environments can share a common counter and therefore a common label category. For example labels in both equation and eqnarray environments record the value of the same counter: the equation counter.

3.1 Creating Labels

In order to create a label in a LaTeX document, press C-c ( (reftex-label). Just like LaTeX, RefTeX is context sensitive and will figure out the environment it currently is in and adapt the label to that environment. A label usually consists of a short prefix indicating the type of the label and a unique mark. RefTeX has three different modes to create this mark.

  1. A label can be derived from context. This means, RefTeX takes the context of the label definition and constructs a label from that1. This works best for section labels, where the section heading is used to construct a label. In fact, RefTeX’s default settings use this method only for section labels. You will be asked to confirm the derived label, or edit it.
  2. We may also use a simple unique number to identify a label. This is mostly useful for labels where it is difficult to come up with a very good descriptive name. RefTeX’s default settings use this method for equations, enumerate items and footnotes. The author of RefTeX tends to write documents with many equations and finds it impossible to come up with good names for each of them. These simple labels are inserted without query, and are therefore very fast. Good descriptive names are not really necessary as RefTeX will provide context to reference a label (see Referencing Labels).
  3. The third method is to ask the user for a label. This is most useful for things which are easy to describe briefly and do not turn up too frequently in a document. RefTeX uses this for figures and tables. Of course, one can enter the label directly by typing the full ‘\label{mark}’. The advantage of using reftex-label anyway is that RefTeX will know that a new label has been defined. It will then not be necessary to rescan the document in order to access this label later.

If you want to change the way certain labels are created, check out the variable reftex-insert-label-flags (see Creating Labels).

If you are using AUCTeX to write your LaTeX documents, you can set it up to delegate the creation of labels to RefTeX. See AUCTeX, for more information.

3.2 Referencing Labels

RefTeX scans the document in order to find all labels. To make referencing labels easier, it assigns to each label a category, the label type (for example section, table, figure, equation, etc.). In order to determine the label type, RefTeX parses around each label to see in what kind of environments it is located. You can speed up the parsing by using type-specific prefixes for labels and configuring the variable reftex-trust-label-prefix.

Referencing Labels is really at the heart of RefTeX. Press C-c ) in order to reference a label (reftex-reference). This will start a selection process and finally insert the complete ‘\ref{label}’ into the buffer.

First, you can select which reference macro you want to use, e.g., ‘\ref’ or ‘\pageref’. Later in the process you have another chance to make this selection and you can therefore disable this step by customizing reftex-ref-macro-prompt if you find it too intrusive. See Reference Styles.

Then, RefTeX will determine the label category which is required. Often that can be figured out from context. For example, if you write ‘As shown in eq.’ and then press C-c ), RefTeX knows that an equation label is going to be referenced. If it cannot figure out what label category is needed, it will query for one.

You will then be presented with a label selection menu. This is a special buffer which contains an outline of the document along with all labels of the given label category. In addition, next to the label there will be one line of context of the label definition, which is some text in the buffer near the label definition. Usually this is sufficient to identify the label. If you are unsure about a certain label, pressing SPC will show the label definition point in another window.

In order to reference a label, move the cursor to the correct label and press RET. You can also reference several labels with a single call to reftex-reference by marking entries with the m key (see below).

Here is a list of special commands in the selection buffer. A summary of this information is always available from the selection process by pressing ?.


Show a summary of available commands.


Prefix argument.

Moving around

Go to next label.


Go to previous label.


Jump back to the position where you last left the selection buffer. Normally this should get you back to the last referenced label.

C-c C-n

Goto next section heading.

C-c C-p

Goto previous section heading.

N z

Jump to section N, using the prefix arg. For example 3 z jumps to section 3.

Displaying Context

Show the surroundings of the definition of the current label in another window. See also the f key.


Toggle follow mode. When follow mode is active, the other window will always display the full context of the current label. This is similar to pressing SPC after each cursor motion. Note that only context in files already visited is shown. RefTeX will not visit a file just for follow mode. See, however, the variable reftex-revisit-to-follow.


Show insertion point in another window. This is the point from where you called reftex-reference.

Selecting a label and creating the reference

Insert a reference to the label at point into the buffer from which the selection process was started. When entries have been marked, RET references all marked labels.


Clicking with mouse button 2 on a label will accept it like RET would. See also variable reftex-highlight-selection, Miscellaneous.

m - + ,

Mark the current entry. When several entries have been marked, pressing RET will accept all of them and place them into several \ref macros. The special markers ‘,-+’ also store a separator to be inserted before the corresponding reference. So marking six entries with the keys ‘m , , - , +’ will give a reference list like this (see the variable reftex-multiref-punctuation)

In eqs. (1), (2), (3)--(4), (5) and (6)

Unmark a marked entry.


Accept the marked entries and put all labels as a comma-separated list into one single \ref macro. Some packages like saferef.sty support multiple references in this way.


Use the last referenced label(s) again. This is equivalent to moving to that label and pressing RET.


Enter a label with completion. This may also be a label which does not yet exist in the document.


Cycle forward through active reference macros. The selected macro is displayed by the ‘S<...>’ indicator in the mode line of the selection buffer. This mechanism comes in handy if you are using LaTeX packages like varioref or fancyref and want to use the special referencing macros they provide (e.g., \vref or \fref) instead of \ref.


Cycle backward through active reference macros.


Exit the selection process without inserting any reference into the buffer.

Controlling what gets displayed

The defaults for the following flags can be configured with the variable reftex-label-menu-flags (see Referencing Labels).


Toggle the display of the one-line label definition context in the selection buffer.


Toggle the display of the file borders of a multifile document in the selection buffer.


Toggle the display of the table of contents in the selection buffer. With prefix arg, change the maximum level of toc entries displayed to arg. Chapters are level 1, sections are level 2.


Toggle the display of a label counter in the selection buffer.


Toggle the display of labels hidden in comments in the selection buffers. Sometimes, you may have commented out parts of your document. If these parts contain label definitions, RefTeX can still display and reference these labels.

Updating the buffer

Update the menu. This will rebuilt the menu from the internal label list, but not reparse the document (see r).


Reparse the document to update the information on all labels and rebuild the menu. If the variable reftex-enable-partial-scans is non-nil and your document is a multifile document, this will reparse only a part of the document (the file in which the label at point was defined).

C-u r

Reparse the entire document.


Switch the label category. After prompting for another label category, a menu for that category will be shown.


Reference a label from an external document. With the LaTeX package xr it is possible to reference labels defined in another document. This key will switch to the label menu of an external document and let you select a label from there (see xr).

In order to define additional commands for the selection process, the keymap reftex-select-label-mode-map may be used.

3.3 Builtin Label Environments

RefTeX needs to be aware of the environments which can be referenced with a label (i.e., which carry their own counters). By default, RefTeX recognizes all labeled environments and macros discussed in The LaTeX Companion by Goossens, Mittelbach & Samarin, Addison-Wesley 1994.. These are:

  • figure, figure*, table, table*, equation, eqnarray, enumerate, the \footnote macro (this is the LaTeX core stuff)
  • align, gather, multline, flalign, alignat, xalignat, xxalignat, subequations (from AMS-LaTeX’s amsmath.sty package)
  • the \endnote macro (from endnotes.sty)
  • Beqnarray (fancybox.sty)
  • floatingfig (floatfig.sty)
  • longtable (longtable.sty)
  • figwindow, tabwindow (picinpar.sty)
  • SCfigure, SCtable (sidecap.sty)
  • sidewaysfigure, sidewaystable (rotating.sty)
  • subfigure, subfigure*, the \subfigure macro (subfigure.sty)
  • supertabular (supertab.sty)
  • wrapfigure (wrapfig.sty)

If you want to use other labeled environments, defined with \newtheorem, RefTeX needs to be configured to recognize them (see Defining Label Environments).

3.4 Defining Label Environments

RefTeX can be configured to recognize additional labeled environments and macros. This is done with the variable reftex-label-alist (see Defining Label Environments). If you are not familiar with Lisp, you can use the custom library to configure this rather complex variable. To do this, use

M-x customize-variable RET reftex-label-alist RET

Here we will discuss a few examples, in order to make things clearer. It can also be instructive to look at the constant reftex-label-alist-builtin which contains the entries for all the builtin environments and macros (see Builtin Label Environments).

3.4.1 Theorem and Axiom Environments

Suppose you are using \newtheorem in LaTeX in order to define two new environments, theorem and axiom


to be used like this:


So we need to tell RefTeX that theorem and axiom are new labeled environments which define their own label categories. We can either use Lisp to do this (e.g., in .emacs) or use the custom library. With Lisp it would look like this

(setq reftex-label-alist
   '(("axiom"   ?a "ax:"  "~\\ref{%s}" nil ("axiom"   "ax.") -2)
     ("theorem" ?h "thr:" "~\\ref{%s}" t   ("theorem" "th.") -3)))

The type indicator characters ?a and ?h are used for prompts when RefTeX queries for a label type. ?h was chosen for theorem since ?t is already taken by table. Note that also ?s, ?f, ?e, ?i, ?n are already used for standard environments.

The labels for Axioms and Theorems will have the prefixes ‘ax:’ and ‘thr:’, respectively. See AUCTeX, for information on how AUCTeX can use RefTeX to automatically create labels when a new environment is inserted into a buffer. Additionally, the following needs to be added to one’s .emacs file before AUCTeX will automatically create labels for the new environments.

(add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook
   (lambda ()
       '("axiom" LaTeX-env-label)
       '("theorem" LaTeX-env-label))))

The ‘~\ref{%s}’ is a format string indicating how to insert references to these labels.

The next item indicates how to grab context of the label definition.

  • t means to get it from a default location (from the beginning of a \macro or after the \begin statement). t is not a good choice for eqnarray and similar environments.
  • nil means to use the text right after the label definition.
  • For more complex ways of getting context, see the variable reftex-label-alist (Defining Label Environments).

The following list of strings is used to guess the correct label type from the word before point when creating a reference. For example if you write: ‘As we have shown in Theorem’ and then press C-c ), RefTeX will know that you are looking for a theorem label and restrict the menu to only these labels without even asking.

The final item in each entry is the level at which the environment should produce entries in the table of context buffer. If the number is positive, the environment will produce numbered entries (like \section), if it is negative the entries will be unnumbered (like \section*). Use this only for environments which structure the document similar to sectioning commands. For everything else, omit the item.

To do the same configuration with customize, you need to click on the [INS] button twice to create two templates and fill them in like this:

Reftex Label Alist: [Hide]
[INS] [DEL] Package or Detailed   : [Value Menu] Detailed:
            Environment or \macro : [Value Menu] String: axiom
            Type specification    : [Value Menu] Char  : a
            Label prefix string   : [Value Menu] String: ax:
            Label reference format: [Value Menu] String: ~\ref{%s}
            Context method        : [Value Menu] After label
            Magic words:
              [INS] [DEL] String: axiom
              [INS] [DEL] String: ax.
            [X] Make TOC entry    : [Value Menu] Level: -2
[INS] [DEL] Package or Detailed   : [Value Menu] Detailed:
            Environment or \macro : [Value Menu] String: theorem
            Type specification    : [Value Menu] Char  : h
            Label prefix string   : [Value Menu] String: thr:
            Label reference format: [Value Menu] String: ~\ref{%s}
            Context method        : [Value Menu] Default position
            Magic words:
              [INS] [DEL] String: theorem
              [INS] [DEL] String: theor.
              [INS] [DEL] String: th.
            [X] Make TOC entry    : [Value Menu] Level: -3

Depending on how you would like the label insertion and selection for the new environments to work, you might want to add the letters ‘a’ and ‘h’ to some of the flags in the variables reftex-insert-label-flags (see Creating Labels) and reftex-label-menu-flags (see Referencing Labels).

3.4.2 Quick Equation Macro

Suppose you would like to have a macro for quick equations. It could be defined like this:

\newcommand{\quickeq}[1]{\begin{equation} #1 \end{equation}}

and used like this:

Einstein's equation is \quickeq{E=mc^2 \label{eq:einstein}}.

We need to tell RefTeX that any label defined in the argument of the \quickeq is an equation label. Here is how to do this with lisp:

(setq reftex-label-alist '(("\\quickeq{}" ?e nil nil 1 nil)))

The first element in this list is now the macro with empty braces as an image of the macro arguments. ?e indicates that this is an equation label, the different nil elements indicate to use the default values for equations. The ‘1’ as the fifth element indicates that the context of the label definition should be the first argument of the macro.

Here is again how this would look in the customization buffer:

Reftex Label Alist: [Hide]
[INS] [DEL] Package or Detailed   : [Value Menu] Detailed:
            Environment or \macro : [Value Menu] String: \quickeq{}
            Type specification    : [Value Menu] Char  : e
            Label prefix string   : [Value Menu] Default
            Label reference format: [Value Menu] Default
            Context method        : [Value Menu] Macro arg nr: 1
            Magic words:
            [ ] Make TOC entry    : [Value Menu] No entry

3.4.3 Figure Wrapping Macro

Suppose you want to make figures not directly with the figure environment, but with a macro like


which would be called like

\myfig[htp]{filename}{caption text}{label}{1}

Now we need to tell RefTeX that the fourth argument of the \myfig macro is itself a figure label, and where to find the context.

(setq reftex-label-alist
      '(("\\myfig[]{}{}{*}{}" ?f nil nil 3)))

The empty pairs of brackets indicate the different arguments of the \myfig macro. The ‘*’ marks the label argument. ?f indicates that this is a figure label which will be listed together with labels from normal figure environments. The nil entries for prefix and reference format mean to use the defaults for figure labels. The ‘3’ for the context method means to grab the third macro argument: the caption.

As a side effect of this configuration, reftex-label will now insert the required naked label (without the \label macro) when point is directly after the opening parenthesis of a \myfig macro argument.

Again, here the configuration in the customization buffer:

[INS] [DEL] Package or Detailed   : [Value Menu] Detailed:
            Environment or \macro : [Value Menu] String: \myfig[]{}{}{*}{}
            Type specification    : [Value Menu] Char  : f
            Label prefix string   : [Value Menu] Default
            Label reference format: [Value Menu] Default
            Context method        : [Value Menu] Macro arg nr: 3
            Magic words:
            [ ] Make TOC entry    : [Value Menu] No entry

3.4.4 Adding Magic Words

Sometimes you don’t want to define a new label environment or macro, but just change the information associated with a label category. Maybe you want to add some magic words, for another language. Changing only the information associated with a label category is done by giving nil for the environment name and then specify the items you want to define. Here is an example which adds German magic words to all predefined label categories.

(setq reftex-label-alist
  '((nil ?s nil nil nil ("Kapitel" "Kap." "Abschnitt" "Teil"))
    (nil ?e nil nil nil ("Gleichung" "Gl."))
    (nil ?t nil nil nil ("Tabelle"))
    (nil ?f nil nil nil ("Figur" "Abbildung" "Abb."))
    (nil ?n nil nil nil ("Anmerkung" "Anm."))
    (nil ?i nil nil nil ("Punkt"))))

3.4.5 Using \eqref

Another case where one only wants to change the information associated with the label category is to change the macro which is used for referencing the label. When working with the AMS-LaTeX, you might prefer \eqref for doing equation references. Here is how to do this:

(setq reftex-label-alist '((nil ?e nil "~\\eqref{%s}" nil nil)))

RefTeX has also a predefined symbol for this special purpose. The following is equivalent to the line above.

(setq reftex-label-alist '(AMSTeX))

Note that this is automatically done by the amsmath.el style file of AUCTeX (see Style Files); so if you use AUCTeX, this configuration will not be necessary.

3.4.6 Non-standard Environments

Some LaTeX packages define environment-like structures without using the standard ‘\begin..\end’ structure. RefTeX cannot parse these directly, but you can write your own special-purpose parser and use it instead of the name of an environment in an entry for reftex-label-alist. The function should check if point is currently in the special environment it was written to detect. If so, it must return a buffer position indicating the start of this environment. The return value must be nil on failure to detect the environment. The function is called with one argument bound. If non-nil, bound is a boundary for backwards searches which should be observed. We will discuss two examples.

Some people define abbreviations for environments, like \be for \begin{equation}, and \ee for \end{equation}. The parser function would have to search backward for these macros. When the first match is \ee, point is not in this environment. When the first match is \be, point is in this environment and the function must return the beginning of the match. To avoid scanning too far, we can also look for empty lines which cannot occur inside an equation environment. Here is the setup:

;; Setup entry in reftex-label-alist, using all defaults for equations
(setq reftex-label-alist '((detect-be-ee ?e nil nil nil nil)))

(defun detect-be-ee (bound)
  ;; Search backward for the macros or an empty line
  (if (re-search-backward
       "\\(^[ \t]*\n\\|\\\\ee\\>\\)\\|\\(\\\\be\\>\\)" bound t)
      (if (match-beginning 2)
          (match-beginning 2)  ; Return start of environment
        nil)                   ; Return nil because env is closed
    nil))                      ; Return nil for not found

A more complex example is the linguex.sty package which defines list macros ‘\ex.’, ‘\a.’, ‘\b.’ etc. for lists which are terminated by ‘\z.’ or by an empty line.

\ex.  \label{ex:12} Some text in an exotic language ...
      \a. \label{ex:13} more stuff
      \b. \label{ex:14} still more stuff
          \a. List on a deeper level
          \b. Another item
          \b. and the third one
      \b. Third item on this level.

... text after the empty line terminating all lists

The difficulty is that the ‘\a.’ lists can nest and that an empty line terminates all list levels in one go. So we have to count nesting levels between ‘\a.’ and ‘\z.’. Here is the implementation for RefTeX.

(setq reftex-label-alist
      '((detect-linguex ?x "ex:" "~\\ref{%s}" nil ("Example" "Ex."))))

