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I am trying to use the chronology package in a report that includes babel. My distribution : pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 (TeX Live 2013/Debian)

On below my MWE :

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[francais]{babel}

\usepackage{chronology}
\begin{document}
\begin{chronology}[5]{1983}{2010}{10cm}[7cm]
\event{1984}{\color{blue}{one}}
\event[1985]{1986}{\small{two}}
\event{\decimaldate{25}{12}{2001}}{\huge{three}}
\end{chronology}
\vspace{5cm}

\begin{chronology}*[5]{1983}{2010}{10cm}
\event{1984}{\color{blue}{one}}
\event[1985]{1986}{\small{two}}
\event{\decimaldate{25}{12}{2001}}{\huge{three}}
\end{chronology}
\vspace{5cm}

\begin{chronology}[5]{1983}{2010}{10cm}[13cm]
\event{1984}{\color{blue}{one}}
\event[1985]{1986}{\small{two}}
\event{\decimaldate{25}{12}{2001}}{\huge{three}}
\end{chronology}
\end{document}

Actually, I get this error :

 ! Paragraph ended before \pgffor@next was complete.

However, when I remove the line

\usepackage[francais]{babel}

The compilation is working fine. How can I fix it please ?

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\usetikzlibrary{babel} after loading package chronology –  Johannes_B Apr 16 at 8:38
    
Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look at our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format. –  Johannes_B Apr 16 at 8:38
    
@Johannes_B : I receive the following error ! I can't find file tikzlibrarybabel.code.tex'. –  cherryone Apr 16 at 8:45
    
Maybe you need to do an update of your Tex distribution. –  Johannes_B Apr 16 at 8:48
1  
@Johannes_B my Tex distrubution : pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 (TeX Live 2013/Debian) I think it is the latest. –  cherryone Apr 16 at 8:49

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Use:

[...]
\usepackage{chronology}
\let\CHRONOLOGY\chronology
\let\endCHRONOLOGY\endchronology
\def\chronology{\shorthandoff{;}\CHRONOLOGY}
\def\endchronology{\endCHRONOLOGY\shorthandon{;}}
[...]

The ; is an active character in french, but used in TikZ. An environment like chronology is internally defined as \chronology and \endchronology. I save the old definitions, insert the active character handling and then use the old definition.

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1  
Will it cause an issue in the next lines of my report (ie if I use ;) ? What are the consequences of these two commands please ? –  cherryone Apr 16 at 8:59
    
see my edited answer. In that case there should be no problems. The redefinition makes The ; inactibe inside the chronology environment. Ouside it has the default behaviour. –  Herbert Apr 16 at 9:01
1  
It seems to solve the issue. Do you mind explaining a bit more what was the issue and the commands please ? I wish I could understand what these 4 lines are doing. –  cherryone Apr 16 at 9:06

As @herbert already explained in his answer, ; and other characters are active in french. This is conflicting with TikZ, which is using ; to end a drawing command.

To resolve the issue, one can use the tikzlibrary babel, which isnt doing more than

\tikzset{
  handle active characters in code,
  handle active characters in nodes
}

Now, you can still use the shorthands in your nodes.

As there are other possible conflicts with active chararcters using build in functionality seems reasonable. You can find more information about whats going on in the tikz-documentation.

Putting it all in a compilable example gives:

\listfiles
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[francais]{babel}

\usepackage{chronology}
%\tikzset{
%  handle active characters in code,
%  handle active characters in nodes
%}
%or
\usetikzlibrary{babel}
\begin{document}
\begin{chronology}[5]{1983}{2010}{10cm}[7cm]
\event{1984}{\color{blue}{one?}}
\event[1985]{1986}{\small{two;}}
\event{\decimaldate{25}{12}{2001}}{\huge{three!}}
\end{chronology}
\end{document}
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