I’ve been using Emacs and LaTeX for more than ten years now and still I keep learning. For example, last Friday I came across Stephen Eglen’s ESS (Emacs Speaks Statistics) tutorial. In his slides he mentioned RefTeX. I had heard of it before, but for some reason I thought it was either a set of LaTeX styles or an AUCTeX replacement and consequently, I never looked into it.

This time, however, I made the small effort of looking up RefTeX’s website and lo and behold, it’s neither of the two things I thought it was. Instead, it is an extension to LaTeX that makes inserting citation, references, index entries and labels a breeze. Even if you don’t (want to) use all its capabilities, the following keystrokes are worth the effort:

C-c = Show table of contents of the document (also a great way to walk through your document)
C-c ( Insert a label at point
C-c ) Insert a reference to some label
C-c [ Search in your bibliography (either BibTeX or thebibliography environment) to insert citations

To start using RefTeX in a document you are already editing simple run

M-x reftex-mode

Insert the following in .emacs file if you want to load RefTeX on startup

;; Enable RefTeX
(add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook 'turn-on-reftex)   ; with AUCTeX LaTeX mode
(add-hook 'latex-mode-hook 'turn-on-reftex)   ; with Emacs latex mode