(defun detect-linguex (bound)
  (let ((cnt 0))
    (catch 'exit
          ;; Search backward for all possible delimiters
           (concat "\\(^[ \t]*\n\\)\\|\\(\\\\z\\.\\)\\|"
           nil t)
        ;; Check which delimiter was matched.
         ((match-beginning 1)
          ;; empty line terminates all - return nil
          (throw 'exit nil))
         ((match-beginning 2)
          ;; \z. terminates one list level - decrease nesting count
          (decf cnt))
         ((match-beginning 3)
          ;; \ex. : return match unless there was a \z. on this level
          (throw 'exit (if (>= cnt 0) (match-beginning 3) nil)))
         ((match-beginning 4)
          ;; \a. : return match when on level 0, otherwise
          ;;       increment nesting count
          (if (>= cnt 0)
              (throw 'exit (match-beginning 4))
            (incf cnt))))))))

3.4.7 Putting it all together

When you have to put several entries into reftex-label-alist, just put them after each other in a list, or create that many templates in the customization buffer. Here is a lisp example which uses several of the entries described above:

(setq reftex-label-alist
  '(("axiom"   ?a "ax:"  "~\\ref{%s}" nil ("axiom"   "ax.") -2)
    ("theorem" ?h "thr:" "~\\ref{%s}" t   ("theorem" "theor." "th.") -3)
    ("\\quickeq{}" ?e nil nil 1 nil)
    ("\\myfig[]{}{}{*}{}" ?f nil nil 3)
    (detect-linguex ?x "ex:" "~\\ref{%s}" nil ("Example" "Ex."))))

3.5 Reference Info

When point is idle for more than reftex-idle-time seconds on the argument of a \ref macro, the echo area will display some information about the label referenced there. Note that the information is only displayed if the echo area is not occupied by a different message.

RefTeX can also display the label definition corresponding to a \ref macro, or all reference locations corresponding to a \label macro. See Viewing Cross-References, for more information.

3.6 Reference Styles

In case you defined your own macros for referencing or you are using LaTeX packages providing specialized macros to be used instead of \ref, RefTeX provides ways to select and insert them in a convenient way.

RefTeX comes equipped with a set of so-called reference styles where each relates to one or more reference macros. The standard macros ‘\ref’ and ‘\pageref’ or provided by the “Default” style. The “Varioref” style offers macros for the ‘varioref’ LaTeX package (‘\vref’, ‘\Vref’, ‘\Ref’, ‘\vpageref’), “Fancyref” for the ‘fancyref’ package (‘\fref’, ‘\Fref’) and “Hyperref” for the ‘hyperref’ package (‘\autoref’, ‘\autopageref’).

A style can be toggled by selecting the respective entry in the ‘Reference Style’ menu. Changes made through the menu will only last for the Emacs session. In order to configure a preference permanently, the variable reftex-ref-style-default-list should be customized. This variable specifies the list of styles to be activated. It can also be set as a file variable if the preference should be set for a specific file.

In case the built-in styles do not suffice, you can add additional macros and styles to the variable reftex-ref-style-alist. Those do not necessarily have to be related to a certain LaTeX package but can follow an arbitrary grouping rule. For example you could define a style called “Personal” for your personal referencing macros. (When changing the variable you should be aware that other Emacs packages, like AUCTeX, might rely on the entries from the default value to be present.)

Once a style is active the macros it relates to are available for selection when you are about to insert a reference. In general this process involves three steps: the selection of a reference macro, a label type and a label. Reference macros can be chosen in the first and last step.

In the first step you will be presented with a list of macros from which you can select one by typing a single key. If you dislike having an extra step for reference macro selection, you can disable it by customizing reftex-ref-macro-prompt and relying only on the selection facilities provided in the last step.

In the last step, i.e., the label selection, two key bindings are provided to set the reference macro. Type v in order to cycle forward through the list of available macros or V to cycle backward. The mode line of the selection buffer shows the macro currently selected.

In case you are not satisfied with the order of macros when cycling through them you should adapt the order of entries in the variable reftex-ref-style-alist to fit your liking.

For each entry in reftex-ref-style-alist a function with the name reftex-<package>-<macro> (e.g., reftex-varioref-vref) will be created automatically by RefTeX. These functions can be used instead of C-c ) and provide an alternative way of having your favorite referencing macro preselected and if cycling through the macros seems inconvenient to you.2

In former versions of RefTeX only support for varioref and fancyref was included. varioref is a LaTeX package to create cross-references with page information. fancyref is a package where a macro call like \fref{fig:map-of-germany} creates not only the number of the referenced counter but also the complete text around it, like ‘Figure 3 on the preceding page’. In order to make it work you need to use label prefixes like ‘fig:’ consistently—something RefTeX does automatically. For each of these packages a variable could be configured to make its macros to take precedence over \ref. Those were reftex-vref-is-default and reftex-fref-is-default respectively. While still working, these variables are deprecated now. Instead of setting them, the variable reftex-ref-style-default-list should be adapted now.

3.7 xr: Cross-Document References

The LaTeX package xr makes it possible to create references to labels defined in external documents. The preamble of a document using xr will contain something like this:


and we can make references to any labels defined in these external documents by using the prefixes ‘V1-’ and ‘V3-’, respectively.

RefTeX can be used to create such references as well. Start the referencing process normally, by pressing C-c ). Select a label type if necessary. When you see the label selection buffer, pressing x will switch to the label selection buffer of one of the external documents. You may then select a label as before and RefTeX will insert it along with the required prefix.

For this kind of inter-document cross-references, saving of parsing information and the use of multiple selection buffers can mean a large speed-up (see Optimizations).

4 Citations

Citations in LaTeX are done with the \cite macro or variations of it. The argument of the macro is a citation key which identifies an article or book in either a BibTeX database file or in an explicit thebibliography environment in the document. RefTeX’s support for citations helps to select the correct key quickly.

4.1 Creating Citations

In order to create a citation, press C-c [. RefTeX then prompts for a regular expression which will be used to search through the database and present the list of matches to choose from in a selection process similar to that for selecting labels (see Referencing Labels).

The regular expression uses an extended syntax: ‘&&’ defines a logic and for regular expressions. For example ‘Einstein&&Bose’ will match all articles which mention Bose-Einstein condensation, or which are co-authored by Bose and Einstein. When entering the regular expression, you can complete on known citation keys. RefTeX also offers a default when prompting for a regular expression. This default is the word before the cursor or the word before the current ‘\cite’ command. Sometimes this may be a good search key.

RefTeX prefers to use BibTeX database files specified with a \bibliography macro to collect its information. Just like BibTeX, it will search for the specified files in the current directory and along the path given in the environment variable BIBINPUTS. If you do not use BibTeX, but the document contains an explicit thebibliography environment, RefTeX will collect its information from there. Note that in this case the information presented in the selection buffer will just be a copy of relevant \bibitem entries, not the structured listing available with BibTeX database files.

In the selection buffer, the following keys provide special commands. A summary of this information is always available from the selection process by pressing ?.


Show a summary of available commands.


Prefix argument.

Moving around

Go to next article.


Go to previous article.

Access to full database entries

Show the database entry corresponding to the article at point, in another window. See also the f key.


Toggle follow mode. When follow mode is active, the other window will always display the full database entry of the current article. This is equivalent to pressing SPC after each cursor motion. With BibTeX entries, follow mode can be rather slow.

Selecting entries and creating the citation

Insert a citation referencing the article at point into the buffer from which the selection process was started.


Clicking with mouse button 2 on a citation will accept it like RET would. See also variable reftex-highlight-selection, Miscellaneous.


Mark the current entry. When one or several entries are marked, pressing a or A accepts all marked entries. Also, RET behaves like the a key.


Unmark a marked entry.


Accept all (marked) entries in the selection buffer and create a single \cite macro referring to them.


Accept all (marked) entries in the selection buffer and create a separate \cite macro for each of it.


Create a new BibTeX database file which contains all marked entries in the selection buffer. If no entries are marked, all entries are selected.


Create a new BibTeX database file which contains all unmarked entries in the selection buffer. If no entries are marked, all entries are selected.


Enter a citation key with completion. This may also be a key which does not yet exist.


Show insertion point in another window. This is the point from where you called reftex-citation.


Exit the selection process without inserting a citation into the buffer.

Updating the buffer

Start over with a new regular expression. The full database will be rescanned with the new expression (see also r).


Refine the current selection with another regular expression. This will not rescan the entire database, but just the already selected entries.

In order to define additional commands for this selection process, the keymap reftex-select-bib-mode-map may be used.

Note that if you do not use Emacs to edit the BibTeX database files, RefTeX will ask if the related buffers should be updated once it detects that the files were changed externally. If you do not want to be bothered by such queries, you can activate Auto Revert mode for these buffers by adding the following expression to your init file:

(add-hook 'bibtex-mode-hook 'turn-on-auto-revert-mode)

4.2 Citation Styles

The standard LaTeX macro \cite works well with numeric or simple key citations. To deal with the more complex task of author-year citations as used in many natural sciences, a variety of packages has been developed which define derived forms of the \cite macro. RefTeX can be configured to produce these citation macros as well by setting the variable reftex-cite-format. For the most commonly used LaTeX packages (natbib, harvard, chicago, jurabib) and for ConTeXt this may be done from the menu, under Ref->Citation Styles. Since there are usually several macros to create the citations, executing reftex-citation (C-c [) starts by prompting for the correct macro. For the Natbib style, this looks like this:


[^M]   \cite{%l}
[t]    \citet{%l}
[T]    \citet*{%l}
[p]    \citep{%l}
[P]    \citep*{%l}
[e]    \citep[e.g.][]{%l}
[s]    \citep[see][]{%l}
[a]    \citeauthor{%l}
[A]    \citeauthor*{%l}
[y]    \citeyear{%l}

If citation formats contain empty pairs of square brackets, RefTeX will prompt for values of these optional arguments if you call the reftex-citation command with a C-u prefix. Following the most generic of these packages, natbib, the builtin citation packages always accept the t key for a textual citation (like: Jones et al. (1997) have shown...) as well as the p key for a parenthetical citation (like: As shown earlier (Jones et al, 1997)).

To make one of these styles the default, customize the variable reftex-cite-format or put into .emacs:

(setq reftex-cite-format 'natbib)

You can also use AUCTeX style files to automatically set the citation style based on the usepackage commands in a given document. See Style Files, for information on how to set up the style files correctly.

4.3 Citation Info

When point is idle for more than reftex-idle-time seconds on the argument of a \cite macro, the echo area will display some information about the article cited there. Note that the information is only displayed if the echo area is not occupied by a different message.

RefTeX can also display the \bibitem or BibTeX database entry corresponding to a \cite macro, or all citation locations corresponding to a \bibitem or BibTeX database entry. See Viewing Cross-References.

4.4 Chapterbib and Bibunits

chapterbib and bibunits are two LaTeX packages which produce multiple bibliographies in a document. This is no problem for RefTeX as long as all bibliographies use the same BibTeX database files. If they do not, it is best to have each document part in a separate file (as it is required for chapterbib anyway). Then RefTeX will still scan the locally relevant databases correctly. If you have multiple bibliographies within a single file, this may or may not be the case.

4.5 Citations outside LaTeX

The command reftex-citation can also be executed outside a LaTeX buffer. This can be useful to reference articles in the mail buffer and other documents. You should not enter reftex-mode for this, just execute the command. The list of BibTeX files will in this case be taken from the variable reftex-default-bibliography. Setting the variable reftex-cite-format to the symbol locally does a decent job of putting all relevant information about a citation directly into the buffer. Here is the lisp code to add the C-c [ binding to the mail buffer. It also provides a local binding for reftex-cite-format.

(add-hook 'mail-setup-hook
          (lambda () (define-key mail-mode-map "\C-c["
                       (lambda ()
                         (let ((reftex-cite-format 'locally))

4.6 Database Subsets

RefTeX offers two ways to create a new BibTeX database file.

The first option produces a file which contains only the entries actually referenced in the current document. This can be useful if the database is only meant for a single document and you want to clean it of old and unused ballast. It can also be useful while writing a document together with collaborators, in order to avoid sending around the entire (possibly very large) database. To create the file, use M-x reftex-create-bibtex-file, also available from the menu under Ref->Global Actions->Create Bibtex File. The command will prompt for a BibTeX file name and write the extracted entries to that file.

The second option makes use of the selection process started by the command C-c [ (see Creating Citations). This command uses a regular expression to select entries, and lists them in a formatted selection buffer. After pressing the e key (mnemonics: Export), the command will prompt for the name of a new BibTeX file and write the selected entries to that file. You can also first mark some entries in the selection buffer with the m key and then export either the marked entries (with the e key) or the unmarked entries (with the E key).

5 Index Support

LaTeX has builtin support for creating an Index. The LaTeX core supports two different indices, the standard index and a glossary. With the help of special LaTeX packages (multind.sty or index.sty), any number of indices can be supported.

Index entries are created with the \index{entry} macro. All entries defined in a document are written out to the .aux file. A separate tool must be used to convert this information into a nicely formatted index. Tools used with LaTeX include MakeIndex and xindy.

Indexing is a very difficult task. It must follow strict conventions to make the index consistent and complete. There are basically two approaches one can follow, and both have their merits.

  1. Part of the indexing should already be done with the markup. The document structure should be reflected in the index, so when starting new sections, the basic topics of the section should be indexed. If the document contains definitions, theorems or the like, these should all correspond to appropriate index entries. This part of the index can very well be developed along with the document. Often it is worthwhile to define special purpose macros which define an item and at the same time make an index entry, possibly with special formatting to make the reference page in the index bold or underlined. To make RefTeX support for indexing possible, these special macros must be added to RefTeX’s configuration (see Defining Index Macros).
  2. The rest of the index is often just a collection of where in the document certain words or phrases are being used. This part is difficult to develop along with the document, because consistent entries for each occurrence are needed and are best selected when the document is ready. RefTeX supports this with an index phrases file which collects phrases and helps indexing the phrases globally.

Before you start, you need to make sure that RefTeX knows about the index style being used in the current document. RefTeX has builtin support for the default \index and \glossary macros. Other LaTeX packages, like the multind or index package, redefine the \index macro to have an additional argument, and RefTeX needs to be configured for those. A sufficiently new version of AUCTeX (9.10c or later) will do this automatically. If you really don’t use AUCTeX (you should!), this configuration needs to be done by hand with the menu (Ref->Index Style), or globally for all your documents with

(setq reftex-index-macros '(multind))     or
(setq reftex-index-macros '(index))

5.1 Creating Index Entries

In order to index the current selection or the word at the cursor press C-c / (reftex-index-selection-or-word). This causes the selection or word ‘word’ to be replaced with ‘\index{word}word’. The macro which is used (\index by default) can be configured with the variable reftex-index-default-macro. When the command is called with a prefix argument (C-u C-c /), you get a chance to edit the generated index entry. Use this to change the case of the word or to make the entry a subentry, for example by entering ‘main!sub!word’. When called with two raw C-u prefixes (C-u C-u C-c /), you will be asked for the index macro as well. When there is nothing selected and no word at point, this command will just call reftex-index, described below.

In order to create a general index entry, press C-c < (reftex-index). RefTeX will prompt for one of the available index macros and for its arguments. Completion will be available for the index entry and, if applicable, the index tag. The index tag is a string identifying one of multiple indices. With the multind and index packages, this tag is the first argument to the redefined \index macro.

5.2 The Index Phrases File

RefTeX maintains a file in which phrases can be collected for later indexing. The file is located in the same directory as the master file of the document and has the extension .rip (Reftex Index Phrases). You can create or visit the file with C-c | (reftex-index-visit-phrases-buffer). If the file is empty it is initialized by inserting a file header which contains the definition of the available index macros. This list is initialized from reftex-index-macros (see Defining Index Macros). You can edit the header as needed, but if you define new LaTeX indexing macros, don’t forget to add them to reftex-index-macros as well. Here is a phrase file header example:

% -*- mode: reftex-index-phrases -*-
%                           Key   Macro Format       Repeat
>>>INDEX_MACRO_DEFINITION:   i    \index{%s}          t
>>>INDEX_MACRO_DEFINITION:   I    \index*{%s}         nil
>>>INDEX_MACRO_DEFINITION:   g    \glossary{%s}       t
>>>INDEX_MACRO_DEFINITION:   n    \index*[name]{%s}   nil

The macro definition lines consist of a unique letter identifying a macro, a format string and the repeat flag, all separated by TAB. The format string shows how the macro is to be applied, the ‘%s’ will be replaced with the index entry. The repeat flag indicates if word is indexed by the macro as ‘\index{word}’ (repeat = nil) or as ‘\index{word}word’ (repeat = t). In the above example it is assumed that the macro \index*{word} already typesets its argument in the text, so that it is unnecessary to repeat word outside the macro.

5.2.1 Collecting Phrases

Phrases for indexing can be collected while writing the document. The command C-c \ (reftex-index-phrase-selection-or-word) copies the current selection (if active) or the word near point into the phrases buffer. It then selects this buffer, so that the phrase line can be edited. To return to the LaTeX document, press C-c C-c (reftex-index-phrases-save-and-return).

You can also prepare the list of index phrases in a different way and copy it into the phrases file. For example you might want to start from a word list of the document and remove all words which should not be indexed.

The phrase lines in the phrase buffer must have a specific format. RefTeX will use font-lock to indicate if a line has the proper format. A phrase line looks like this:

[key] <TABs> phrase [<TABs> arg[&&arg]... [ || arg]...]

