Latex and database integrity

Dear All,

I’m a newbie currently testing DT to see what it can do for me.

As an academic in economics I’m writing notes and papers in Latex only because i need lots of formulas so rtf etc. is not an option. So my question is (and I have checked the forum posts on Latex from the last couple of years):

When I move a latex file into DT then I have to open it with, say, TexShop to work with it and compile it. But then Latex creates a lot of files into the DT folder where the latex file resides (which is what I want). But can this create any trouble with the DT database, because the files Latex has created do not show up in the group folder in DT. I don’t care to see these files, but I want to be sure that this is a safe way to work (in terms of data integrity).

In other words, is it a good idea to import latex files into DT or is it better to just index them?

many thanks,


me again…

Well, if DT does not automatically show the pdf file I created from compiling the tex-file, then this is not of much use.

Am I missing anything? There must be many DT users who use latex. How do you combine latex and DT?

many thanks,


Modifications of the database package (by the user or by other software) are not recommended, only external editing & saving is fully supported. Therefore in this case indexing is more suitable.

thanks for the quick response!


I concur. I’ve found it most convenient to index my LaTeX projects. Once one is “Done” I will import a final PDF, remove the indexed project, and archive the directory somewhere in case I want to make modifications.

As a follow-up question, would the following in principle cause any problems with DT:

  • save only *.tex and *.pdf in DT, and create separate folder outside of DT for the temp files
    -configure the latex compiler (TexShop etc.) such that all temp files are written into a temp-folder outside of DT, while the changed *.tex and *.pdf are updated in DT
  • open and run latex files out of DT

If this description is incomprehensible: What I want to do is to save only tex and pdf in DT and run the tex file out of DT (i.e. click on a tex file, which opens TexShop, then edit, compile and close again), while all temp shall be created somewhere outside of DT in order not to cause any problems and keep DT clean.

many thanks

I don’t think this will work, or at least, it may not be worth the hassle.

Configuring the tex compiler to put all temp and other files in another location will certainly help. But your source files really want to be in the same directory or you will have a great degree of hassle.

The way .dtBase2 packages are structured, files are stored in Files.noindex/$filetype/[0-9a-f]/filename . That [0-9a-f] can’t be predicted before you import it.

If you have a project with two .tex files (with an \include), then it is very likely that they will be imported to two different directories in the DT database. If you have any images you are importing, or a .bib file, those will also be put into different directories.

You would not be able to specify the output location of the PDF until after you’ve generated it the first time. It will be in a still different directory from the .tex, any images, etc. Setting TEXINPUT for this would kill me.

That’s why I think it’s easiest to have each TeX project have its own directory, and index the directory as needed.

As an academic I’ve been wrestling with the same questions recently. I too have come to the conclusion that indexing a directory with the LaTeX files in them seems to be the best option. However, I was wondering if there would be any problems if I keep the indexed directory in the database, but next to Files.noindex.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions or comments?

Why? What’s the point?

The database might mis-perform, Backup will ignore this, and if you need to do a Rebuild you’ll probably lose your files. And there’s no guarantee that future releases will work with your scheme. Personally, I think mucking around inside a database package is best left to the software.

Heed this. It’s good advice (from a veteran User as well).

Thanks for the feedback and I will indeed follow the sage advice!