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AASTeX Revision History

New in AASTeX v5.2

1. New Markup

Macros have been added to support new features in the electronic ApJ and AJ. The new macros for object linking and data sets will be used to create links in the electronic editions that will provide readers with easy access to fundamental information on the objects and archived data sets used in the papers. The facilities macro will be used to help readers track the effectiveness of their telescopes. Watch the AASTeX home page to learn when these features will be supported and for further details on their use.

For each of these new macros, the optional argument in square brackets is the identification key to be used when a link is constructed in the electronic edition. The text between the curly braces will be printed in the text of the paper and will form the link anchor in the electronic edition.

\object[<Catalog ID>]{<text>}, \objectname[<Catalog ID>]{<text>}
To make AASTeX consistent with the markup used by A&A, the macro \object has been added as an alias to the already-exising \objectname command. Use either command to mark celestial objects to be linked to the data centers in the electronic editions of the journals.
\dataset[<Catalog ID>]{<text>}
Use this macro to provide links to archived data sets referenced in an AASTeX article.
Use this macro to mark the names of facilities used in the research for a paper. See the AAS Facility Keywords page for more information.

2. Improvements to deluxetable

A number of changes have been made to the deluxetable environment. These changes should eliminate the most common problems with deluxetable formatting.

Breaks allowed in table end notes
AASTeX will now break \tablecomments, \tablenotetext, and \tablerefs blocks to a new page if there is not enough room to place them after the table. In the past, end notes would run off the bottom margin.
The \tablebreak command has been reintroduced to give the user the ability to override default deluxetable page breaks
Improved function of \\[VSKIP] command
The deluxetable environment will now properly calculate the number of table lines per page when the optional argument to adjust spacing between rows is used.
Standalone tables
A bug that prevented processing of standalone tables was fixed.

3. Graphics

In previous versions of the package, the figure column width was not reset after after the \plottwo macro was used with the result that if two \plottwo commands appeared one after the other, the second set of figures were sized too small. This has now been fixed.
The version 4.0 \plotfiddle macro for figure placement has been reintroduced. See the documentation for details on its use.

4. Other Changes

"longabstract" option for preprint2 style
A "longabstract" style option is now available for the two-column preprint2 style for instances where the abstract is too long to fit on the first page of the document.
New journal abbreviation macros
New journal macros have been added:

\actaa Acta Astronomica
\icarus Icarus
\caa Chinese Astronomy and Astrophysics
\cjaa Chinese Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics
\rmxaa Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica (RMxAA)
\na New Astronomy
\nar New Astronomy Review
\jcap Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (JCAP)
\pasa Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia (PASA)

A complete list of the journal abbreviation macros is included in the Author Guide, which is available in the documentation section.

break after keywords in manuscript style
In manuscript style, AASTeX will insert a page break following the keywords. This is a return to the behavior of the old version 4.0 package.

New in AASTeX v5.0.2

Version 5.0.2

  • Implemented table font size changes by way of the \tabletypesize command.
  • Fixed deluxetable \rotate command.
  • Changed to allow abstracts to run longer than one page in manuscript and preprint styles.
  • Altered behavior of \email to output email address in front matter.

Version 5.0.1

  • Fixed \plotone, \plottwo.
  • Fixed algorithm that outputs received/accepted information.
  • \thispagestyle{plain} removed from \maketitle in .cls file.
  • Removed "mailto" prepend from production of \email.

New in AASTeX v5.0

1. About AASTeX v5.0

  • Version 5.0 is a LaTeX 2e document class, while v4.0 was a LaTeX document style. This means that v5.0 cannot be run under LaTeX 2.09. You are strongly encouraged to upgrade to LaTeX 2e, but if you must use LaTeX 2.09, use AASTeX v4.0 instead.
  • Because it is based on LaTeX 2e, v5.0 requires compliance with the changed markup conventions thereof. Consult Lamport's LaTeX: A Document Preparation System or Kopka and Daly's A Guide to LaTeX for information on using LaTeX 2e.
  • Version 5.0 is a single document class with corresponding styles, whereas v4.0 consisted of a number of different document styles. See below for details on what v5.0 styles correspond to what v4.0 styles.
  • Normally you use a \documentclass statement to select the aastex document class. However, it is still possible to use AASTeX in a sort of compatibility mode. If you use


    under LaTeX 2e, AASTeX will process your document under the aastex.cls document class just as if you had used


2. New and Enhanced Markup

2.1. Support for Hypertext


A general-purpose hypertext link tag, using the parlance of HTML.HREF is a full URI, including the scheme: designator (ftp:, http:, etc.). For instance,

\anchor{}{the AAS ftp site}
We provide \url with the HREF as an optional argument to support the case when an author wishes to express a URL in the text. In that case, HREF = TEXT. If the author supplies both arguments, this command looks like an alias for \anchor.