<TABs> stands for white space containing at least one TAB. key must be at the start of the line and is the character identifying one of the macros defined in the file header. It is optional; when omitted, the first macro definition line in the file will be used for this phrase. The phrase is the phrase to be searched for when indexing. It may contain several words separated by spaces. By default the search phrase is also the text entered as argument of the index macro. If you want the index entry to be different from the search phrase, enter another TAB and the index argument arg. If you want to have each match produce several index entries, separate the different index arguments with ‘ && 3. If you want to be able to choose at each match between several different index arguments, separate them with ‘ || 4. Here is an example:

I     Sun
i     Planet         Planets
i     Vega           Stars!Vega
      Jupiter        Planets!Jupiter
i     Mars           Planets!Mars || Gods!Mars || Chocolate Bars!Mars
i     Pluto          Planets!Pluto && Kuiper Belt Objects!Pluto

So ‘Sun’ will be indexed directly as ‘\index*{Sun}’, while ‘Planet’ will be indexed as ‘\index{Planets}Planet’. ‘Vega’ will be indexed as a subitem of ‘Stars’. The ‘Jupiter’ line will also use the ‘i’ macro as it was the first macro definition in the file header (see above example). At each occurrence of ‘Mars’ you will be able choose between indexing it as a subitem of ‘Planets’, ‘Gods’ or ‘Chocolate Bars’. Finally, every occurrence of ‘Pluto’ will be indexed as ‘\index{Planets!Pluto}\index{Kuiper Belt Objects!Pluto}Pluto’ and will therefore create two different index entries.

5.2.2 Consistency Checks

Before indexing the phrases in the phrases buffer, they should be checked carefully for consistency. A first step is to sort the phrases alphabetically; this is done with the command C-c C-s (reftex-index-sort-phrases). It will sort all phrases in the buffer alphabetically by search phrase. If you want to group certain phrases and only sort within the groups, insert empty lines between the groups. Sorting will only change the sequence of phrases within each group (see the variable reftex-index-phrases-sort-in-blocks).

A useful command is C-c C-i (reftex-index-phrases-info) which lists information about the phrase at point, including an example of how the index entry will look like and the number of expected matches in the document.

Another important check is to find out if there are double or overlapping entries in the buffer. For example if you are first searching and indexing ‘Mars’ and then ‘Planet Mars’, the second phrase will not match because of the index macro inserted before ‘Mars’ earlier. The command C-c C-t (reftex-index-find-next-conflict-phrase) finds the next phrase in the buffer which is either duplicate or a subphrase of another phrase. In order to check the whole buffer like this, start at the beginning and execute this command repeatedly.

5.2.3 Global Indexing

Once the index phrases have been collected and organized, you are set for global indexing. I recommend to do this only on an otherwise finished document. Global indexing starts from the phrases buffer. There are several commands which start indexing: C-c C-x acts on the current phrase line, C-c C-r on all lines in the current region and C-c C-a on all phrase lines in the buffer. It is probably good to do indexing in small chunks since your concentration may not last long enough to do everything in one go.

RefTeX will start at the first phrase line and search the phrase globally in the whole document. At each match it will stop, compute the replacement string and offer you the following choices5:


Replace this match with the proposed string.


Skip this match.


Replace this and all further matches in this file.


Skip this match, start with next file.


Skip this match, start with next phrase.


Select a different indexing macro for this match.


Select one of multiple index keys (those separated with ‘||’).


Edit the replacement text.


Recursive edit. Use C-M-c to return to the indexing process.


Save this buffer and ask again about the current match.


Save all document buffers and ask again about the current match.


Abort the indexing process.

The ‘Find and Index in Document’ menu in the phrases buffer also lists a few options for the indexing process. The options have associated customization variables to set the defaults (see Index Support). Here is a short explanation of what the options do:

Match Whole Words

When searching for index phrases, make sure whole words are matched. This should probably always be on.

Case Sensitive Search

Search case sensitively for phrases. I recommend to have this setting off, in order to match the capitalized words at the beginning of a sentence, and even typos. You can always say no at a match you do not like.

Wrap Long Lines

Inserting index macros increases the line length. Turn this option on to allow RefTeX to wrap long lines.

Skip Indexed Matches

When this is on, RefTeX will at each match try to figure out if this match is already indexed. A match is considered indexed if it is either the argument of an index macro, or if an index macro is directly (without whitespace separation) before or after the match. Index macros are those configured in reftex-index-macros. Intended for re-indexing a documents after changes have been made.

Even though indexing should be the last thing you do to a document, you are bound to make changes afterwards. Indexing then has to be applied to the changed regions. The command reftex-index-phrases-apply-to-region is designed for this purpose. When called from a LaTeX document with active region, it will apply reftex-index-all-phrases to the current region.

5.3 Displaying and Editing the Index

In order to compile and display the index, press C-c >. If the document uses multiple indices, RefTeX will ask you to select one. Then, all index entries will be sorted alphabetically and displayed in a special buffer, the *Index* buffer. From that buffer you can check and edit each entry.

The index can be restricted to the current section or the region. Then only entries in that part of the document will go into the compiled index. To restrict to the current section, use a numeric prefix ‘2’, thus press C-u 2 C-c >. To restrict to the current region, make the region active and use a numeric prefix ‘3’ (press C-u 3 C-c >). From within the *Index* buffer the restriction can be moved from one section to the next by pressing the < and > keys.

One caveat: RefTeX finds the definition point of an index entry by searching near the buffer position where it had found to macro during scanning. If you have several identical index entries in the same buffer and significant changes have shifted the entries around, you must rescan the buffer to ensure the correspondence between the *Index* buffer and the definition locations. It is therefore advisable to rescan the document (with r or C-u r) frequently while editing the index from the *Index* buffer.

Here is a list of special commands available in the *Index* buffer. A summary of this information is always available by pressing ?.


Display a summary of commands.

0-9, -

Prefix argument.

Moving around
! A..Z

Pressing any capital letter will jump to the corresponding section in the *Index* buffer. The exclamation mark is special and jumps to the first entries alphabetically sorted below ‘A’. These are usually non-alphanumeric characters.


Go to next entry.


Go to previous entry.

Access to document locations

Show the place in the document where this index entry is defined.


Go to the definition of the current index entry in another window.


Go to the definition of the current index entry and hide the *Index* buffer window.


Toggle follow mode. When follow mode is active, the other window will always show the location corresponding to the line in the *Index* buffer at point. This is similar to pressing SPC after each cursor motion. The default for this flag can be set with the variable reftex-index-follow-mode. Note that only context in files already visited is shown. RefTeX will not visit a file just for follow mode. See, however, the variable reftex-revisit-to-follow.

Entry editing

Edit the current index entry. In the minibuffer, you can edit the index macro which defines this entry.


Kill the index entry. Currently not implemented because I don’t know how to implement an undo function for this.


Edit the key part of the entry. This is the initial part of the entry which determines the location of the entry in the index.


Edit the attribute part of the entry. This is the part after the vertical bar. With MakeIndex, this part is an encapsulating macro. With xindy, it is called attribute and is a property of the index entry that can lead to special formatting. When called with C-u prefix, kill the entire attribute part.


Edit the visual part of the entry. This is the part after the ‘@’ which is used by MakeIndex to change the visual appearance of the entry in the index. When called with C-u prefix, kill the entire visual part.


Toggle the beginning of page range property ‘|(’ of the entry.


Toggle the end of page range property ‘|)’ of the entry.


Make the current entry a subentry. This command will prompt for the superordinate entry and insert it.


Remove the highest superordinate entry. If the current entry is a subitem (‘aaa!bbb!ccc’), this function moves it up the hierarchy (‘bbb!ccc’).


Hide the *Index* buffer.


Kill the *Index* buffer.

C-c =

Switch to the Table of Contents buffer of this document.

Controlling what gets displayed

Toggle the display of short context in the *Index* buffer. The default for this flag can be set with the variable reftex-index-include-context.


Restrict the index to a single document section. The corresponding section number will be displayed in the R<> indicator in the mode line and in the header of the *Index* buffer.


Widen the index to contain all entries of the document.


When the index is currently restricted, move the restriction to the previous section.


When the index is currently restricted, move the restriction to the next section.

Updating the buffer

Rebuild the *Index* buffer. This does not rescan the document. However, it sorts the entries again, so that edited entries will move to the correct position.


Reparse the LaTeX document and rebuild the *Index* buffer. When reftex-enable-partial-scans is non-nil, rescan only the file this location is defined in, not the entire document.

C-u r

Reparse the entire LaTeX document and rebuild the *Index* buffer.


Switch to a different index (for documents with multiple indices).

5.4 Builtin Index Macros

RefTeX by default recognizes the \index and \glossary macros which are defined in the LaTeX core. It has also builtin support for the re-implementations of \index in the multind and index packages. However, since the different definitions of the \index macro are incompatible, you will have to explicitly specify the index style used. See Creating Index Entries, for information on how to do that.

5.5 Defining Index Macros

When writing a document with an index you will probably define additional macros which make entries into the index. Let’s look at an example.

\newcommand{\astobj}[1]{\index{Astronomical Objects!#1}}

The first macro \ix typesets its argument in the text and places it into the index. The second macro \nindex typesets its argument in the text and places it into a separate index with the tag ‘name6. The last macro also places its argument into the index, but as subitems under the main index entry ‘Astronomical Objects’. Here is how to make RefTeX recognize and correctly interpret these macros, first with Emacs Lisp.

(setq reftex-index-macros
      '(("\\ix{*}" "idx" ?x "" nil nil)
        ("\\nindex{*}" "name" ?n "" nil nil)
        ("\\astobj{*}" "idx" ?o "Astronomical Objects!" nil t)))

Note that the index tag is ‘idx’ for the main index, and ‘name’ for the name index. ‘idx’ and ‘glo’ are reserved for the default index and for the glossary.

The character arguments ?x, ?n, and ?o are for quick identification of these macros when RefTeX inserts new index entries with reftex-index. These codes need to be unique. ?i, ?I, and ?g are reserved for the \index, \index*, and \glossary macros, respectively.

The following string is empty unless your macro adds a superordinate entry to the index key; this is the case for the \astobj macro.

The next entry can be a hook function to exclude certain matches, it almost always can be nil.

The final element in the list indicates if the text being indexed needs to be repeated outside the macro. For the normal index macros, this should be t. Only if the macro typesets the entry in the text (like \ix and \nindex in the example do), this should be nil.

To do the same thing with customize, you need to fill in the templates like this:

[INS] [DEL] List:
            Macro with args: \ix{*}
            Index Tag      : [Value Menu] String: idx
            Access Key     : x
            Key Prefix     :
            Exclusion hook : nil
            Repeat Outside : [Toggle]  off (nil)
[INS] [DEL] List:
            Macro with args: \nindex{*}
            Index Tag      : [Value Menu] String: name
            Access Key     : n
            Key Prefix     :
            Exclusion hook : nil
            Repeat Outside : [Toggle]  off (nil)
[INS] [DEL] List:
            Macro with args: \astobj{*}
            Index Tag      : [Value Menu] String: idx
            Access Key     : o
            Key Prefix     : Astronomical Objects!
            Exclusion hook : nil
            Repeat Outside : [Toggle]  on (non-nil)

With the macro \ix defined, you may want to change the default macro used for indexing a text phrase (see Creating Index Entries). This would be done like this

(setq reftex-index-default-macro '(?x "idx"))

which specifies that the macro identified with the character ?x (the \ix macro) should be used for indexing phrases and words already in the buffer with C-c / (reftex-index-selection-or-word). The index tag is "idx".

6 Viewing Cross-References

RefTeX can display cross-referencing information. This means, if two document locations are linked, RefTeX can display the matching location(s) in another window. The \label and \ref macros are one way of establishing such a link. Also, a \cite macro is linked to the corresponding \bibitem macro or a BibTeX database entry.

The feature is invoked by pressing C-c & (reftex-view-crossref) while point is on the key argument of a macro involved in cross-referencing. You can also click with S-mouse-2 on the macro argument. Here is what will happen for individual classes of macros:


Display the corresponding label definition. All usual variants7 of the \ref macro are active for cross-reference display. This works also for labels defined in an external document when the current document refers to them through the xr interface (see xr: Cross-Document References).


Display a document location which references this label. Pressing C-c & several times moves through the entire document and finds all locations. Not only the \label macro but also other macros with label arguments (as configured with reftex-label-alist) are active for cross-reference display.


Display the corresponding BibTeX database entry or \bibitem. All usual variants8 of the \cite macro are active for cross-reference display.


Display a document location which cites this article. Pressing C-c & several times moves through the entire document and finds all locations.


C-c & is also active in BibTeX buffers. All locations in a document where the database entry at point is cited will be displayed. On first use, RefTeX will prompt for a buffer which belongs to the document you want to search. Subsequent calls will use the same document, until you break this link with a prefix argument to C-c &.


Display other locations in the document which are marked by an index macro with the same key argument. Along with the standard \index and \glossary macros, all macros configured in reftex-index-macros will be recognized.

While the display of cross referencing information for the above mentioned macros is hard-coded, you can configure additional relations in the variable reftex-view-crossref-extra.

7 RefTeX’s Menu

RefTeX installs a Ref menu in the menu bar on systems which support this. From this menu you can access all of RefTeX’s commands and a few of its options. There is also a Customize submenu which can be used to access RefTeX’s entire set of options.

8 Default Key Bindings

Here is a summary of the available key bindings.

C-c =      reftex-toc
C-c -      reftex-toc-recenter
C-c (      reftex-label
C-c )      reftex-reference
C-c [      reftex-citation
C-c &      reftex-view-crossref
S-mouse-2  reftex-mouse-view-crossref
C-c /      reftex-index-selection-or-word
C-c \      reftex-index-phrase-selection-or-word
C-c |      reftex-index-visit-phrases-buffer
C-c <      reftex-index
C-c >      reftex-display-index

Note that the S-mouse-2 binding is only provided if this key is not already used by some other package. RefTeX will not override an existing binding to S-mouse-2.

Personally, I also bind some functions in the users C-c map for easier access.

C-c t    reftex-toc
C-c l    reftex-label
C-c r    reftex-reference
C-c c    reftex-citation
C-c v    reftex-view-crossref
C-c s    reftex-search-document
C-c g    reftex-grep-document

These keys are reserved for the user, so I cannot bind them by default. If you want to have these key bindings available, set in your .emacs file:

(setq reftex-extra-bindings t)

Note that this variable has to be set before RefTeX is loaded to have an effect.

Changing and adding to RefTeX’s key bindings is best done using with-eval-after-load. For information on the keymaps which should be used to add keys, see Keymaps and Hooks.

9 Faces

RefTeX uses faces when available to structure the selection and table of contents buffers. It does not create its own faces, but uses the ones defined in font-lock.el. Therefore, RefTeX will use faces only when font-lock is loaded. This seems to be reasonable because people who like faces will very likely have it loaded. If you wish to turn off fontification or change the involved faces, see Fontification.

10 Multifile Documents

The following is relevant when working with documents spread over many files:

11 Language Support

Some parts of RefTeX are language dependent. The default settings work well for English. If you are writing in a different language, the following hints may be useful:

12 Finding Files

In order to find files included in a document via \input or \include, RefTeX searches all directories specified in the environment variable TEXINPUTS. Similarly, it will search the path specified in the variables BIBINPUTS and TEXBIB for BibTeX database files.

When searching, RefTeX will also expand recursive path definitions (directories ending in ‘//’ or ‘!!’). But it will only search and expand directories explicitly given in these variables. This may cause problems under the following circumstances:

There are three ways to solve this problem:

Some people like to use RefTeX with noweb files, which usually have the extension .nw. In order to deal with such files, the new extension must be added to the list of valid extensions in the variable reftex-file-extensions. When working with AUCTeX as major mode, the new extension must also be known to AUCTeX via the variable TeX-file-extension. For example:

(setq reftex-file-extensions
      '(("nw" "tex" ".tex" ".ltx") ("bib" ".bib")))
(setq TeX-file-extensions
      '( "nw" "tex" "sty" "cls" "ltx" "texi" "texinfo"))

13 Optimizations

Note added 2002. Computers have gotten a lot faster, so most of the optimizations discussed below will not be necessary on new machines. I am leaving this stuff in the manual for people who want to write thick books, where some of it still might be useful.

Implementing the principle of least surprises, the default settings of RefTeX ensure a safe ride for beginners and casual users. However, when using RefTeX for a large project and/or on a small computer, there are ways to improve speed or memory usage.

As a summary, here are the settings I recommend for heavy use of RefTeX with large documents:

(setq reftex-enable-partial-scans t
      reftex-save-parse-info t
      reftex-use-multiple-selection-buffers t)


AUCTeX is without doubt the best major mode for editing TeX and LaTeX files with Emacs (see AUCTeX in The AUCTeX User Manual). You can get it from its website at AUCTeX web site, but since it is available from GNU ELPA, you can simply install it from M-x list-packages.

14.1 The AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface

RefTeX contains code to interface with AUCTeX. When this interface is turned on, both packages will interact closely. Instead of using RefTeX’s commands directly, you can then also use them indirectly as part of the AUCTeX environment9. The interface is turned on with

(setq reftex-plug-into-AUCTeX t)

If you need finer control about which parts of the interface are used and which not, read the docstring of the variable reftex-plug-into-AUCTeX or customize it with M-x customize-variable RET reftex-plug-into-AUCTeX RET.

The following list describes the individual parts of the interface.

  • AUCTeX calls reftex-label to insert labels
    When a new section is created with C-c C-s, or a new environment is inserted with C-c C-e, AUCTeX normally prompts for a label to go with it. With the interface, reftex-label is called instead. For example, if you type C-c C-e equation RET, AUCTeX and RefTeX will insert

    without further prompts.

    Similarly, when you type C-c C-s section RET, RefTeX will offer its default label which is derived from the section title.

  • AUCTeX tells RefTeX about new sections
    When creating a new section with C-c C-s, RefTeX will not have to rescan the buffer in order to see it.
  • RefTeX supplies macro arguments
    When you insert a macro interactively with C-c RET, AUCTeX normally prompts for macro arguments. Internally, it uses the functions TeX-arg-label, TeX-arg-cite, and TeX-arg-index to prompt for arguments which are labels, citation keys and index entries. The interface takes over these functions10 and supplies the macro arguments with RefTeX’s mechanisms. For example, when you type C-c RET ref RET, RefTeX will supply its label selection process (see Referencing Labels).
  • RefTeX tells AUCTeX about new labels, citation and index keys
    RefTeX will add all newly created labels to AUCTeX’s completion list.

