Option clash for package

date: 201-06-10

The error message

snippet.latex
! LaTeX Error: Option clash for package footmisc

means what it says - your document contains a (potentially) clashing pair of options; sadly, it is not always obvious how the error has arisen.

If you simply write:

snippet.latex
\usepackage[a]{foo}
...
\usepackage{foo}

LaTeX is happy, as it is with:

snippet.latex
\usepackage[a]{foo}
...
\usepackage[a]{foo}

since LaTeX can see there's no conflict (in fact, the second load does nothing).

Similarly,

snippet.latex
\usepackage[a,b]{foo}
...
\usepackage[a]{foo}

produces no error and does nothing for the second load.

However

snippet.latex
\usepackage[a]{foo}
...
\usepackage[b]{foo}

produces the error; even if option b is an alias for option a - LaTeX doesn't “look inside” the package to check anything like that.

The general rule is: the first load of a package defines a set of options; if a further \usepackage or \RequirePackage also calls for the package, the options on that call may not extend the set on the first load.

Fortunately, the error (in that sort of case) is easily curable once you've examined the preamble of your document.

Now, suppose package foo loads bar with option b, and your document says:

snippet.latex
\usepackage{foo}
...
\usepackage[a]{bar}

or

snippet.latex
\usepackage[a]{bar}
...
\usepackage{foo}

the error will be detected, even though you have only explicitly loaded bar once. Debugging such errors is tricky: it may involve reading the logs (to spot which packages were called), or the documentation of package foo.

So perhaps you weren't entirely innocent - the error would have occurred on the second line of: \usepackage[dvips]{graphics}

\usepackage[draft]{graphics} which could quite reasonably (and indeed correctly) have been typed: \usepackage[dvips,draft]{graphics}

But if you've not made that mistake (even with several lines separating the \usepackage commands, it's pretty easy to spot), the problem could arise from something else loading the package for you. How do you find the culprit? The “h” response to the error message tells you which options were loaded each time. Otherwise, it's down to the log analysis games discussed in “How to approach errors”; the trick to remember is that that the process of loading each file is parenthesised in the log; so if package foo loads graphics, the log will contain something like:

snippet.latex
(<path>/foo.sty ...
...
(<path>/graphics.sty ...
...)
...
)

(the parentheses for graphics are completely enclosed in those for foo; the same is of course true if your class bar is the culprit, except that the line will start with the path to bar.cls).

If we're dealing with a package that loads the package you are interested in, you need to ask LaTeX to slip in options when foo loads it. Instead of: \usepackage{foo}

\usepackage[draft]{graphics} you would write: \PassOptionsToPackage{draft}{graphics}

\usepackage{foo} The command \PassOptionsToPackage tells LaTeX to behave as if its options were passed, when it finally loads a package. As you would expect from its name, \PassOptionsToPackage can deal with a list of options, just as you would have in the the options brackets of \usepackage.

The problem is more tricky if your document class loads a package you want options for. In this case, instead of: \documentclass[...]{bar}

\usepackage[draft]{graphics} you would write: \PassOptionsToPackage{draft}{graphics}

\documentclass[...]{bar} with \PassOptionsToPackage before the \documentclass command.

However, if the foo package or the bar class loads graphics with an option of its own that clashes with what you need in some way, you're stymied. For example: \PassOptionsToPackage{draft}{graphics} where the package or class does: \usepackage[final]{graphics} sets final after it's dealt with option you passed to it, so your draft will get forgotten. In extreme cases, the package might generate an error here (graphics doesn't go in for that kind of thing, and there's no indication that draft has been forgotten).

In such a case, you have to modify the package or class itself (subject to the terms of its licence). It may prove useful to contact the author: she may have a useful alternative to suggest.

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