CTAN Comprehensive TeX Archive Network

Directory info/latex-veryshortguide



This is the README.md file for the vsg class.


This is a document class derived from the original Very Short Guide to , a 4pp folder designed as an aide-mémoire for people who have just done a course in and need something by them on their desk the next day to refresh their memories. It is not intended as a substitute for full documentation.

This class is designed for this document only, but adds parameterisation to allow reformatting tweaks for different paper sizes (A4 and Legal) to allow it to be printed two-sided as a 4pp folder.

Please do not complain that there is no math here. It won't fit. Someone else can do a math leaflet. IANAM.

Normal installation

This class is distributed from CTAN in a zip file which allows it to be installed automatically by the Live update manager tlmgr and similar automated installers. If you are using automated package installation, no further action is required.

TDS installation

This class is also available as a .tds.zip file. TDS is the Directory Structure, the standard layout for a modern installation. This enables the class to be unzipped directly into your Personal Directory (see below for what this is and how to create one on your system).

  • Install it on any TDS-compliant personal system (laptop, desktop, workstation, table, smartphone, PDA, etc) by unzipping it straight into your Personal Directory (folder). This will put all the files into the right places, so you can start using them immediately.
  • If you haven't yet created a personal directory, see below for details of what one is, and how to create it.
  • On a shared (multiuser) system like a server, unzip it into the $TEXMFLOCAL directory instead (see below), and run your directory-indexing program (eg texhashmktexlsr, etc) so that everyone can use it.
  • If you are using an old non-TDS-compliant system, see below under Manual Installation.

Your Personal Directory

This is a directory (folder) on single-user systems where you should put all your local manual modifications (updates, and additions such as new or updated classes, packages, and fonts) that are not handled automatically by the Live update manager (tlmgr). The name and location are fixed:

Apple Mac OS X
Unix and GNU/Linux
MS-Windows 95/XP
MS-Windows 2007 and above

Create that folder now if it does not already exist. Put (or unzip) all additions to your system that are not handled by tlmgr into this directory, following exactly the subdirectory structure that is used in your main distribution (unzipping a TDS file does this for you). This is what enables to find stuff automatically.

If you are a Windows user running MiK ####

When you create the folder, you must add it to MiK's list of supported folders. Run the MiK Maintenance/Settings program, select the Roots tab, and add the folder. You only have to do this once.

Each time you add or remove software in your personal folder, you must also click on the Update FNDB button in the General tab.

Unix (Mac and GNU/Linux) users do not need to (indeed, should not) run their filename database indexer (mktexlsr or texhash) for files put in your personal directory.

Installation on shared systems

On multi-user systems (Unix-based), identify the shared local directory tree with the command

kpsewhich -expand-var

This will give you the location of the shared texmf directory into which you must install these files.

Do not forget to run the texhash or mktexlsr (filename indexer) program after installation, otherwise the files will not be found by and nothing will work!

Manual installation (non-TDS systems)

To install this software manually, unzip the zip file into a temporary directory and move the vsg.cls file from the tex/latex/veryshortguide directory to a location (directory/folder) where will find it on your system. This is referred to in some documentation as “the TEXINPUTS directory”, although it may be called something else on your system.

It is your responsibility to know where this location is. See the question in the FAQ at http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=inst-wlcf for more information. If you do not know, or cannot find it, or do not have access to it, your system may be out of date and need replacing.

Last resort

In an emergency, or as a last resort on unmanageable systems, it is possible simply to put the vsg.cls file in your current working directory (the same folder as your .tex files).

While this may work, it is not supported, and may lead to other resources (packages, fonts, etc) not being found.


Make this the first line of your document:


Read the documentation for the options available. The documentation is distributed as a PDF document in the zip file. You can also regenerate it by typesetting the vsg.dtx file with (and BibTeX/biber and makeindex) in the normal way.

Bugs and TODO

No outstanding reported bugs at the time of this version.


The following statement is included in the source code:

 Transformed from vsg.xml by ClassPack db2dtx.xsl
 version 16.00 (Makefile with XeLaTeX) on Friday 12 August 2016 at 10:42:12
 vsg.cls is copyright © 2009-2016 by Peter Flynn <peter@silmaril.ie>

 This work may be distributed and/or modified under the
 conditions of the LaTeX Project Public License, either
 version 1.3 of this license or (at your option) any later
 version. The latest version of this license is in:


 and version 1.3 or later is part of all distributions of
 LaTeX version 2005/12/01 or later.

 This work has the LPPL maintenance status `maintained'.
 The current maintainer of this work is Peter Flynn <peter@silmaril.ie>

 This work consists of the files vsg.dtx and vsg.ins,
 the derived file vsg.cls, and any ancillary files listed
 in the MANIFEST.

Download the contents of this package in one zip archive (1.3M).

-veryshortguide – The Very Short Guide to

This is a 4-page reminder of what does. It is designed for printing on A4 paper, double-sided, and folding once to A5. Such an ‘imposed’ version of the document is provided in the distribution, as PDF. An analogous version is provided in ‘legal’ format.

Home pagehttp://latex.silmaril.ie/veryshortguide/
Version 2016-08-12
LicensesThe Project Public License 1.3
Copyright2009–2016 Silmaril Consultants
MaintainerPeter Flynn
Contained inTeX Live as latex-veryshortguide
MiKTeX as latex-veryshortguide
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