14.2 Style Files

Style files are Emacs Lisp files which are evaluated by AUCTeX in association with the \documentclass and \usepackage commands of a document (see (auctex)Style Files). Support for RefTeX in such a style file is useful when the LaTeX style defines macros or environments connected with labels, citations, or the index. Many style files (e.g., amsmath.el or natbib.el) distributed with AUCTeX already support RefTeX in this way.

Before calling a RefTeX function, the style hook should always test for the availability of the function, so that the style file will also work for people who do not use RefTeX.

Additions made with style files in the way described below remain local to the current document. For example, if one package uses AMSTeX, the style file will make RefTeX switch over to \eqref, but this will not affect other documents.

A style hook may contain calls to reftex-add-label-environments11 which defines additions to reftex-label-alist. The argument taken by this function must have the same format as reftex-label-alist. The amsmath.el style file of AUCTeX for example contains the following:

(TeX-add-style-hook "amsmath"
   (lambda ()
     (if (fboundp 'reftex-add-label-environments)
         (reftex-add-label-environments '(AMSTeX)))))

while a package myprop defining a proposition environment with \newtheorem might use

(TeX-add-style-hook "myprop"
   (lambda ()
     (LaTeX-add-environments '("proposition" LaTeX-env-label))
     (if (fboundp 'reftex-add-label-environments)
          '(("proposition" ?p "prop:" "~\\ref{%s}" t
                           ("Proposition" "Prop.") -3))))))

Similarly, a style hook may contain a call to reftex-set-cite-format to set the citation format. The style file natbib.el for the Natbib citation style does switch RefTeX’s citation format like this:

(TeX-add-style-hook "natbib"
   (lambda ()
     (if (fboundp 'reftex-set-cite-format)
         (reftex-set-cite-format 'natbib))))

The hook may contain a call to reftex-add-index-macros to define additional \index-like macros. The argument must have the same format as reftex-index-macros. It may be a symbol, to trigger support for one of the builtin index packages. For example, the style multind.el contains

(TeX-add-style-hook "multind"
  (lambda ()
    (and (fboundp 'reftex-add-index-macros)
         (reftex-add-index-macros '(multind)))))

If you have your own package myindex which defines the following macros to be used with the LaTeX index.sty file


you could write this in the style file myindex.el:

(TeX-add-style-hook "myindex"
   (lambda ()
      '("molec" TeX-arg-index)
      '("aindex" TeX-arg-index))
     (if (fboundp 'reftex-add-index-macros)
          '(("molec{*}" "idx" ?m "Molecules!" nil nil)
            ("aindex{*}" "author" ?a "" nil nil))))))

Finally the hook may contain a call to reftex-add-section-levels to define additional section statements. For example, the FoilTeX class has just two headers, \foilhead and \rotatefoilhead. Here is a style file foils.el that will inform RefTeX about these:

(TeX-add-style-hook "foils"
   (lambda ()
     (if (fboundp 'reftex-add-section-levels)
         (reftex-add-section-levels '(("foilhead" . 3)
                                      ("rotatefoilhead" . 3))))))

14.3 Bib-Cite

Once you have written a document with labels, references and citations, it can be nice to read it like a hypertext document. RefTeX has support for that: reftex-view-crossref (bound to C-c &), reftex-mouse-view-crossref (bound to S-mouse-2), and reftex-search-document. A somewhat fancier interface with mouse highlighting is provided (among other things) by Peter S. Galbraith’s bib-cite.el. There is some overlap in the functionalities of Bib-cite and RefTeX. Bib-cite.el comes bundled with AUCTeX.

Bib-cite version 3.06 and later can be configured so that bib-cite’s mouse functions use RefTeX for displaying references and citations. This can be useful in particular when working with the LaTeX xr package or with an explicit thebibliography environment (rather than BibTeX). Bib-cite cannot handle those, but RefTeX does. To make use of this feature, try

(setq bib-cite-use-reftex-view-crossref t)

15 Problems and Work-arounds

16 Imprint

RefTeX was written by Carsten Dominik, with contributions by Stephen Eglen. RefTeX is currently maintained by the AUCTeX project, see the RefTeX web page for detailed information.

If you have questions about RefTeX, you can send email to the AUCTeX user mailing list (). If you want to contribute code or ideas, write to the AUCTeX developer mailing list (). And in the rare case of finding a bug, please use M-x reftex-report-bug RET which will prepare a bug report with useful information about your setup. Remember to add essential information like a recipe for reproducing the bug, what you expected to happen, and what actually happened. Send the bug report to the AUCTeX bug mailing list ().

There are also several Usenet groups which have competent readers who might be able to help: comp.emacs,, and comp.text.tex.

Thanks to the people on the Net who have used RefTeX and helped developing it with their reports. In particular thanks to Ralf Angeli, Fran Burstall, Alastair Burt, Lars Clausen, Soren Dayton, Stephen Eglen, Karl Eichwalder, Erik Frisk, Peter Galbraith, Kai Grossjohann, Frank Harrell, Till A. Heilmann, Peter Heslin, Stephan Heuel, Alan Ho, Lute Kamstra, Dieter Kraft, David Kastrup, Adrian Lanz, Juri Linkov, Wolfgang Mayer, Rory Molinari, Stefan Monnier, Laurent Mugnier, Dan Nicolaescu, Sudeep Kumar Palat, Daniel Polani, Alan Shutko, Robin Socha, Richard Stanton, Allan Strand, Jan Vroonhof, Christoph Wedler, Alan Williams, Roland Winkler, Hans-Christoph Wirth, Eli Zaretskii.

The view-crossref feature was inspired by Peter Galbraith’s bib-cite.el.

Finally thanks to Uwe Bolick who first got me interested in supporting LaTeX labels and references with an editor (which was MicroEmacs at the time).

17 Commands

Here is a summary of RefTeX’s commands which can be executed from LaTeX files. Command which are executed from the special buffers are not described here. All commands are available from the Ref menu. See Default Key Bindings.

Command: reftex-toc

Show the table of contents for the current document. When called with one or two C-u prefixes, rescan the document first.

Command: reftex-label

Insert a unique label. With one or two C-u prefixes, enforce document rescan first.

Command: reftex-reference

Start a selection process to select a label, and insert a reference to it. With one or two C-u prefixes, enforce document rescan first.

Command: reftex-citation

Make a citation using BibTeX database files. After prompting for a regular expression, scans the buffers with BibTeX entries (taken from the \bibliography command or a thebibliography environment) and offers the matching entries for selection. The selected entry is formatted according to reftex-cite-format and inserted into the buffer.
When called with a C-u prefix, prompt for optional arguments in cite macros. When called with a numeric prefix, make that many citations. When called with point inside the braces of a \cite command, it will add another key, ignoring the value of reftex-cite-format.
The regular expression uses an expanded syntax: ‘&&’ is interpreted as and. Thus, ‘aaaa&&bbb’ matches entries which contain both ‘aaaa’ and ‘bbb’. While entering the regexp, completion on knows citation keys is possible. ‘=’ is a good regular expression to match all entries in all files.

Command: reftex-index

Query for an index macro and insert it along with its arguments. The index macros available are those defined in reftex-index-macro or by a call to reftex-add-index-macros, typically from an AUCTeX style file. RefTeX provides completion for the index tag and the index key, and will prompt for other arguments.

Command: reftex-index-selection-or-word

Put current selection or the word near point into the default index macro. This uses the information in reftex-index-default-macro to make an index entry. The phrase indexed is the current selection or the word near point. When called with one C-u prefix, let the user have a chance to edit the index entry. When called with 2 C-u as prefix, also ask for the index macro and other stuff. When called inside TeX math mode as determined by the texmathp.el library which is part of AUCTeX, the string is first processed with the reftex-index-math-format, which see.

Command: reftex-index-phrase-selection-or-word

Add current selection or the word at point to the phrases buffer. When you are in transient-mark-mode and the region is active, the selection will be used; otherwise the word at point. You get a chance to edit the entry in the phrases buffer; to save the buffer and return to the LaTeX document, finish with C-c C-c.

Command: reftex-index-visit-phrases-buffer

Switch to the phrases buffer, initialize if empty.

Command: reftex-index-phrases-apply-to-region

Index all index phrases in the current region. This works exactly like global indexing from the index phrases buffer, but operation is restricted to the current region.

Command: reftex-display-index

Display a buffer with an index compiled from the current document. When the document has multiple indices, first prompts for the correct one. When index support is turned off, offer to turn it on. With one or two C-u prefixes, rescan document first. With prefix 2, restrict index to current document section. With prefix 3, restrict index to active region.

Command: reftex-view-crossref

View cross reference of macro at point. Point must be on the key argument. Works with the macros \label, \ref, \cite, \bibitem, \index and many derivatives of these. Where it makes sense, subsequent calls show additional locations. See also the variable reftex-view-crossref-extra and the command reftex-view-crossref-from-bibtex. With one or two C-u prefixes, enforce rescanning of the document. With argument 2, select the window showing the cross reference.

Command: reftex-view-crossref-from-bibtex

View location in a LaTeX document which cites the BibTeX entry at point. Since BibTeX files can be used by many LaTeX documents, this function prompts upon first use for a buffer in RefTeX mode. To reset this link to a document, call the function with a prefix arg. Calling this function several times find successive citation locations.

Command: reftex-create-tags-file

Create TAGS file by running etags on the current document. The TAGS file is also immediately visited with visit-tags-table.

Command: reftex-grep-document

Run grep query through all files related to this document. With prefix arg, force to rescan document. No active TAGS table is required.

Command: reftex-search-document

Regexp search through all files of the current document. Starts always in the master file. Stops when a match is found. No active TAGS table is required.

Command: reftex-query-replace-document

Run a query-replace-regexp of from with to over the entire document. With prefix arg, replace only word-delimited matches. No active TAGS table is required.

Command: reftex-isearch-minor-mode

Toggle a minor mode which enables incremental search to work globally on the entire multifile document. Files will be searched in the sequence they appear in the document.

Command: reftex-goto-label

Prompt for a label (with completion) and jump to the location of this label. Optional prefix argument other-window goes to the label in another window.

Command: reftex-change-label

Query replace from with to in all \label and \ref commands. Works on the entire multifile document. No active TAGS table is required.

Command: reftex-renumber-simple-labels

Renumber all simple labels in the document to make them sequentially. Simple labels are the ones created by RefTeX, consisting only of the prefix and a number. After the command completes, all these labels will have sequential numbers throughout the document. Any references to the labels will be changed as well. For this, RefTeX looks at the arguments of any macros which either start or end with the string ‘ref’. This command should be used with care, in particular in multifile documents. You should not use it if another document refers to this one with the xr package.

Command: reftex-find-duplicate-labels

Produce a list of all duplicate labels in the document.

Command: reftex-create-bibtex-file

Create a new BibTeX database file with all entries referenced in document. The command prompts for a filename and writes the collected entries to that file. Only entries referenced in the current document with any \cite-like macros are used. The sequence in the new file is the same as it was in the old database.

Entries referenced from other entries must appear after all referencing entries.

You can define strings to be used as header or footer for the created files in the variables reftex-create-bibtex-header or reftex-create-bibtex-footer respectively.

Command: reftex-customize

Run the customize browser on the RefTeX group.

Command: reftex-show-commentary

Show the commentary section from reftex.el.

Command: reftex-info

Run info on the top RefTeX node.

Command: reftex-parse-document

Parse the entire document in order to update the parsing information.

Command: reftex-reset-mode

Enforce rebuilding of several internal lists and variables. Also removes the parse file associated with the current document.

18 Options, Keymaps, Hooks

Here is a complete list of RefTeX’s configuration variables. All variables have customize support, so if you are not familiar with Emacs Lisp (and even if you are) you might find it more comfortable to use customize to look at and change these variables. M-x reftex-customize will get you there.

In case you don’t use the customize interface, here’s a caveat: Changing (mostly parsing-related) options might require a call to reftex-compile-variables in order to become effective.

18.1 Table of Contents

User Option: reftex-include-file-commands

List of LaTeX commands which input another file. The file name is expected after the command, either in braces or separated by whitespace.

User Option: reftex-max-section-depth

Maximum depth of section levels in document structure. Standard LaTeX needs 7, default is 12.

User Option: reftex-section-levels

Commands and levels used for defining sections in the document. The car of each cons cell is the name of the section macro. The cdr is a number indicating its level. A negative level means the same as the positive value, but the section will never get a number. The cdr may also be a function which then has to return the level. This list is also used for promotion and demotion of sectioning commands. If you are using a document class which has several sets of sectioning commands, promotion only works correctly if this list is sorted first by set, then within each set by level. The promotion commands always select the nearest entry with the correct new level.

User Option: reftex-toc-max-level

The maximum level of toc entries which will be included in the TOC. Section headings with a bigger level will be ignored. In RefTeX, chapters are level 1, sections level 2 etc. This variable can be changed from within the *toc* buffer with the t key.

User Option: reftex-part-resets-chapter

Non-nil means, \part is like any other sectioning command. This means, part numbers will be included in the numbering of chapters, and chapter counters will be reset for each part. When nil (the default), parts are special, do not reset the chapter counter and also do not show up in chapter numbers.

User Option: reftex-auto-recenter-toc

Non-nil means, turn automatic recentering of *TOC* window on. When active, the *TOC* window will always show the section you are currently working in. Recentering happens whenever Emacs is idle for more than reftex-idle-time seconds.

Value t means, turn on immediately when RefTeX gets started. Then, recentering will work for any toc window created during the session.

Value frame (the default) means, turn automatic recentering on only while the dedicated TOC frame does exist, and do the recentering only in that frame. So when creating that frame (with d key in an ordinary TOC window), the automatic recentering is turned on. When the frame gets destroyed, automatic recentering is turned off again.

This feature can be turned on and off from the menu (Ref->Options).

User Option: reftex-toc-split-windows-horizontally

Non-nil means, create TOC window by splitting window horizontally. The default is to split vertically.

User Option: reftex-toc-split-windows-fraction

Fraction of the width or height of the frame to be used for TOC window.

User Option: reftex-toc-keep-other-windows

Non-nil means, split the selected window to display the *toc* buffer. This helps to keep the window configuration, but makes the *toc* small. When nil, all other windows except the selected one will be deleted, so that the *toc* window fills half the frame.

User Option: reftex-toc-include-file-boundaries

Non-nil means, include file boundaries in *toc* buffer. This flag can be toggled from within the *toc* buffer with the i key.

User Option: reftex-toc-include-labels

Non-nil means, include labels in *toc* buffer. This flag can be toggled from within the *toc* buffer with the l key.

User Option: reftex-toc-include-index-entries

Non-nil means, include index entries in *toc* buffer. This flag can be toggled from within the *toc* buffer with the i key.

User Option: reftex-toc-include-context

Non-nil means, include context with labels in the *toc* buffer. Context will only be shown if the labels are visible as well. This flag can be toggled from within the *toc* buffer with the c key.

User Option: reftex-toc-follow-mode

Non-nil means, point in *toc* buffer (the table-of-contents buffer) will cause other window to follow. The other window will show the corresponding part of the document. This flag can be toggled from within the *toc* buffer with the f key.

Normal Hook: reftex-toc-mode-hook

Normal hook which is run when a *toc* buffer is created.

Keymap: reftex-toc-mode-map

The keymap which is active in the *toc* buffer. (see Table of Contents).

18.2 Defining Label Environments

User Option: reftex-default-label-alist-entries

Default label alist specifications. It is a list of symbols with associations in the constant reftex-label-alist-builtin. LaTeX should always be the last entry.

User Option: reftex-label-alist

Set this variable to define additions and changes to the defaults in reftex-default-label-alist-entries. The only things you must not change is that ?s is the type indicator for section labels, and SPC for the any label type. These are hard-coded at other places in the code.

The value of the variable must be a list of items. Each item is a list itself and has the following structure:

 (env-or-macro  type-key  label-prefix  reference-format
    context-method  (magic-word ... )  toc-level)

Each list entry describes either an environment carrying a counter for use with \label and \ref, or a LaTeX macro defining a label as (or inside) one of its arguments. The elements of each list entry are:


Name of the environment (like ‘table’) or macro (like ‘\myfig’). For macros, indicate the arguments, as in ‘\myfig[]{}{}{*}{}’. Use square brackets for optional arguments, a star to mark the label argument, if any. The macro does not have to have a label argument; you could also use ‘\label{...}’ inside one of its arguments.

Special names: section for section labels, any to define a group which contains all labels.

This may also be a function to do local parsing and identify point to be in a non-standard label environment. The function must take an argument bound and limit backward searches to this value. It should return either nil or a cons cell (function . position) with the function symbol and the position where the special environment starts. See the Info documentation for an example.

Finally this may also be nil if the entry is only meant to change some settings associated with the type indicator character (see below).


Type indicator character, like ?t, must be a printable ASCII character. The type indicator is a single character which defines a label type. Any label inside the environment or macro is assumed to belong to this type. The same character may occur several times in this list, to cover cases in which different environments carry the same label type (like equation and eqnarray). If the type indicator is nil and the macro has a label argument ‘{*}’, the macro defines neutral labels just like \label. In this case the remainder of this entry is ignored.


Label prefix string, like ‘tab:’. The prefix is a short string used as the start of a label. It may be the empty string. The prefix may contain the following ‘%’ escapes:

%f Current file name, directory and extension stripped.
%F Current file name relative to master file directory.
%m Master file name, directory and extension stripped.
%M Directory name (without path) where master file is located.
%u User login name, on systems which support this.
%S A section prefix derived with variable reftex-section-prefixes.

Example: In a file intro.tex, ‘eq:%f:’ will become ‘eq:intro:’.


