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While drafting a text, I want to subdivide and group text pieces and keywords to easily reorder them throughout the document.

Examples for such a group of text pieces would be:

Example 1): Two arguments (2nd is optional and multi-line)

Having in the LaTeX file something like...

\mycommand{Summary of this paragraph (always provided)} {
    optional textline 1
    optional textline 2

...should result in the pdf as...

Summary of this paragraph (always provided)

  • optional textline 1
  • optional textline 2
  • ...

Example 2): One argument

Having in the LaTeX file something like...

\mycommand{Summary of this paragraph (always provided)}

...should result (without optional arguments) in the pdf as...

Summary of this paragraph (always provided)

I tried already some things with \newcommand but I'm not a real expert.

The needed features would be

  • \mycommand gets at least one argument and prints this to the PDF (e.g. in bold letters)
  • \mycommand takes a variable number of following lines (in parenthesis) as second argument and adds for each new line an \item to an \itemize list (without writing the \item in the .tex-file)
  • Changing the \mycommand to display only text would then finally generate a running text without the need of removing the \item commands.

Any help appreciated.

share|improve this question
The enumitem allows to use so-called “Inline lists”. You still need the \items but you can switch from “Normal” to “Inline” very easily without re-inventing the wheel. – Qrrbrbirlbel Oct 2 '13 at 16:47
Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look at our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format. – karlkoeller Oct 2 '13 at 17:17
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can profit of xparse and LaTeX3 functions.

\NewDocumentCommand{\outline}{ m o }
  \IfNoValueTF { #2 }
    \par\vspace{\topsep} % no list of items
    \egreg_outline_items:n { #2 } % there are items

\seq_new:N \l_egreg_outline_items_seq
\cs_new_protected:Npn \egreg_outline_items:n #1
  % split the \\ separated list of items
  \seq_set_split:Nnn \l_egreg_outline_items_seq { \\ } { #1 }
  % make an itemize with them
  \seq_map_inline:Nn \l_egreg_outline_items_seq
    \item ##1



\outline{Some text for the outline}

Here is something in the section.


\outline{Here I have more}[
  something \\
  something else \\

Here is something in the section.


enter image description here

share|improve this answer
How about combining this with elements from Most concise way to make list items from each line break to auto \item-ize elements based on line breaks? – Werner Oct 2 '13 at 18:00
@Werner That's different, because there the items are supposed to be short and here they might span more than one line. – egreg Oct 2 '13 at 20:53
@Werner That would in fact be the point: The answer from egreg still requires the \\ at the end of each sentence. When generating a final version of the document (running text) the \\ would force a new line for each sentence. – user258346 Oct 4 '13 at 9:01
@user258346 In a final version you can change the definition of \egreg_outline_items:n to do what you want with the various \\-separated items. That's the advantage of marking up the document; an end of line instead of \\ wouldn't be as good, because editor programs sometimes have strange ideas about what to do with long lines. Exchanging the document with a coworker or your supervisor could break the line divisions. – egreg Oct 4 '13 at 9:06
I run into problems when trying to make it run with pdflatex on ubuntu 12.04. Including \usepackage{expl3} did not help: ! Undefined control sequence. \egreg_outline_items:n #1->\seq_set_split:Nnn \l_egreg_outline_items_seq {\\... l.45 ] – user258346 Oct 4 '13 at 9:50

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