[Tex/LaTex] How to make the rmligs script available globally on Windows


Hopefully on-topic as about "(La)TeX related software and tools"

I just learned about the rmligs script. Since it isn't available through MiKTeX (and neither through TeX Live), I downloaded the archive manually and unpacked it. Using Windows command prompt, rmligs runs successfully when I'm in the directory where the file rmligs (without a file extension) is, typing perl rmligs testfile.tex.

Now I tried to make the script available globally, just like e.g. latexmk is, but didn't succeed. How do I make rmligs globally available, so that I can use it no matter in which directory I am?

I tried putting all the rmligs files in a directory in different places, seeking to follow the texmf tree order:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9\scripts\rmligs\perl\
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9\scripts\rmligs\
  • C:\mtpak\scripts\rmligs\perl\ (C:\mtpak\ is my local/personal/custom root, which works for other additions.)
  • C:\mtpak\scripts\rmligs\

After each of these attempts, I refreshed the file name database, but calling perl rmligs foo.tex or rmligs foo.tex didn't work.

I'm using ActivePerl 5.12.4 Build 1205 (64-bit) on Windows 7 (64-bit). I'm not an advanced command line user nor a Perl programmer or anything, I installed Perl in the first place to use latexmk.

Best Answer

My answer has nothing to do with TeX at all, but I hope to answer your question.

In order to run commands on an arbitrary folder, they need to be "known" by the operating system. How do the system know if a command is available? A search in the path. So, first things first:

Extract the content of rmligs-0.84.tar.gz to a folder. I suggest to avoid spaces in directory names. In my case, I extracted to C:\paulo\softwares\rmligs.

If I dir my directory, I have:

14/11/2002  18:54               359 BUGS
14/11/2002  19:19               466 Changes
10/01/2000  19:22               747 Copyright
02/11/1999  18:28            18.007 GPL2
28/11/1999  19:43               269 makefile
14/11/2002  20:06               699 MD5sums
18/03/2000  12:40             2.621 PGPKeys
14/11/2002  18:52             4.002 README
14/11/2002  17:12            28.799 rmligs
14/11/2002  19:55             1.641 rmligs.1
01/12/1999  09:53               791 testfile.tex
14/11/2002  19:04                 5 VERSION

Now, lets add that directory to the Windows path. As Canageek mentioned, go to Control Panel -> System and Security\System -> Advanced system settings -> Environment settings. For God's sake, take care. :) I usually prefer to change my user variables instead of the system variables, so double-click the PATH variable under user variables, go to the end of the line, type ; and add the full path we set in the previous step:


(Sorry, my Windows is in Portuguese, but I hope you get the idea)

Then click OK a bunch of times. :)

Now let's go to the command prompt:

Command 1

It didn't work you bastard! I'll explain why. There's a system variable called PATHEXT, if I echo it (it might be different on your computer):

C:\Users\Paulo>echo %PATHEXT%

Those are the files which can be executed in the command prompt and their order. As you can see, if you have bla.exe and bla.bat in the path, the first one will be executed because it has a higher priority. Now lets add our rmligs Perl script.

Go to the rmligs directory (in my case, C:\paulo\softwares\rmligs) then create a file called rmligs.cmd (I'm a fan of .cmd instead of .bat) with the following content:

@echo off
perl %~dp0\rmligs %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9

Done! Lets break it:

perl is the interpreter, %~dp0\rmligs gives the the full path to the script, and %1 to %9 are the arguments provided to the .cmd script. Great!

Now lets open another command prompt:

Command 2

Cool take all my money! Now lets test it. I copied testfile.tex to my Documents folder, lets see if it works:

Command 3

Yay! Hope it helps. :)