Today I had seen a post on mrunix.de where a user called for help, after an update of his MiKTeX installation he was not able to compile even simple latex files. Quickly it turned out that there had to be a problem with babel, because it was compilable without that package. Of course I wanted to help and I installed the same babel version on my TeXlive system, with the result that no tex file was compilable any more that used babel. I found out that there was a problem with hyphen.cfg. babel.def called a macro that’s defined by hyphen.cfg but the compiler said it wasn’t defined.
hyphen.cfg can be loaded into the format files, so I rebuilt all my format files:
Problem solved, at least for me, because the mrunix questioner uses MiKTeX. The corresponding call for MiKTeX should be
but of course I booted Windows to test that. I’ve purchased Windows Vista (Business) with my Computer but generally I don’t use it, so to give some advice is a good reason to start that OS. I started MiKTeX Update, updated babel and tried to compile a simple file using babel by TeXnicCenter, as anticipated it did not compile. Instead of calling initexmf I tested the way using MiKTeX Options:
Called MiKTeX Option in the Windows start menu, changed to the Format tab, clicked the pdflatex format and then the Build button. This way I only rebuilt the pdflatex profile, afterwards pdflatex was working fine again together with babel.
To sum up, one could say that if you update the babel package or if you want to use a new language with babel or change hyphenation, it’s recommendable to rebuild the format files as described above.
This topic was discussed on mrunix.de.