Format string for reference insertion in buffer. ‘%s’ will be replaced by the label. When the format starts with ‘~’, this ‘~’ will only be inserted when the character before point is not a whitespace.


Indication on how to find the short context.

  • If nil, use the text following the ‘\label{...}’ macro.
  • If t, use
    • the section heading for section labels.
    • text following the ‘\begin{...}’ statement of environments (not a good choice for environments like eqnarray or enumerate, where one has several labels in a single environment).
    • text after the macro name (starting with the first arg) for macros.
  • If an integer, use the nth argument of the macro. As a special case, 1000 means to get text after the last macro argument.
  • If a string, use as regexp to search backward from the label. Context is then the text following the end of the match. E.g., setting this to ‘\\caption[[{]’ will use the caption in a figure or table environment. ‘\\begin{eqnarray}\|\\\\’ works for eqnarrays.
  • If any of caption, item, eqnarray-like, alignat-like, this symbol will internally be translated into an appropriate regexp (see also the variable reftex-default-context-regexps).
  • If a function, call this function with the name of the environment/macro as argument. On call, point will be just after the \label macro. The function is expected to return a suitable context string. It should throw an exception (error) when failing to find context. As an example, here is a function returning the 10 chars following the label macro as context:
    (defun my-context-function (env-or-mac)
       (if (> (point-max) (+ 10 (point)))
           (buffer-substring (point) (+ 10 (point)))
         (error "Buffer too small")))

Label context is used in two ways by RefTeX: For display in the label menu, and to derive a label string. If you want to use a different method for each of these, specify them as a dotted pair. E.g., (nil . t) uses the text after the label (nil) for display, and text from the default position (t) to derive a label string. This is actually used for section labels.


List of magic words which identify a reference to be of this type. If the word before point is equal to one of these words when calling reftex-reference, the label list offered will be automatically restricted to labels of the correct type. If the first element of this word list is the symbol regexp, the strings are interpreted as regular expressions.


The integer level at which this environment should be added to the table of contents. See also reftex-section-levels. A positive value will number the entries mixed with the sectioning commands of the same level. A negative value will make unnumbered entries. Useful only for theorem-like environments which structure the document. Will be ignored for macros. When omitted or nil, no TOC entries will be made.

If the type indicator characters of two or more entries are the same, RefTeX will use

  • the first non-nil format and prefix
  • the magic words of all involved entries.

Any list entry may also be a symbol. If that has an association in reftex-label-alist-builtin, the cddr of that association is spliced into the list. However, builtin defaults should normally be set with the variable reftex-default-label-alist-entries.

User Option: reftex-section-prefixes

Prefixes for section labels. When the label prefix given in an entry in reftex-label-alist contains ‘%S’, this list is used to determine the correct prefix string depending on the current section level. The list is an alist, with each entry of the form (key . prefix). Possible keys are sectioning macro names like ‘chapter’, integer section levels (as given in reftex-section-levels), and t for the default.

User Option: reftex-default-context-regexps

Alist with default regular expressions for finding context. The emacs lisp form (format regexp (regexp-quote environment)) is used to calculate the final regular expression, so ‘%s’ will be replaced with the environment or macro.

User Option: reftex-trust-label-prefix

Non-nil means, trust the label prefix when determining label type. It is customary to use special label prefixes to distinguish different label types. The label prefixes have no syntactic meaning in LaTeX (unless special packages like fancyref) are being used. RefTeX can and by default does parse around each label to detect the correct label type, but this process can be slow when a document contains thousands of labels. If you use label prefixes consistently, you may speed up document parsing by setting this variable to a non-nil value. RefTeX will then compare the label prefix with the prefixes found in reftex-label-alist and derive the correct label type in this way. Possible values for this option are:

t       This means to trust any label prefixes found.
regexp  If a regexp, only prefixes matched by the regexp are trusted.
list    List of accepted prefixes, as strings.  The colon is part of
        the prefix, e.g., ("fn:" "eqn:" "item:").
nil     Never trust a label prefix.

The only disadvantage of using this feature is that the label context displayed in the label selection buffer along with each label is simply some text after the label definition. This is no problem if you place labels keeping this in mind (e.g., before the equation, at the beginning of a fig/tab caption ...). Anyway, it is probably best to use the regexp or the list value types to fine-tune this feature. For example, if your document contains thousands of footnotes with labels fn:xxx, you may want to set this variable to the value "^fn:$" or ("fn:"). Then RefTeX will still do extensive parsing for any non-footnote labels.

18.3 Creating Labels

User Option: reftex-insert-label-flags

Flags governing label insertion. The value has the form

(derive prompt)

If derive is t, RefTeX will try to derive a sensible label from context. A section label for example will be derived from the section heading. The conversion of the context to a valid label is governed by the specifications given in reftex-derive-label-parameters. If derive is nil, the default label will consist of the prefix and a unique number, like ‘eq:23’.

If prompt is t, the user will be prompted for a label string. When prompt is nil, the default label will be inserted without query.

So the combination of derive and prompt controls label insertion. Here is a table describing all four possibilities:

derive prompt action
nil    nil    Insert simple label, like ‘eq:22’ or ‘sec:13’. No query.
nil    t      Prompt for label.
t      nil    Derive a label from context and insert. No query.
t      t      Derive a label from context, prompt for confirmation.

Each flag may be set to t, nil, or a string of label type letters indicating the label types for which it should be true. Thus, the combination may be set differently for each label type. The default settings ‘"s"’ and ‘"sft"’ mean: Derive section labels from headings (with confirmation). Prompt for figure and table labels. Use simple labels without confirmation for everything else.

The available label types are: s (section), f (figure), t (table), i (item), e (equation), n (footnote), N (endnote) plus any definitions in reftex-label-alist.

Hook: reftex-format-label-function

If non-nil, should be a function which produces the string to insert as a label definition. The function will be called with two arguments, the label and the default-format (usually ‘\label{%s}’). It should return the string to insert into the buffer.

Hook: reftex-string-to-label-function

Function to turn an arbitrary string into a valid label. RefTeX’s default function uses the variable reftex-derive-label-parameters.

Hook: reftex-translate-to-ascii-function

Filter function which will process a context string before it is used to derive a label from it. The intended application is to convert ISO or Mule characters into something valid in labels. The default function reftex-latin1-to-ascii removes the accents from Latin-1 characters. X-Symbol (>=2.6) sets this variable to the much more general x-symbol-translate-to-ascii.

User Option: reftex-derive-label-parameters

Parameters for converting a string into a label. This variable is a list of the following items:


Number of words to use.


Maximum number of characters in a label string.


nil: Throw away any words containing characters invalid in labels.
t: Throw away only the invalid characters, not the whole word.


nil: Never abbreviate words.
t: Always abbreviate words (see reftex-abbrev-parameters).
1: Abbreviate words if necessary to shorten label string.


String separating different words in the label.


List of words which should not be part of labels.


t: Downcase words before putting them into the label.

User Option: reftex-label-illegal-re

Regexp matching characters not valid in labels.

User Option: reftex-abbrev-parameters

Parameters for abbreviation of words. A list of four parameters.


Minimum number of characters remaining after abbreviation.


Minimum number of characters to remove when abbreviating words.


Character class before abbrev point in word.


Character class after abbrev point in word.

18.4 Referencing Labels

User Option: reftex-label-menu-flags

List of flags governing the label menu makeup. The flags are:


Show the labels embedded in a table of context.


Include section numbers (like 4.1.3) in table of contents.


Show counters. This just numbers the labels in the menu.


Non-nil means do not show the short context.


Follow full context in other window.


Show labels from regions which are commented out.


Obsolete flag.


Show begin and end of included files.

Each of these flags can be set to t or nil, or to a string of type letters indicating the label types for which it should be true. These strings work like character classes in regular expressions. Thus, setting one of the flags to ‘"sf"’ makes the flag true for section and figure labels, nil for everything else. Setting it to ‘"^sf"’ makes it the other way round.

The available label types are: s (section), f (figure), t (table), i (item), e (equation), n (footnote), plus any definitions in reftex-label-alist.

Most options can also be switched from the label menu itself, so if you decide here to not have a table of contents in the label menu, you can still get one interactively during selection from the label menu.

User Option: reftex-multiref-punctuation

Punctuation strings for multiple references. When marking is used in the selection buffer to select several references, this variable associates the 3 marking characters ‘,-+’ with prefix strings to be inserted into the buffer before the corresponding \ref macro. This is used to string together whole reference sets, like ‘eqs. 1,2,3-5,6 and 7’ in a single call to reftex-reference.

User Option: reftex-ref-style-alist

Alist of reference styles. Each element is a list of the style name, the name of the LaTeX package associated with the style or t for any package, and an alist of macros where the first entry of each item is the reference macro and the second a key for selecting the macro when the macro type is being prompted for. (See also reftex-ref-macro-prompt.) The keys, represented as characters, have to be unique.

User Option: reftex-ref-style-default-list

List of reference styles to be activated by default. The order is significant and controls the order in which macros can be cycled in the buffer for selecting a label. The entries in the list have to match the respective reference style names used in the variable reftex-ref-style-alist.

User Option: reftex-ref-macro-prompt

Controls if reftex-reference prompts for the reference macro.

Hook: reftex-format-ref-function

If non-nil, should be a function which produces the string to insert as a reference. Note that the insertion format can also be changed with reftex-label-alist. This hook also is used by the special commands to insert, e.g., \vref and \fref references, so even if you set this, your setting will be ignored by the special commands. The function will be called with three arguments, the label, the default format which normally is ‘~\ref{%s}’ and the reference style. The function should return the string to insert into the buffer.

User Option: reftex-level-indent

Number of spaces to be used for indentation per section level.

User Option: reftex-guess-label-type

Non-nil means, reftex-reference will try to guess the label type. To do that, RefTeX will look at the word before the cursor and compare it with the magic words given in reftex-label-alist. When it finds a match, RefTeX will immediately offer the correct label menu; otherwise it will prompt you for a label type. If you set this variable to nil, RefTeX will always prompt for a label type.

Normal Hook: reftex-display-copied-context-hook

Normal Hook which is run before context is displayed anywhere. Designed for X-Symbol, but may have other uses as well.

Hook: reftex-pre-refontification-functions

X-Symbol specific hook. Probably not useful for other purposes. The functions get two arguments, the buffer from where the command started and a symbol indicating in what context the hook is called.

Normal Hook: reftex-select-label-mode-hook

Normal hook which is run when a selection buffer enters reftex-select-label-mode.

Keymap: reftex-select-label-mode-map

The keymap which is active in the labels selection process (see Referencing Labels).

18.5 Creating Citations

User Option: reftex-bibliography-commands

LaTeX commands which specify the BibTeX databases to use with the document.

User Option: reftex-bibfile-ignore-regexps

List of regular expressions to exclude files in \\bibliography{..}. File names matched by any of these regexps will not be parsed. Intended for files which contain only @string macro definitions and the like, which are ignored by RefTeX anyway.

User Option: reftex-default-bibliography

List of BibTeX database files which should be used if none are specified. When reftex-citation is called from a document with neither a ‘\bibliography{...}’ statement nor a thebibliography environment, RefTeX will scan these files instead. Intended for using reftex-citation in non-LaTeX files. The files will be searched along the BIBINPUTS or TEXBIB path.

User Option: reftex-sort-bibtex-matches

Sorting of the entries found in BibTeX databases by reftex-citation. Possible values:

nil          Do not sort entries.
author       Sort entries by author name.
year         Sort entries by increasing year.
reverse-year Sort entries by decreasing year.
User Option: reftex-cite-format

The format of citations to be inserted into the buffer. It can be a string, an alist or a symbol. In the simplest case this is just the string ‘\cite{%l}’, which is also the default. See the definition of reftex-cite-format-builtin for more complex examples.

If reftex-cite-format is a string, it will be used as the format. In the format, the following percent escapes will be expanded.


The BibTeX label of the citation.


List of author names, see also reftex-cite-punctuation.


Like %a, but abbreviate more than 2 authors like Jones et al.


First author name only.


Works like ‘%a’, but on list of editor names. (‘%2e’ and ‘%E’ work a well).

It is also possible to access all other BibTeX database fields:

%b booktitle     %c chapter        %d edition    %h howpublished
%i institution   %j journal        %k key        %m month
%n number        %o organization   %p pages      %P first page
%r address       %s school         %u publisher  %t title
%v volume        %y year
%B booktitle, abbreviated          %T title, abbreviated

Usually, only ‘%l’ is needed. The other stuff is mainly for the echo area display, and for (setq reftex-comment-citations t).

%<’ as a special operator kills punctuation and space around it after the string has been formatted.

A pair of square brackets indicates an optional argument, and RefTeX will prompt for the values of these arguments.

Beware that all this only works with BibTeX database files. When citations are made from the \bibitems in an explicit thebibliography environment, only ‘%l’ is available.

If reftex-cite-format is an alist of characters and strings, the user will be prompted for a character to select one of the possible format strings.

In order to configure this variable, you can either set reftex-cite-format directly yourself or set it to the symbol of one of the predefined styles. The predefined symbols are those which have an association in the constant reftex-cite-format-builtin) E.g.: (setq reftex-cite-format 'natbib).

Hook: reftex-format-cite-function

If non-nil, should be a function which produces the string to insert as a citation. Note that the citation format can also be changed with the variable reftex-cite-format. The function will be called with two arguments, the citation-key and the default-format (taken from reftex-cite-format). It should return the string to insert into the buffer.

User Option: reftex-cite-prompt-optional-args

Non-nil means, prompt for empty optional arguments in cite macros. When an entry in reftex-cite-format is given with square brackets to indicate optional arguments (for example ‘\\cite[][]{%l}’), RefTeX can prompt for values. Possible values are:

nil     Never prompt for optional arguments
t       Always prompt
maybe   Prompt only if reftex-citation was called with C-u prefix arg

Unnecessary empty optional arguments are removed before insertion into the buffer. See reftex-cite-cleanup-optional-args.

User Option: reftex-cite-cleanup-optional-args

Non-nil means, remove empty optional arguments from cite macros if possible.

User Option: reftex-comment-citations

Non-nil means add a comment for each citation describing the full entry. The comment is formatted according to reftex-cite-comment-format.

User Option: reftex-cite-comment-format

Citation format used for commented citations. Must not contain ‘%l’. See the variable reftex-cite-format for possible percent escapes.

User Option: reftex-cite-punctuation

Punctuation for formatting of name lists in citations. This is a list of 3 strings.

  1. normal names separator, like ‘, ’ in Jones, Brown and Miller
  2. final names separator, like ‘ and ’ in Jones, Brown and Miller
  3. The ‘et al.’ string, like ‘ {\it et al.}’ in Jones {\it et al.}
Normal Hook: reftex-select-bib-mode-hook

Normal hook which is run when a selection buffer enters reftex-select-bib-mode.

Keymap: reftex-select-bib-mode-map

The keymap which is active in the citation-key selection process (see Creating Citations).

User Option: reftex-cite-key-separator

String used to separate several keys in a single ‘\\cite’ macro. Per default this is ‘","’ but if you often have to deal with a lot of entries and need to break the macro across several lines you might want to change it to ‘", "’.

User Option: reftex-create-bibtex-header

Header to insert in BibTeX files generated by reftex-create-bibtex-file.

User Option: reftex-create-bibtex-footer

Footer to insert in BibTeX files generated by reftex-create-bibtex-file.

18.6 Index Support

User Option: reftex-support-index

Non-nil means, index entries are parsed as well. Index support is resource intensive and the internal structure holding the parsed information can become quite big. Therefore it can be turned off. When this is nil and you execute a command which requires index support, you will be asked for confirmation to turn it on and rescan the document.

User Option: reftex-index-special-chars

List of special characters in index entries, given as strings. These correspond to the MakeIndex keywords (level encap actual quote escape).

User Option: reftex-index-macros

List of macros which define index entries. The structure of each entry is

(macro index-tag key prefix exclude repeat)

macro is the macro. Arguments should be denoted by empty braces, as for example in ‘\index[]{*}’. Use square brackets to denote optional arguments. The star marks where the index key is.

index-tag is a short name of the index. ‘idx’ and ‘glo’ are reserved for the default index and the glossary. Other indices can be defined as well. If this is an integer, the Nth argument of the macro holds the index tag.

key is a character which is used to identify the macro for input with reftex-index. ‘?i’, ‘?I’, and ‘?g’ are reserved for default index and glossary.

prefix can be a prefix which is added to the key part of the index entry. If you have a macro \newcommand{\molec}[1]{#1\index{Molecules!#1}, this prefix should be ‘Molecules!’.

exclude can be a function. If this function exists and returns a non-nil value, the index entry at point is ignored. This was implemented to support the (deprecated) ‘^’ and ‘_’ shortcuts in the LaTeX2e index package.

repeat, if non-nil, means the index macro does not typeset the entry in the text, so that the text has to be repeated outside the index macro. Needed for reftex-index-selection-or-word and for indexing from the phrase buffer.

The final entry may also be a symbol. It must have an association in the variable reftex-index-macros-builtin to specify the main indexing package you are using. Valid values are currently

default         The LaTeX default; unnecessary to specify this one
multind         The multind.sty package
index           The index.sty package
index-shortcut  The index.sty packages with the ^ and _ shortcuts.
                Should not be used; only for old documents

Note that AUCTeX sets these things internally for RefTeX as well, so with a sufficiently new version of AUCTeX, you should not set the package here.

User Option: reftex-index-default-macro

The default index macro for reftex-index-selection-or-word. This is a list with (macro-key default-tag).

macro-key is a character identifying an index macro; see reftex-index-macros.

default-tag is the tag to be used if the macro requires a tag argument. When this is nil and a tag is needed, RefTeX will ask for it. When this is the empty string and the TAG argument of the index macro is optional, the TAG argument will be omitted.

