Take the 2-minute tour ×
TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In The TeXbook it is written that \char13 is <return> and \char32 is space.

But when I use this symbols I receive fl ligature for \char13 and something like hyphen for \char32. What do I do wrong?

upd: I expected that if I typed Hello\char13\char13{}there I'll receive the two delimited paragraphs. I thought that \char13 could be replacement for the real 0x0D carriage return symbol in TeX file.

share|improve this question
Can you provide the page you referring too, please. I like to have a look on it. You might have misunderstood it. ASCII 13 is RETURN and ASCII 32 is SPACE, but this doesn't mean that the font has a symbol for it. Because RETURN and SPACE are not printable (as symbols) their positions are most likely used for symbols which don't have an ASCII number, like ligatures and special hyphens. –  Martin Scharrer Jul 6 '11 at 15:03
I get the same result in plain tex, so I guess you are mistaken here. –  Khaled Hosny Jul 6 '11 at 15:13
It's related to the font, so it should be the same for all TeX formats (e.g. plainTeX, LaTeX, ...) as long they use the same font. –  Martin Scharrer Jul 6 '11 at 16:33
Martin Scharrer: your comment look like the answer. Please recreate it as an answer, so I can check it as the correct one. TeXBook, ch. 8 btw –  outmind Jul 6 '11 at 16:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The command \char<number> tells TeX: "Please, print character <number> from the current font". Font tables do not necessarily coincide with ASCII.

To get a <return> type the RET key, to obtain a <space> type SPC (i.e. the two keys corresponding to them).

If you want a symbol for return or space, that's a very different thing. For the space there is \textvisiblespace, for the return key you can say


and then you'll have available the command \carriagereturn.

There's also the keystroke package:

\Return \Spacebar
share|improve this answer
Thanks egreg, thanks Martin! –  outmind Jul 6 '11 at 16:44
@outmind: You are welcome. egreg says all what I meant (and more), so there is no reason to turn my above comments to an answer. –  Martin Scharrer Jul 6 '11 at 17:18

This shows the symbols for carriage return and space:



enter image description here

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.