Date Tags LaTeX / AIAA

Every once in a while, I am asked how to install this package. I'm not the author... the package lists the authors. However, they've done a wonderful job, and enough work, so I'm going to pick up a bit of slack on their behalf with what amounts to 10 minutes of effort, and a few corrections as you send them to me.

On all platforms

I presume you've already downloaded the package and unzipped it.

The first thing you need to do is process aiaa.ins by getting to the command line on your machine and typing

latex aiaa.ins

or by loading the aiaa.ins file into your favorite LaTeX editor and compile with the LaTeX button or menu item (there are a ton of options depending on your particular installation. ). Either will work, so if you don't know where your command line prompt is, you don't have to use it.

Installation on a Mac

Then, make sure the pieces and parts are in the right places.

On a Mac, the aiaa.bst file has to be put in


The ~/ means your home directory. To get there, if you don't know how to use Terminal:

  • Go to the Finder
  • Select Go to Folder from the Go menu.
  • Enter ~/Library

You can now navigate to the folder you need to get to. If it does not exist, you will need to create all of these folders in this nest so that your aiaa.bst file resides inside the bst folder nested as shown above.

The remaining entire folder (currently aiaa-3.6.1 as of this writing) that is created by unzipping (or what ever archive is the package) must be put into ~/Library/texmf/tex/latex.

You might want to make a Shortcut Link by holding the command and option keys and dragging the aiaa-3.6.1 folder to the desktop. If you see an arched arrow before you unclick, you will have a Shortcut link. If not, don't let go. You are moving it and that's making things worse.

On MikTeX (most common on Windows)

See On All Platforms above and perform those steps.

  • Create a local texmf tree in MiKTeX per the MiKTeX website. I don't think I can write this up any better.
  • Make the new package known to MiKTeX: refresh the MiKTeX filename database. To do this, click "Start/ Programs/ MiKTeX 2.x/Maintenance/ Settings" (or similar) to get to the MiKTeX options, click the button "Refresh FNDB". The installation is complete.


If you have Linux, and have installed LaTeX, I am going to presume you are sufficiently capable of figuring this out via an internet search. Sorry. That's how I would have to figure it out!

To test (all platforms)

Make a copy of the aiaa-3.6.1 folder in your Documents folder. Remove the files with extensions .cls and .bst. Load the file aiaa.tex into your favorite LaTeX compiler. Try to compile it using LaTeX. If it works, great. If not, you will get a warning that LaTeX couldn't find something. Please read the logs and follow the instructions again.


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