User Option: reftex-index-default-tag

Default index tag. When working with multiple indexes, RefTeX queries for an index tag when creating index entries or displaying a specific index. This variable controls the default offered for these queries. The default can be selected with RET during selection or completion. Valid values of this variable are:

nil        Do not provide a default index
"tag"      The default index tag given as a string, e.g., "idx"
last       The last used index tag will be offered as default
User Option: reftex-index-math-format

Format of index entries when copied from inside math mode. When reftex-index-selection-or-word is executed inside TeX math mode, the index key copied from the buffer is processed with this format string through the format function. This can be used to add the math delimiters (e.g., ‘$’) to the string. Requires the texmathp.el library which is part of AUCTeX.

User Option: reftex-index-phrase-file-extension

File extension for the index phrase file. This extension will be added to the base name of the master file.

User Option: reftex-index-phrases-logical-and-regexp

Regexp matching the ‘and’ operator for index arguments in phrases file. When several index arguments in a phrase line are separated by this operator, each part will generate an index macro. So each match of the search phrase will produce several different index entries. Make sure this does no match things which are not separators. This logical ‘and’ has higher priority than the logical ‘or’ specified in reftex-index-phrases-logical-or-regexp.

User Option: reftex-index-phrases-logical-or-regexp

Regexp matching the ‘or’ operator for index arguments in phrases file. When several index arguments in a phrase line are separated by this operator, the user will be asked to select one of them at each match of the search phrase. The first index arg will be the default. A number key 19 must be pressed to switch to another. Make sure this does no match things which are not separators. The logical ‘and’ specified in reftex-index-phrases-logical-or-regexp has higher priority than this logical ‘or’.

User Option: reftex-index-phrases-search-whole-words

Non-nil means phrases search will look for whole words, not subwords. This works by requiring word boundaries at the beginning and end of the search string. When the search phrase already has a non-word-char at one of these points, no word boundary is required there.

User Option: reftex-index-phrases-case-fold-search

Non-nil means, searching for index phrases will ignore case.

User Option: reftex-index-verify-function

A function which is called at each match during global indexing. If the function returns nil, the current match is skipped.

User Option: reftex-index-phrases-skip-indexed-matches

Non-nil means, skip matches which appear to be indexed already. When doing global indexing from the phrases buffer, searches for some phrases may match at places where that phrase was already indexed. In particular when indexing an already processed document again, this will even be the norm. When this variable is non-nil, RefTeX checks if the match is an index macro argument, or if an index macro is directly before or after the phrase. If that is the case, that match will be ignored.

User Option: reftex-index-phrases-wrap-long-lines

Non-nil means, when indexing from the phrases buffer, wrap lines. Inserting indexing commands in a line makes the line longer, often so long that it does not fit onto the screen. When this variable is non-nil, newlines will be added as necessary before and/or after the indexing command to keep lines short. However, the matched text phrase and its index command will always end up on a single line.

User Option: reftex-index-phrases-sort-prefers-entry

Non-nil means when sorting phrase lines, the explicit index entry is used. Phrase lines in the phrases buffer contain a search phrase, and sorting is normally based on these. Some phrase lines also have an explicit index argument specified. When this variable is non-nil, the index argument will be used for sorting.

User Option: reftex-index-phrases-sort-in-blocks

Non-nil means, empty and comment lines separate phrase buffer into blocks. Sorting will then preserve blocks, so that lines are re-arranged only within blocks.

User Option: reftex-index-phrases-mode-map

Keymap for the Index Phrases buffer.

User Option: reftex-index-phrases-mode-hook

Normal hook which is run when a buffer is put into reftex-index-phrases-mode.

User Option: reftex-index-section-letters

The letters which denote sections in the index. Usually these are all capital letters. Don’t use any downcase letters. Order is not significant, the index will be sorted by whatever the sort function thinks is correct. In addition to these letters, RefTeX will create a group ‘!’ which contains all entries sorted below the lowest specified letter. In the *Index* buffer, pressing any of these capital letters or ! will jump to that section.

User Option: reftex-index-include-context

Non-nil means, display the index definition context in the *Index* buffer. This flag may also be toggled from the *Index* buffer with the c key.

User Option: reftex-index-follow-mode

Non-nil means, point in *Index* buffer will cause other window to follow. The other window will show the corresponding part of the document. This flag can be toggled from within the *Index* buffer with the f key.

Keymap: reftex-index-mode-map

The keymap which is active in the *Index* buffer (see Index Support).

18.7 Viewing Cross-References

User Option: reftex-view-crossref-extra

Macros which can be used for the display of cross references. This is used when reftex-view-crossref is called with point in an argument of a macro. Note that crossref viewing for citations, references (both ways) and index entries is hard-coded. This variable is only to configure additional structures for which crossreference viewing can be useful. Each entry has the structure

(macro-re search-re highlight).

macro-re is matched against the macro. search-re is the regexp used to search for cross references. ‘%s’ in this regexp is replaced with the macro argument at point. highlight is an integer indicating which subgroup of the match should be highlighted.

User Option: reftex-auto-view-crossref

Non-nil means, initially turn automatic viewing of crossref info on. Automatic viewing of crossref info normally uses the echo area. Whenever point is idle for more than reftex-idle-time seconds on the argument of a \ref or \cite macro, and no other message is being displayed, the echo area will display information about that cross reference. You can also set the variable to the symbol window. In this case a small temporary window is used for the display. This feature can be turned on and off from the menu (Ref->Options).

User Option: reftex-idle-time

Time (secs) Emacs has to be idle before automatic crossref display or toc recentering is done.

User Option: reftex-cite-view-format

Citation format used to display citation info in the message area. See the variable reftex-cite-format for possible percent escapes.

User Option: reftex-revisit-to-echo

Non-nil means, automatic citation display will revisit files if necessary. When nil, citation display in echo area will only be active for cached echo strings (see reftex-cache-cite-echo), or for BibTeX database files which are already visited by a live associated buffers.

User Option: reftex-cache-cite-echo

Non-nil means, the information displayed in the echo area for cite macros (see variable reftex-auto-view-crossref) is cached and saved along with the parsing information. The cache survives document scans. In order to clear it, use M-x reftex-reset-mode.

18.8 Finding Files

User Option: reftex-texpath-environment-variables

List of specifications how to retrieve the search path for TeX files. Several entries are possible.

  • If an element is the name of an environment variable, its content is used.
  • If an element starts with an exclamation mark, it is used as a command to retrieve the path. A typical command with the kpathsearch library would be "!kpsewhich -show-path=.tex".
  • Otherwise the element itself is interpreted as a path.

Multiple directories can be separated by the system dependent path-separator. Directories ending in ‘//’ or ‘!!’ will be expanded recursively. See also reftex-use-external-file-finders.

User Option: reftex-bibpath-environment-variables

List of specifications how to retrieve the search path for BibTeX files. Several entries are possible.

  • If an element is the name of an environment variable, its content is used.
  • If an element starts with an exclamation mark, it is used as a command to retrieve the path. A typical command with the kpathsearch library would be "!kpsewhich -show-path=.bib".
  • Otherwise the element itself is interpreted as a path.

Multiple directories can be separated by the system dependent path-separator. Directories ending in ‘//’ or ‘!!’ will be expanded recursively. See also reftex-use-external-file-finders.

User Option: reftex-file-extensions

Association list with file extensions for different file types. This is a list of items, each item is like: (type . (def-ext other-ext ...))

type:       File type like "bib" or "tex".
def-ext:    The default extension for that file type, like ".tex" or ".bib".
other-ext:  Any number of other valid extensions for this file type.

When a files is searched and it does not have any of the valid extensions, we try the default extension first, and then the naked file name.

User Option: reftex-search-unrecursed-path-first

Non-nil means, search all specified directories before trying recursion. Thus, in a path ‘.//:/tex/’, search first ‘./’, then ‘/tex/’, and then all subdirectories of ‘./’. If this option is nil, the subdirectories of ‘./’ are searched before ‘/tex/’. This is mainly for speed; most of the time the recursive path is for the system files and not for the user files. Set this to nil if the default makes RefTeX finding files with equal names in wrong sequence.

User Option: reftex-use-external-file-finders

Non-nil means, use external programs to find files. Normally, RefTeX searches the paths given in the environment variables TEXINPUTS and BIBINPUTS to find TeX files and BibTeX database files. With this option turned on, it calls an external program specified in the option reftex-external-file-finders instead. As a side effect, the variables reftex-texpath-environment-variables and reftex-bibpath-environment-variables will be ignored.

User Option: reftex-external-file-finders

Association list with external programs to call for finding files. Each entry is a cons cell (type . program). type is either "tex" or "bib". program is a string containing the external program to use with any arguments. %f will be replaced by the name of the file to be found. Note that these commands will be executed directly, not via a shell. Only relevant when reftex-use-external-file-finders is non-nil.

18.9 Optimizations

User Option: reftex-keep-temporary-buffers

Non-nil means, keep buffers created for parsing and lookup. RefTeX sometimes needs to visit files related to the current document. We distinguish files visited for


Parts of a multifile document loaded when (re)-parsing the document.


BibTeX database files and TeX files loaded to find a reference, to display label context, etc.

The created buffers can be kept for later use, or be thrown away immediately after use, depending on the value of this variable:


Throw away as much as possible.


Keep everything.


Throw away buffers created for parsing, but keep the ones created for lookup.

If a buffer is to be kept, the file is visited normally (which is potentially slow but will happen only once). If a buffer is to be thrown away, the initialization of the buffer depends upon the variable reftex-initialize-temporary-buffers.

User Option: reftex-initialize-temporary-buffers

Non-nil means do initializations even when visiting file temporarily. When nil, RefTeX may turn off find-file hooks and other stuff to briefly visit a file. When t, the full default initializations are done (find-file-hook etc.). Instead of t or nil, this variable may also be a list of hook functions to do a minimal initialization.

User Option: reftex-no-include-regexps

List of regular expressions to exclude certain input files from parsing. If the name of a file included via \include or \input is matched by any of the regular expressions in this list, that file is not parsed by RefTeX.

User Option: reftex-enable-partial-scans

Non-nil means, re-parse only 1 file when asked to re-parse. Re-parsing is normally requested with a C-u prefix to many RefTeX commands, or with the r key in menus. When this option is t in a multifile document, we will only parse the current buffer, or the file associated with the label or section heading near point in a menu. Requesting re-parsing of an entire multifile document then requires a C-u C-u prefix or the capital R key in menus.

User Option: reftex-save-parse-info

Non-nil means, save information gathered with parsing in files. The file MASTER.rel in the same directory as MASTER.tex is used to save the information. When this variable is t,

  • accessing the parsing information for the first time in an editing session will read that file (if available) instead of parsing the document.
  • exiting Emacs or killing a buffer in reftex-mode will cause a new version of the file to be written.
User Option: reftex-parse-file-extension

File extension for the file in which parser information is stored. This extension is added to the base name of the master file.

User Option: reftex-allow-automatic-rescan

Non-nil means, RefTeX may rescan the document when this seems necessary. Applies (currently) only in rare cases, when a new label cannot be placed with certainty into the internal label list.

User Option: reftex-use-multiple-selection-buffers

Non-nil means use a separate selection buffer for each label type. These buffers are kept from one selection to the next and need not be created for each use, so the menu generally comes up faster. The selection buffers will be erased (and therefore updated) automatically when new labels in its category are added. See the variable reftex-auto-update-selection-buffers.

User Option: reftex-auto-update-selection-buffers

Non-nil means, selection buffers will be updated automatically. When a new label is defined with reftex-label, all selection buffers associated with that label category are emptied, in order to force an update upon next use. When nil, the buffers are left alone and have to be updated by hand, with the g key from the label selection process. The value of this variable will only have any effect when reftex-use-multiple-selection-buffers is non-nil.

18.10 Fontification

User Option: reftex-use-fonts

Non-nil means, use fonts in label menu and on-the-fly help. Font-lock must be loaded as well to actually get fontified display. After changing this option, a rescan may be necessary to activate it.

User Option: reftex-refontify-context

Non-nil means, re-fontify the context in the label menu with font-lock. This slightly slows down the creation of the label menu. It is only necessary when you definitely want the context fontified.

This option may have 3 different values:


Never refontify.


Always refontify.


Refontify when necessary, e.g., with old versions of the x-symbol package.

The option is ignored when reftex-use-fonts is nil.

User Option: reftex-highlight-selection

Non-nil means, highlight selected text in selection and *toc* buffers. Normally, the text near the cursor is the selected text, and it is highlighted. This is the entry most keys in the selection and *toc* buffers act on. However, if you mainly use the mouse to select an item, you may find it nice to have mouse-triggered highlighting instead or as well. The variable may have one of these values:

nil      No highlighting.
cursor   Highlighting is cursor driven.
mouse    Highlighting is mouse driven.
both     Both cursor and mouse trigger highlighting.

Changing this variable requires rebuilding the selection and *toc* buffers to become effective (keys g or r).

User Option: reftex-cursor-selected-face

Face name to highlight cursor selected item in toc and selection buffers. See also the variable reftex-highlight-selection.

User Option: reftex-mouse-selected-face

Face name to highlight mouse selected item in toc and selection buffers. See also the variable reftex-highlight-selection.

User Option: reftex-file-boundary-face

Face name for file boundaries in selection buffer.

User Option: reftex-label-face

Face name for labels in selection buffer.

User Option: reftex-section-heading-face

Face name for section headings in toc and selection buffers.

User Option: reftex-toc-header-face

Face name for the header of a toc buffer.

User Option: reftex-bib-author-face

Face name for author names in bib selection buffer.

User Option: reftex-bib-year-face

Face name for year in bib selection buffer.

User Option: reftex-bib-title-face

Face name for article title in bib selection buffer.

User Option: reftex-bib-extra-face

Face name for bibliographic information in bib selection buffer.

User Option: reftex-select-mark-face

Face name for marked entries in the selection buffers.

User Option: reftex-index-header-face

Face name for the header of an index buffer.

User Option: reftex-index-section-face

Face name for the start of a new letter section in the index.

User Option: reftex-index-tag-face

Face name for index names (for multiple indices).

User Option: reftex-index-face

Face name for index entries.

18.11 Miscellaneous

User Option: reftex-extra-bindings

Non-nil means, make additional key bindings on startup. These extra bindings are located in the users ‘C-c letter’ map. See Default Key Bindings.

User Option: reftex-plug-into-AUCTeX

Plug-in flags for AUCTeX interface. This variable is a list of 5 boolean flags. When a flag is non-nil, RefTeX will

- supply labels in new sections and environments  (flag 1)
- supply arguments for macros like \label         (flag 2)
- supply arguments for macros like \ref           (flag 3)
- supply arguments for macros like \cite          (flag 4)
- supply arguments for macros like \index         (flag 5)

You may also set the variable itself to t or nil in order to turn all options on or off, respectively.
Supplying labels in new sections and environments applies when creating sections with C-c C-s and environments with C-c C-e.
Supplying macro arguments applies when you insert such a macro interactively with C-c RET.
See the AUCTeX documentation for more information.

User Option: reftex-revisit-to-follow

Non-nil means, follow-mode will revisit files if necessary. When nil, follow-mode will be suspended for stuff in unvisited files.

User Option: reftex-allow-detached-macro-args

Non-nil means, allow arguments of macros to be detached by whitespace. When this is t, the ‘aaa’ in ‘\bbb [xxx] {aaa} will be considered an argument of \bb. Note that this will be the case even if \bb is defined with zero or one argument.

18.12 Keymaps and Hooks

RefTeX has the usual general keymap, load hook and mode hook.

Keymap: reftex-mode-map

The keymap for RefTeX mode.

Normal Hook: reftex-mode-hook

Normal hook which is being run when turning on RefTeX mode.

Furthermore, the four modes used for referencing labels, creating citations, the table of contents buffer and the phrases buffer have their own keymaps and mode hooks. See the respective sections. There are many more hooks which are described in the relevant sections about options for a specific part of RefTeX.

19 Changes

Here is a list of recent changes to RefTeX.

Version 4.33

Version 4.32

Version 4.28

Version 4.26

Version 4.25

Version 4.24

Version 4.22

Version 4.21

Version 4.20

Version 4.19

Version 4.18

Version 4.17

Version 4.15

Version 4.12

Version 4.11

Version 4.10


Version 1.00

Appendix A GNU Free Documentation License

Version 1.3, 3 November 2008
Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

    The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document free in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially. Secondarily, this License preserves for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others.

    This License is a kind of “copyleft”, which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. It complements the GNU General Public License, which is a copyleft license designed for free software.

    We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for free software, because free software needs free documentation: a free program should come with manuals providing the same freedoms that the software does. But this License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it is published as a printed book. We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is instruction or reference.


    This License applies to any manual or other work, in any medium, that contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it can be distributed under the terms of this License. Such a notice grants a world-wide, royalty-free license, unlimited in duration, to use that work under the conditions stated herein. The “Document”, below, refers to any such manual or work. Any member of the public is a licensee, and is addressed as “you”. You accept the license if you copy, modify or distribute the work in a way requiring permission under copyright law.

    A “Modified Version” of the Document means any work containing the Document or a portion of it, either copied verbatim, or with modifications and/or translated into another language.

    A “Secondary Section” is a named appendix or a front-matter section of the Document that deals exclusively with the relationship of the publishers or authors of the Document to the Document’s overall subject (or to related matters) and contains nothing that could fall directly within that overall subject. (Thus, if the Document is in part a textbook of mathematics, a Secondary Section may not explain any mathematics.) The relationship could be a matter of historical connection with the subject or with related matters, or of legal, commercial, philosophical, ethical or political position regarding them.

    The “Invariant Sections” are certain Secondary Sections whose titles are designated, as being those of Invariant Sections, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License. If a section does not fit the above definition of Secondary then it is not allowed to be designated as Invariant. The Document may contain zero Invariant Sections. If the Document does not identify any Invariant Sections then there are none.

