## LaTeX Shell Escape

by on Mar.13, 2011, under How To ..., LaTeX

One of the lesser known features of LaTeX is its “shell-escape” mode. This is achieved using the LaTeX command \write18{cmdlist} in the document. This facility can be used to incorporate dynamic content or simply run additional processes during the compilation phase. An example document may look something like:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\immediate\write18{date > tmpdate.tex}
\input{tmpdate}
\immediate\write18{rm tmpdate.tex}
\end{document}


As \write18 is usually disabled on most systems for obvious security reasons, it must be enabled explicitly:

\$ latex -shell-escape input_file

More details are available in the MiKTeX documentation under the heading “Running Programs From Within TeX“.

### 1 Comment for this entry

• mIR

How can I do this on MAC? I have been looking for this problem and search almost every single thread regarding this, but failed to understand. Please, elaborate further on alternatives to activating the shell-escape on TexLive.

Finally, my purpose is to convert a .pdf file into .eps file. I shall be thankful for your support.