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I'm working on an exam document class where the user enters in questions something like this:

{Answer #1}
{Answer #2}
{Answer #3}
{Answer #4}
{Correct answer}

I'd like to process this information in various ways in one LaTeX run (to create an answer sheet, key, and the test itself), so the questions need to be stored in a macro. The awkwardness comes when one defines:


and then asks the user to put 15 questions as an argument to \sectionA. I'd much rather have those questions be the contents of an environment, like so:

lots of questions

Mostly because I find it much easier to keep track of environment declarations than curly brackets. Is it possible to have the contents of an environment get packaged up into a macro?


The solution would seem to be to us the environ package, but it doesn't seem to be working. Here's what I'm trying:

  Store This

However when running this code \foot remains undefined. It actually seems impossible to define any macro using environ. Even when not using \BODY. For example, replacing the definition above with

\NewEnviron{foo}{\newcommand{\foot}{Print me}}

still fails. I've also tried \Collect@Body from the environ package with similar results. Does \NewEnvrion somehow prohibit defining new commands?

share|improve this question
You might want to try the Tex-LaTeX Stack Exchange site. –  gotgenes Mar 28 '11 at 4:40
I think correct location for this question is [tex.stackexchange.com/][1] [1]: tex.stackexchange.com –  Upul Mar 28 '11 at 4:44
Oh hey! Thanks for pointing a newbie in the right direction. –  Silver Mar 28 '11 at 4:47
There's an existing exam class on CTAN, as well. You may already be aware of it, but if not, and if it meets your needs, then it's available. –  Mike Renfro Mar 28 '11 at 13:02

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The environ package gives you access to the environment body over the \BODY macro. You can copy it e.g. using \let or \edef:




\xdef is like a global \newcommand but doesn't check if the command existed before and expands its content before the definition. This is important because the definition of \BODY will of course change after the environment.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the prompt reply! That makes a lot of sense to me, but for whatever reason the macro where I wish to store the questions remains undefined. I'm not sure this is proper practice, but I've edited my question to include an example of the issue I encountered when trying your suggestion. –  Silver Mar 28 '11 at 8:03
@Silver: I forgot that the code is executed as part of the environment and is therefore grouped! This means that you need to use \global\let or \xdef instead. I will update my answer. –  Martin Scharrer Mar 28 '11 at 8:24

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