    The “Cover Texts” are certain short passages of text that are listed, as Front-Cover Texts or Back-Cover Texts, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License. A Front-Cover Text may be at most 5 words, and a Back-Cover Text may be at most 25 words.

    A “Transparent” copy of the Document means a machine-readable copy, represented in a format whose specification is available to the general public, that is suitable for revising the document straightforwardly with generic text editors or (for images composed of pixels) generic paint programs or (for drawings) some widely available drawing editor, and that is suitable for input to text formatters or for automatic translation to a variety of formats suitable for input to text formatters. A copy made in an otherwise Transparent file format whose markup, or absence of markup, has been arranged to thwart or discourage subsequent modification by readers is not Transparent. An image format is not Transparent if used for any substantial amount of text. A copy that is not “Transparent” is called “Opaque”.

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    The “Title Page” means, for a printed book, the title page itself, plus such following pages as are needed to hold, legibly, the material this License requires to appear in the title page. For works in formats which do not have any title page as such, “Title Page” means the text near the most prominent appearance of the work’s title, preceding the beginning of the body of the text.

    The “publisher” means any person or entity that distributes copies of the Document to the public.

    A section “Entitled XYZ” means a named subunit of the Document whose title either is precisely XYZ or contains XYZ in parentheses following text that translates XYZ in another language. (Here XYZ stands for a specific section name mentioned below, such as “Acknowledgements”, “Dedications”, “Endorsements”, or “History”.) To “Preserve the Title” of such a section when you modify the Document means that it remains a section “Entitled XYZ” according to this definition.

    The Document may include Warranty Disclaimers next to the notice which states that this License applies to the Document. These Warranty Disclaimers are considered to be included by reference in this License, but only as regards disclaiming warranties: any other implication that these Warranty Disclaimers may have is void and has no effect on the meaning of this License.


    You may copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either commercially or noncommercially, provided that this License, the copyright notices, and the license notice saying this License applies to the Document are reproduced in all copies, and that you add no other conditions whatsoever to those of this License. You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the reading or further copying of the copies you make or distribute. However, you may accept compensation in exchange for copies. If you distribute a large enough number of copies you must also follow the conditions in section 3.

    You may also lend copies, under the same conditions stated above, and you may publicly display copies.


    If you publish printed copies (or copies in media that commonly have printed covers) of the Document, numbering more than 100, and the Document’s license notice requires Cover Texts, you must enclose the copies in covers that carry, clearly and legibly, all these Cover Texts: Front-Cover Texts on the front cover, and Back-Cover Texts on the back cover. Both covers must also clearly and legibly identify you as the publisher of these copies. The front cover must present the full title with all words of the title equally prominent and visible. You may add other material on the covers in addition. Copying with changes limited to the covers, as long as they preserve the title of the Document and satisfy these conditions, can be treated as verbatim copying in other respects.

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    It is requested, but not required, that you contact the authors of the Document well before redistributing any large number of copies, to give them a chance to provide you with an updated version of the Document.


    You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Document under the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that you release the Modified Version under precisely this License, with the Modified Version filling the role of the Document, thus licensing distribution and modification of the Modified Version to whoever possesses a copy of it. In addition, you must do these things in the Modified Version:

    1. Use in the Title Page (and on the covers, if any) a title distinct from that of the Document, and from those of previous versions (which should, if there were any, be listed in the History section of the Document). You may use the same title as a previous version if the original publisher of that version gives permission.
    2. List on the Title Page, as authors, one or more persons or entities responsible for authorship of the modifications in the Modified Version, together with at least five of the principal authors of the Document (all of its principal authors, if it has fewer than five), unless they release you from this requirement.
    3. State on the Title page the name of the publisher of the Modified Version, as the publisher.
    4. Preserve all the copyright notices of the Document.
    5. Add an appropriate copyright notice for your modifications adjacent to the other copyright notices.
    6. Include, immediately after the copyright notices, a license notice giving the public permission to use the Modified Version under the terms of this License, in the form shown in the Addendum below.
    7. Preserve in that license notice the full lists of Invariant Sections and required Cover Texts given in the Document’s license notice.
    8. Include an unaltered copy of this License.
    9. Preserve the section Entitled “History”, Preserve its Title, and add to it an item stating at least the title, year, new authors, and publisher of the Modified Version as given on the Title Page. If there is no section Entitled “History” in the Document, create one stating the title, year, authors, and publisher of the Document as given on its Title Page, then add an item describing the Modified Version as stated in the previous sentence.
    10. Preserve the network location, if any, given in the Document for public access to a Transparent copy of the Document, and likewise the network locations given in the Document for previous versions it was based on. These may be placed in the “History” section. You may omit a network location for a work that was published at least four years before the Document itself, or if the original publisher of the version it refers to gives permission.
    11. For any section Entitled “Acknowledgements” or “Dedications”, Preserve the Title of the section, and preserve in the section all the substance and tone of each of the contributor acknowledgements and/or dedications given therein.
    12. Preserve all the Invariant Sections of the Document, unaltered in their text and in their titles. Section numbers or the equivalent are not considered part of the section titles.
    13. Delete any section Entitled “Endorsements”. Such a section may not be included in the Modified Version.
    14. Do not retitle any existing section to be Entitled “Endorsements” or to conflict in title with any Invariant Section.
    15. Preserve any Warranty Disclaimers.

    If the Modified Version includes new front-matter sections or appendices that qualify as Secondary Sections and contain no material copied from the Document, you may at your option designate some or all of these sections as invariant. To do this, add their titles to the list of Invariant Sections in the Modified Version’s license notice. These titles must be distinct from any other section titles.

    You may add a section Entitled “Endorsements”, provided it contains nothing but endorsements of your Modified Version by various parties—for example, statements of peer review or that the text has been approved by an organization as the authoritative definition of a standard.

    You may add a passage of up to five words as a Front-Cover Text, and a passage of up to 25 words as a Back-Cover Text, to the end of the list of Cover Texts in the Modified Version. Only one passage of Front-Cover Text and one of Back-Cover Text may be added by (or through arrangements made by) any one entity. If the Document already includes a cover text for the same cover, previously added by you or by arrangement made by the same entity you are acting on behalf of, you may not add another; but you may replace the old one, on explicit permission from the previous publisher that added the old one.

    The author(s) and publisher(s) of the Document do not by this License give permission to use their names for publicity for or to assert or imply endorsement of any Modified Version.


    You may combine the Document with other documents released under this License, under the terms defined in section 4 above for modified versions, provided that you include in the combination all of the Invariant Sections of all of the original documents, unmodified, and list them all as Invariant Sections of your combined work in its license notice, and that you preserve all their Warranty Disclaimers.

    The combined work need only contain one copy of this License, and multiple identical Invariant Sections may be replaced with a single copy. If there are multiple Invariant Sections with the same name but different contents, make the title of each such section unique by adding at the end of it, in parentheses, the name of the original author or publisher of that section if known, or else a unique number. Make the same adjustment to the section titles in the list of Invariant Sections in the license notice of the combined work.

    In the combination, you must combine any sections Entitled “History” in the various original documents, forming one section Entitled “History”; likewise combine any sections Entitled “Acknowledgements”, and any sections Entitled “Dedications”. You must delete all sections Entitled “Endorsements.”


    You may make a collection consisting of the Document and other documents released under this License, and replace the individual copies of this License in the various documents with a single copy that is included in the collection, provided that you follow the rules of this License for verbatim copying of each of the documents in all other respects.

    You may extract a single document from such a collection, and distribute it individually under this License, provided you insert a copy of this License into the extracted document, and follow this License in all other respects regarding verbatim copying of that document.


    A compilation of the Document or its derivatives with other separate and independent documents or works, in or on a volume of a storage or distribution medium, is called an “aggregate” if the copyright resulting from the compilation is not used to limit the legal rights of the compilation’s users beyond what the individual works permit. When the Document is included in an aggregate, this License does not apply to the other works in the aggregate which are not themselves derivative works of the Document.

    If the Cover Text requirement of section 3 is applicable to these copies of the Document, then if the Document is less than one half of the entire aggregate, the Document’s Cover Texts may be placed on covers that bracket the Document within the aggregate, or the electronic equivalent of covers if the Document is in electronic form. Otherwise they must appear on printed covers that bracket the whole aggregate.


    Translation is considered a kind of modification, so you may distribute translations of the Document under the terms of section 4. Replacing Invariant Sections with translations requires special permission from their copyright holders, but you may include translations of some or all Invariant Sections in addition to the original versions of these Invariant Sections. You may include a translation of this License, and all the license notices in the Document, and any Warranty Disclaimers, provided that you also include the original English version of this License and the original versions of those notices and disclaimers. In case of a disagreement between the translation and the original version of this License or a notice or disclaimer, the original version will prevail.

    If a section in the Document is Entitled “Acknowledgements”, “Dedications”, or “History”, the requirement (section 4) to Preserve its Title (section 1) will typically require changing the actual title.


    You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Document except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute it is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.

    However, if you cease all violation of this License, then your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated (a) provisionally, unless and until the copyright holder explicitly and finally terminates your license, and (b) permanently, if the copyright holder fails to notify you of the violation by some reasonable means prior to 60 days after the cessation.

    Moreover, your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated permanently if the copyright holder notifies you of the violation by some reasonable means, this is the first time you have received notice of violation of this License (for any work) from that copyright holder, and you cure the violation prior to 30 days after your receipt of the notice.

    Termination of your rights under this section does not terminate the licenses of parties who have received copies or rights from you under this License. If your rights have been terminated and not permanently reinstated, receipt of a copy of some or all of the same material does not give you any rights to use it.


    The Free Software Foundation may publish new, revised versions of the GNU Free Documentation License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns. See

    Each version of the License is given a distinguishing version number. If the Document specifies that a particular numbered version of this License “or any later version” applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that specified version or of any later version that has been published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation. If the Document does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation. If the Document specifies that a proxy can decide which future versions of this License can be used, that proxy’s public statement of acceptance of a version permanently authorizes you to choose that version for the Document.


    “Massive Multiauthor Collaboration Site” (or “MMC Site”) means any World Wide Web server that publishes copyrightable works and also provides prominent facilities for anybody to edit those works. A public wiki that anybody can edit is an example of such a server. A “Massive Multiauthor Collaboration” (or “MMC”) contained in the site means any set of copyrightable works thus published on the MMC site.

    “CC-BY-SA” means the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license published by Creative Commons Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation with a principal place of business in San Francisco, California, as well as future copyleft versions of that license published by that same organization.

    “Incorporate” means to publish or republish a Document, in whole or in part, as part of another Document.

    An MMC is “eligible for relicensing” if it is licensed under this License, and if all works that were first published under this License somewhere other than this MMC, and subsequently incorporated in whole or in part into the MMC, (1) had no cover texts or invariant sections, and (2) were thus incorporated prior to November 1, 2008.

    The operator of an MMC Site may republish an MMC contained in the site under CC-BY-SA on the same site at any time before August 1, 2009, provided the MMC is eligible for relicensing.

ADDENDUM: How to use this License for your documents

To use this License in a document you have written, include a copy of the License in the document and put the following copyright and license notices just after the title page:

  Copyright (C)  year  your name.
  Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
  under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3
  or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
  with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
  Texts.  A copy of the license is included in the section entitled ``GNU
  Free Documentation License''.

If you have Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts and Back-Cover Texts, replace the “with…Texts.” line with this:

    with the Invariant Sections being list their titles, with
    the Front-Cover Texts being list, and with the Back-Cover Texts
    being list.

If you have Invariant Sections without Cover Texts, or some other combination of the three, merge those two alternatives to suit the situation.

If your document contains nontrivial examples of program code, we recommend releasing these examples in parallel under your choice of free software license, such as the GNU General Public License, to permit their use in free software.


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Index Entry  Section

*toc* buffer: Table of Contents
*toc* buffer, recentering: Table of Contents

?: Table of Contents
?: Referencing Labels
?: Creating Citations
?: Displaying and Editing the Index

\bibitem: Viewing Cross-References
\bibliography: Creating Citations
\cite: Citations
\cite: Viewing Cross-References
\endnote, LaTeX macro: Builtin Label Environments
\eqref, AMS-LaTeX macro: Using \eqref
\externaldocument: LaTeX xr Package
\footnote, LaTeX macro: Builtin Label Environments
\index: Index Support
\index: Viewing Cross-References
\label: Labels and References
\label: Viewing Cross-References
\newtheorem: Theorem and Axiom
\ref: Referencing Labels
\ref: Viewing Cross-References

Acknowledgments: Imprint
align, AMS-LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
alignat, AMS-LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
AMS-LaTeX: Builtin Label Environments
AMS-LaTeX: Using \eqref
amsmath, LaTeX package: Builtin Label Environments
AUCTeX, Emacs package: AUCTeX
Automatic document scans: Optimizations
axiom, newtheorem: Theorem and Axiom

Beqnarray, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
bib-cite, Emacs package: Bib-Cite
bib-cite-use-reftex-view-crossref: Bib-Cite
BIBINPUTS, environment variable: Installation
BIBINPUTS, environment variable: Creating Citations
Bibliographies, multiple: Chapterbib and Bibunits
BibTeX buffer, viewing cite locations from: Viewing Cross-References
BibTeX database files, not found: Installation
BibTeX database subsets: BibTeX Database Subsets
bibunits, LaTeX package: Chapterbib and Bibunits
Bug reports: Imprint
Builtin index macros: Builtin Index Macros
Builtin label environments: Builtin Label Environments

C-c &: Reference Info
C-c &: Citation Info
C-c &: Viewing Cross-References
C-c &: Key Bindings
C-c (: Creating Labels
C-c (: Key Bindings
C-c ): Referencing Labels
C-c ): Key Bindings
C-c -: Table of Contents
C-c -: Key Bindings
C-c /: Creating Index Entries
C-c /: Key Bindings
C-c <: Creating Index Entries
C-c <: Key Bindings
C-c =: Table of Contents
C-c =: Key Bindings
C-c >: Displaying and Editing the Index
C-c >: Key Bindings
C-c c: Key Bindings
C-c C-e: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
C-c C-i: Consistency Checks
C-c C-s: Consistency Checks
C-c C-s: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
C-c C-t: Consistency Checks
C-c g: Key Bindings
C-c l: Key Bindings
C-c r: Key Bindings
C-c RET: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
C-c s: Key Bindings
C-c t: Key Bindings
C-c v: Key Bindings
C-c [: Creating Citations
C-c [: Key Bindings
C-c \: Key Bindings
C-c |: The Index Phrases File
C-c |: Key Bindings
Changes: Changes
chapterbib, LaTeX package: Chapterbib and Bibunits
chicago, citation style: Citation Styles
Citation info: Citation Info
Citation styles: Citation Styles
Citation styles, chicago: Citation Styles
Citation styles, ConTeXt: Citation Styles
Citation styles, harvard: Citation Styles
Citation styles, jurabib: Citation Styles
Citation styles, natbib: Citation Styles
Citations: Citations
Citations outside LaTeX: Citations Outside LaTeX
Citations, creating: Creating Citations
Citations, displaying: Citation Info
Collecting index phrases: Collecting Phrases
Commands, list of: Commands
Consistency check for index phrases: Consistency Checks
ConTeXt, citation style: Citation Styles
Creating citations: Creating Citations
Creating citations, options: Options - Creating Citations
Creating index entries: Creating Index Entries
Creating labels: Creating Labels
Creating labels, options: Options - Creating Labels
Cross-document references: LaTeX xr Package
Cross-references, displaying: Reference Info

Defining Index Macros: Defining Index Macros
Defining label environments, options: Options - Defining Label Environments
Displaying citations: Citation Info
Displaying cross-references: Reference Info
Displaying the Index: Displaying and Editing the Index
Document scanning, automatic: Optimizations
Document scanning, partial: Optimizations
Documents, spread over files: Multifile Documents

Editing the Index: Displaying and Editing the Index
Emacs packages, AUCTeX: AUCTeX
Emacs packages, bib-cite: Bib-Cite
Emacs packages, iso-cvt: Problems and Work-Arounds
Emacs packages, isotex: Problems and Work-Arounds
Emacs packages, x-symbol: Problems and Work-Arounds
endnote, LaTeX package: Builtin Label Environments
enumerate, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
Environments without \begin: Non-Standard Environments
Environments, builtin: Builtin Label Environments
eqnarray, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
equation, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
External documents: LaTeX xr Package

Faces: Faces
fancybox, LaTeX package: Builtin Label Environments
fancyref, LaTeX package: Reference Styles
Figure wrapping macro: Figure Wrapper
figure*, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
figure, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
figwindow, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
Finding files: Installation
Finding files: Finding Files
Finding files, options: Options - Finding Files
flalign, AMS-LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
floatfig, LaTeX package: Builtin Label Environments
floatingfig, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
Fontification, options: Options - Fontification
ftp, RefTeX site: Imprint

gather, AMS-LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
German magic words: Adding Magic Words
Getting Started: RefTeX in a Nutshell
Global indexing: Global Indexing

harvard, citation style: Citation Styles
http, RefTeX website: Imprint

Imprint: Imprint
Index entries, creating: Creating Index Entries
Index entries, creating: Displaying and Editing the Index
Index macros, builtin: Builtin Index Macros
Index macros, defining: Defining Index Macros
Index phrase file: The Index Phrases File
Index phrases, collection: Collecting Phrases
Index phrases, consistency checks: Consistency Checks
Index Support: Index Support
Index support, options: Options - Index Support
Index, displaying: Displaying and Editing the Index
Index, editing: Displaying and Editing the Index
index, LaTeX package: Builtin Index Macros
Indexing, from phrases buffer: Global Indexing
Indexing, global: Global Indexing
Installation: Installation
Introduction: Introduction
iso-cvt, Emacs package: Problems and Work-Arounds
isotex, Emacs package: Problems and Work-Arounds

jurabib, citation style: Citation Styles

Key Bindings, summary: Key Bindings
Keymaps: Keymaps and Hooks
KOMA-Script, LaTeX classes: Table of Contents