\url[]{the AAS home page}


Use this markup to identify email addresses anywhere in the text. ADDRESS should not contain the mailto: scheme designator. For instance,

This command replaces the AASTeX v4.0 \authoremail command, and unlike the v4.0 command, it can be used for any email address, not just an author's email address.
\objectname[CATALOG ID]{TEXT}
Using this command, celestial objects can be identified by the author to facilitate post-processing of articles by the astronomical catalog databases. In the future, software could construct queries to those databases in the online editions; hence, it may be useful for the author to supply a catalog identifier, although at this time the markup is not used by any of the AAS journals.

2.2. Support for Tables


This command rotates a deluxetable into landscape orientation.

The canonical table line spacing optional argument will now function as expected in the deluxetable environment. The commands \tablevspace, \nl, and \nextline are no longer needed and have been deprecated.

2.3. Bibliographic Support

LaTeX's \cite command has been reimplemented to utilize the features of the natbib package. See the natbib package documentation for details on natbib's extended markup.

2.4. Special Symbols

The following special symbols have been added.

\sbond, \dbond, \tbond
Chemical bond symbols for single bonds, double bonds, and triple bonds.

A circle with a slash through it. Added for compatibility with A&A and MNRAS packages.

This is a synonym for \arcdeg. Added for compatibility with A&A and MNRAS packages.

2.5. Editorial and Production Support

\shorttitle{TEXT}, \shortauthors{TEXT}

These are new names for commands that permit authors to specify the abbreviated title and short author list for the running heads in the print journal. They replace \righthead and \lefthead.

3. Deprecated Markup

The following AASTeX v4.0 commands are not supported in AASTeX v5.0/v4.1.

\tablevspace, \nl, \nextline

These commands are no longer needed since LaTeX's native \\ end-of-line markup is now available in the deluxetable environment.

\lefthead, \righthead

Use \shortauthors and \shorttitle instead.

\authoraddr, \authoremail

Use \affil and \email instead.


Command is obsolete.

planotable environment

Plano tables are no longer supported. All tables must be coded in LaTeX and submitted electronically instead of in camera-ready form.

4. How to Convert your AASTeX v4.0 Manuscript to AASTeX v5.0

Follow the instructions below if you wish to convert your AASTeX 4.0 manuscript to AASTeX v5.0. If you prefer to convert to AASTeX v4.1, follow the same instructions but with thedifferences noted.

    • Replace your \documentstyle statement with an appropriate \documentclass statement and change the article documentstyle tpo the aastex document class. Then pick the appropriate style. (Version v4.1: Replace article with aastex as in v5.0, but do not replace the \documentstyle command with \documentclass.)

      1. If the


      document style is used, replace it with the



      • Old v4.0 command: \documentstyle[12pt,aasms4]{article}
      • New v5.0 command: \documentclass[manuscript]{aastex} or just \documentclass{aastex} since manuscript is the default style.

      2. If the




      , or


      document style is used, replace with the



      • Old v4.0 command: \documentstyle[aaspp4]{article}
      • New v5.0 command: \documentclass[preprint]{aastex}

      3. If the


      document style option is used, replace with the



      • Old v4.0 command: \documentstyle[aas2pp4]{article}
      • New v5.0 command: \documentclass[preprint2]{aastex}

  • Replace the \lefthead command with \shorttitle and the \righthead command with \shortauthors.
  • Remove any \markcite commands and convert from the references environment to thebibliography.Insert parentheses around the year in the labels to your \bibitem commands, e.g. \bibitem[Abt (1990)]{abt90}. The LaTeX \cite command will behave like the natbib \citet in AASTeX v5.0/v4.1, producing a citation that looks like "Abt (1990)". Use \citep to produce a citation in parentheses, "(Abt 1990)". See the author guide and the natbib package documentation for more information on citation markup.
  • In the deluxetable environment, substitute commands as follows:

    v4.0 Command v5.0 Command
    \nl \\
    \nextline \\
    \nl\tablevspace{dimen} \\[dimen]

    If you have used \small, \footnotesize, or \scriptsize to reduce the font size of your table, enclose these commands in the \tabletypesize command, i.e. \tabletypesize{\scriptsize}.