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elsarticle.cls is a thoroughly re-written document class for formatting LaTeX submissions to Elsevier journals. The class uses the environments and commands defined in LaTeX kernel without change to the signature so that clashes with other contributed LaTeX packages like hyperref.sty, preview-latex.sty, etc., will be minimal. elsarticle.cls is primarily built upon the default article.cls. The class depends on the following packages for its proper functionality:

  1. pifont.sty for openstar in the title footnotes.
  2. natbib.sty for citation processing.
  3. geometry.sty for margin settings.
  4. fleqn.clo for left aligned equations.
  5. graphicx.sty for graphics inclusion.
  6. txfonts.sty optional font package, if document is to be formatted with Times and compatible math fonts.
  7. hyperref.sty optional packages if hyper linking is required in the document.

All the above packages are part of any standard LaTeX installation. Therefore, the users need not be bothered about downloading any extra packages. Further, users are free to make use of \textsc{ams} math packages like, amsmath.sty, amsthm.sty, amssymb.sty, amsfonts.sty, etc., if they want. All these packages work in tandem with elsarticle.cls without any problems.

Major Differences

Following are the major differences between elsarticle.cls and its predecesor package, elsart.cls:

  • elsarticle.cls is built upon article.cls while elsart.cls is not. elsart.cls redefines many of the commands in the LaTeX classes/kernel, which can possibly cause surprising clashes with other contributed LaTeX packages.
  • Provides preprint document formatting by default, and optionally formats the document as per the final style of models 1+, 3+ and 5+ of Elsevier journals.
  • Some easier hooks for formatting list and theorem environments are provided while people can still use amsthm.sty package.
  • natbib.sty is the main citation processing package which can comprehensively handle all kinds of citations and works perfectly with hyperref.sty in combination with hypernat.sty.
  • Long title pages are processed correctly in preprint and final formats.


The package is available at author resources page at Elsevier Science. It can also be found in any of the nodes of the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN), one of the primary nodes being http://www.ctan.org. Please grab the elsarticle.dtx which is the composite class with documentation and elsarticle.ins which is the LaTeX installer file. When we compile the elsarticle.ins with LaTeX it provides the class file, elsarticle.cls by stripping off all the documentation from the *.dtx file. The class may be moved or copied to a place, usually, $TEXMF/tex/latex/elsevier/, or a folder which will be read by LaTeX during document compilation. The TeX file database needs updation after moving/copying class file. Usually, we use commands like mktexlsr or texhash depending upon the distribution and operating system.