Label category: Labels and References
Label category: Adding Magic Words
Label category: Using \eqref
Label environment: Labels and References
Label environments, builtin: Builtin Label Environments
Label environments, defining: Defining Label Environments
Labels in LaTeX: Labels and References
Labels, commented out: Problems and Work-Arounds
Labels, creating: Creating Labels
Labels, deriving from context: Creating Labels
Labels, referencing: Referencing Labels
Language support: Language Support
LaTeX classes, KOMA-Script: Table of Contents
LaTeX commands, abbreviated: Non-Standard Environments
LaTeX commands, not found: Problems and Work-Arounds
LaTeX core: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX macro footnote: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, amsmath: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, endnote: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, fancybox: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, fancyref: Reference Styles
LaTeX packages, floatfig: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, index: Builtin Index Macros
LaTeX packages, linguex: Non-Standard Environments
LaTeX packages, longtable: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, multind: Builtin Index Macros
LaTeX packages, pf: Problems and Work-Arounds
LaTeX packages, picinpar: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, rotating: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, saferef: Referencing Labels
LaTeX packages, sidecap: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, subfigure: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, supertab: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, varioref: Reference Styles
LaTeX packages, wrapfig: Builtin Label Environments
LaTeX packages, xr: LaTeX xr Package
LaTeX-add-environments, AUCTeX: Style Files
LaTeX-label-function, AUCTeX: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
LaTeX-mode-hook: Installation
latex-mode-hook: Installation
LaTeX-section, AUCTeX: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
linguex, LaTeX package: Non-Standard Environments
longtable, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
longtable, LaTeX package: Builtin Label Environments

Macro definition lines, in phrase buffer: The Index Phrases File
Macros as environment wrappers: Quick Equation
Macros as environment wrappers: Figure Wrapper
Magic words: Adding Magic Words
Maintainer: Imprint
Menu, in the menu bar: RefTeXs Menu
Multifile documents: Multifile Documents
multind, LaTeX package: Builtin Index Macros
Multiple selection buffers: Optimizations
multline, AMS-LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments

natbib, citation style: Citation Styles
Non-standard environments: Non-Standard Environments
Noweb files: Finding Files
Nutshell, RefTeX in a: RefTeX in a Nutshell

Optimizations: Optimizations
Optimizations, options: Options - Optimizations
Options, creating citations: Options - Creating Citations
Options, creating labels: Options - Creating Labels
Options, defining label environments: Options - Defining Label Environments
Options, Finding Files: Options - Finding Files
Options, fontification: Options - Fontification
Options, Index support: Options - Index Support
Options, list of: Options
Options, misc: Options - Misc
Options, optimizations: Options - Optimizations
Options, referencing labels: Options - Referencing Labels
Options, table of contents: Options - Table of Contents
Options, viewing cross-references: Options - Viewing Cross-References

Parse information, saving to a file: Optimizations
Parse information, saving to a file: Optimizations
Parser functions, for special environments: Non-Standard Environments
Partial documents scans: Optimizations
pf, LaTeX package: Problems and Work-Arounds
Phrase file: The Index Phrases File
Phrases, collecting: Collecting Phrases
Phrases, consistency checks: Consistency Checks
picinpar, LaTeX package: Builtin Label Environments
Problems and work-arounds: Problems and Work-Arounds

Quick equation macro: Quick Equation
Quick-Start: RefTeX in a Nutshell

Reference info: Reference Info
References in LaTeX: Labels and References
References to external documents: LaTeX xr Package
Referencing labels: Referencing Labels
Referencing labels, options: Options - Referencing Labels
RefTeX in a Nutshell: RefTeX in a Nutshell
reftex-abbrev-parameters: Creating Labels
reftex-abbrev-parameters: Language Support
reftex-abbrev-parameters: Options - Creating Labels
reftex-add-index-macros: Style Files
reftex-add-label-environments: Style Files
reftex-add-label-environments: Problems and Work-Arounds
reftex-add-section-levels: Style Files
reftex-add-section-levels: Problems and Work-Arounds
reftex-add-to-label-alist: Style Files
reftex-allow-automatic-rescan: Optimizations
reftex-allow-automatic-rescan: Options - Optimizations
reftex-allow-detached-macro-args: Options - Misc
reftex-arg-cite: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
reftex-arg-index: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
reftex-arg-label: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
reftex-arg-ref: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
reftex-auto-recenter-toc: Table of Contents
reftex-auto-recenter-toc: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-auto-update-selection-buffers: Optimizations
reftex-auto-update-selection-buffers: Options - Optimizations
reftex-auto-view-crossref: Options - Viewing Cross-References
reftex-bib-author-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-bib-extra-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-bib-title-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-bib-year-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-bibfile-ignore-regexps: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-bibliography-commands: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-bibpath-environment-variables: Options - Finding Files
reftex-cache-cite-echo: Options - Viewing Cross-References
reftex-change-label: Commands
reftex-citation: Creating Citations
reftex-citation: Commands
reftex-cite-cleanup-optional-args: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-cite-comment-format: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-cite-format: Citation Styles
reftex-cite-format: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-cite-key-separator: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-cite-prompt-optional-args: Citation Styles
reftex-cite-prompt-optional-args: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-cite-punctuation: Language Support
reftex-cite-punctuation: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-cite-view-format: Options - Viewing Cross-References
reftex-comment-citations: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-create-bibtex-file: BibTeX Database Subsets
reftex-create-bibtex-file: Commands
reftex-create-bibtex-footer: Commands
reftex-create-bibtex-footer: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-create-bibtex-header: Commands
reftex-create-bibtex-header: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-create-tags-file: Commands
reftex-cursor-selected-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-customize: Commands
reftex-default-bibliography: Citations Outside LaTeX
reftex-default-bibliography: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-default-context-regexps: Options - Defining Label Environments
reftex-default-label-alist-entries: Options - Defining Label Environments
reftex-derive-label-parameters: Creating Labels
reftex-derive-label-parameters: Language Support
reftex-derive-label-parameters: Options - Creating Labels
reftex-display-copied-context-hook: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-display-index: Displaying and Editing the Index
reftex-display-index: Commands
reftex-enable-partial-scans: Table of Contents
reftex-enable-partial-scans: Referencing Labels
reftex-enable-partial-scans: Displaying and Editing the Index
reftex-enable-partial-scans: Optimizations
reftex-enable-partial-scans: Problems and Work-Arounds
reftex-enable-partial-scans: Options - Optimizations
reftex-external-file-finders: Options - Finding Files
reftex-extra-bindings: Key Bindings
reftex-extra-bindings: Options - Misc
reftex-file-boundary-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-file-extensions: Finding Files
reftex-file-extensions: Options - Finding Files
reftex-find-duplicate-labels: Commands
reftex-format-cite-function: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-format-label-function: Options - Creating Labels
reftex-format-ref-function: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-fref-is-default (deprecated): Reference Styles
reftex-goto-label: Commands
reftex-grep-document: Commands
reftex-guess-label-type: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-highlight-selection: Table of Contents
reftex-highlight-selection: Referencing Labels
reftex-highlight-selection: Creating Citations
reftex-highlight-selection: Options - Fontification
reftex-idle-time: Table of Contents
reftex-idle-time: Options - Viewing Cross-References
reftex-include-file-commands: Multifile Documents
reftex-include-file-commands: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-index: Creating Index Entries
reftex-index: Commands
reftex-index-default-macro: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-default-tag: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-index-follow-mode: Displaying and Editing the Index
reftex-index-follow-mode: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-header-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-index-include-context: Displaying and Editing the Index
reftex-index-include-context: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-macros: Builtin Index Macros
reftex-index-macros: Defining Index Macros
reftex-index-macros: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-math-format: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-mode-map: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-phrase-file-extension: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-phrase-selection-or-word: Commands
reftex-index-phrases-apply-to-region: Commands
reftex-index-phrases-case-fold-search: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-phrases-logical-and-regexp: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-phrases-logical-or-regexp: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-phrases-mode-hook: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-phrases-mode-map: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-phrases-search-whole-words: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-phrases-skip-indexed-matches: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-phrases-sort-in-blocks: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-phrases-sort-prefers-entry: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-phrases-wrap-long-lines: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-section-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-index-section-letters: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-selection-or-word: Creating Index Entries
reftex-index-selection-or-word: Commands
reftex-index-special-chars: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-tag-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-index-verify-function: Options - Index Support
reftex-index-visit-phrases-buffer: The Index Phrases File
reftex-index-visit-phrases-buffer: Commands
reftex-info: Commands
reftex-initialize-temporary-buffers: Problems and Work-Arounds
reftex-initialize-temporary-buffers: Options - Optimizations
reftex-insert-label-flags: Creating Labels
reftex-insert-label-flags: Theorem and Axiom
reftex-insert-label-flags: Options - Creating Labels
reftex-isearch-minor-mode: Commands
reftex-keep-temporary-buffers: Optimizations
reftex-keep-temporary-buffers: Problems and Work-Arounds
reftex-keep-temporary-buffers: Options - Optimizations
reftex-label: Creating Labels
reftex-label: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
reftex-label: Commands
reftex-label-alist: Builtin Label Environments
reftex-label-alist: Defining Label Environments
reftex-label-alist: Viewing Cross-References
reftex-label-alist: Options - Defining Label Environments
reftex-label-alist-builtin: Builtin Label Environments
reftex-label-alist-builtin: Defining Label Environments
reftex-label-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-label-illegal-re: Creating Labels
reftex-label-illegal-re: Language Support
reftex-label-illegal-re: Options - Creating Labels
reftex-label-menu-flags: Referencing Labels
reftex-label-menu-flags: Theorem and Axiom
reftex-label-menu-flags: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-level-indent: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-max-section-depth: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-mode: Installation
reftex-mode-hook: Keymaps and Hooks
reftex-mode-map: Keymaps and Hooks
reftex-mouse-selected-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-mouse-view-crossref: Reference Info
reftex-mouse-view-crossref: Citation Info
reftex-mouse-view-crossref: Viewing Cross-References
reftex-multiref-punctuation: Referencing Labels
reftex-multiref-punctuation: Language Support
reftex-multiref-punctuation: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-no-include-regexps: Options - Optimizations
reftex-parse-document: Commands
reftex-parse-file-extension: Optimizations
reftex-parse-file-extension: Options - Optimizations
reftex-part-resets-chapter: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-plug-into-AUCTeX: Options - Misc
reftex-pre-refontification-functions: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-query-replace-document: Commands
reftex-ref-macro-prompt: Referencing Labels
reftex-ref-macro-prompt: Reference Styles
reftex-ref-macro-prompt: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-ref-style-alist: Reference Styles
reftex-ref-style-alist: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-ref-style-default-list: Reference Styles
reftex-ref-style-default-list: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-reference: Referencing Labels
reftex-reference: Commands
reftex-refontify-context: Problems and Work-Arounds
reftex-refontify-context: Options - Fontification
reftex-renumber-simple-labels: Commands
reftex-reset-mode: Commands
reftex-revisit-to-echo: Options - Viewing Cross-References
reftex-revisit-to-follow: Table of Contents
reftex-revisit-to-follow: Referencing Labels
reftex-revisit-to-follow: Displaying and Editing the Index
reftex-revisit-to-follow: Options - Misc
reftex-save-parse-info: Optimizations
reftex-save-parse-info: Options - Optimizations
reftex-search-document: Commands
reftex-search-unrecursed-path-first: Options - Finding Files
reftex-section-heading-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-section-levels: Table of Contents
reftex-section-levels: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-section-prefixes: Options - Defining Label Environments
reftex-select-bib-mode-hook: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-select-bib-mode-map: Creating Citations
reftex-select-bib-mode-map: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-select-label-mode-hook: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-select-label-mode-map: Referencing Labels
reftex-select-label-mode-map: Options - Referencing Labels
reftex-select-mark-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-set-cite-format: Style Files
reftex-set-cite-format: Problems and Work-Arounds
reftex-show-commentary: Commands
reftex-sort-bibtex-matches: Options - Creating Citations
reftex-string-to-label-function: Options - Creating Labels
reftex-support-index: Options - Index Support
reftex-texpath-environment-variables: Options - Finding Files
reftex-toc: Table of Contents
reftex-toc: Commands
reftex-toc-follow-mode: Table of Contents
reftex-toc-follow-mode: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-toc-header-face: Options - Fontification
reftex-toc-include-context: Table of Contents
reftex-toc-include-context: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-toc-include-file-boundaries: Table of Contents
reftex-toc-include-file-boundaries: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-toc-include-index-entries: Table of Contents
reftex-toc-include-index-entries: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-toc-include-labels: Table of Contents
reftex-toc-include-labels: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-toc-keep-other-windows: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-toc-max-level: Table of Contents
reftex-toc-max-level: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-toc-mode-hook: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-toc-mode-map: Table of Contents
reftex-toc-mode-map: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-toc-recenter: Table of Contents
reftex-toc-split-windows-fraction: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-toc-split-windows-horizontally: Options - Table of Contents
reftex-translate-to-ascii-function: Creating Labels
reftex-translate-to-ascii-function: Language Support
reftex-translate-to-ascii-function: Options - Creating Labels
reftex-trust-label-prefix: Referencing Labels
reftex-trust-label-prefix: Optimizations
reftex-trust-label-prefix: Options - Defining Label Environments
reftex-use-external-file-finders: Options - Finding Files
reftex-use-fonts: Options - Fontification
reftex-use-multiple-selection-buffers: Optimizations
reftex-use-multiple-selection-buffers: Options - Optimizations
reftex-view-crossref: Reference Info
reftex-view-crossref: Citation Info
reftex-view-crossref: Viewing Cross-References
reftex-view-crossref: Commands
reftex-view-crossref-extra: Viewing Cross-References
reftex-view-crossref-extra: Options - Viewing Cross-References
reftex-view-crossref-from-bibtex: Commands
reftex-vref-is-default (deprecated): Reference Styles
RefTeXs Menu: RefTeXs Menu
Removing lookup buffers: Optimizations
rotating, LaTeX package: Builtin Label Environments

S-mouse-2: Reference Info
S-mouse-2: Citation Info
S-mouse-2: Viewing Cross-References
S-mouse-2: Key Bindings
saferef, LaTeX package: Referencing Labels
Saving parser information: Optimizations
SCfigure, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
SCtable, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
Section numbers, wrong: Problems and Work-Arounds
Sectioning commands: Table of Contents
Selection buffer, citations: Creating Citations
Selection buffer, labels: Referencing Labels
Selection buffers, multiple: Optimizations
Selection buffers, updating: Optimizations
Selection process: Referencing Labels
Selection process: Creating Citations
Settings, local: Problems and Work-Arounds
sidecap, LaTeX package: Builtin Label Environments
sidewaysfigure, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
sidewaystable, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
Special parser functions: Non-Standard Environments
Structure editing: Table of Contents
Style files, AUCTeX: Style Files
subequations, AMS-LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
subfig, LaTeX package: Builtin Label Environments
subfigure*, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
subfigure, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
supertab, LaTeX package: Builtin Label Environments
supertabular, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments

Table of contents buffer: Table of Contents
Table of contents buffer, recentering: Table of Contents
Table of contents, options: Options - Table of Contents
table*, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
table, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
tabwindow, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
TeX files, not found: Installation
TeX-add-style-hook, AUCTeX: Style Files
TeX-arg-cite, AUCTeX function: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
TeX-arg-index, AUCTeX function: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
TeX-arg-label, AUCTeX function: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
TeX-arg-ref, AUCTeX function: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
TeX-file-extensions: Finding Files
TeX-insert-macro, AUCTeX: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
TeX-insert-macro, AUCTeX function: AUCTeX-RefTeX Interface
tex-main-file: Multifile Documents
TeX-master: Multifile Documents
TEXBIB, environment variable: Creating Citations
TEXINPUTS, environment variable: Installation
Thanks: Imprint
thebibliography, LaTeX environment: Creating Citations
theorem, newtheorem: Theorem and Axiom
TOC entries for environments: Table of Contents
turn-on-reftex: Installation

varioref, LaTeX package: Reference Styles
Viewing citations: Citation Info
Viewing cite locations from BibTeX buffer: Viewing Cross-References
Viewing cross-references: Reference Info
Viewing cross-references, options: Options - Viewing Cross-References

wrapfig, LaTeX package: Builtin Label Environments
wrapfigure, LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments

x-symbol, Emacs package: Problems and Work-Arounds
xalignat, AMS-LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments
xr, LaTeX package: LaTeX xr Package
xxalignat, AMS-LaTeX environment: Builtin Label Environments



Note that the context may contain constructs which are invalid in labels. RefTeX will therefore strip the accent from accented Latin-1 characters and remove everything else which is not valid in labels. This mechanism is safe, but may not be satisfactory for non-western languages. Check the following variables if you need to change things: reftex-translate-to-ascii-function, reftex-derive-label-parameters, reftex-label-illegal-re, reftex-abbrev-parameters.


You could, e.g., bind reftex-varioref-vref to C-c v and reftex-fancyref-fref to C-c f.


&&’ with optional spaces, see reftex-index-phrases-logical-and-regexp.


||’ with optional spaces, see reftex-index-phrases-logical-or-regexp.


Windows users: Restrict yourself to the described keys during indexing. Pressing Help at the indexing prompt can apparently hang Emacs.


We are using the syntax of the index package here.


all macros that start with ‘ref’ or end with ‘ref’ or ‘refrange


all macros that either start or end with ‘cite


RefTeX 4.0 and AUCTeX 9.10c will be needed for all of this to work. Parts of it work also with earlier versions.


fset is used to do this, which is not reversible. However, RefTeX implements the old functionality when you later decide to turn off the interface.


This used to be the function reftex-add-to-label-alist which is still available as an alias for compatibility.