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Sometimes people here use \verb!A SHORT COMMAND! and sometimes \textt{A SHORT COMMAND}. I'm unsure when to use which.

Are there any guidelines or arguments for \verbatim vs. \texttt?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 69 down vote accepted

The short answer is you use \verb where you need to write a small piece of inline verbatim material that contains characters TeX treats (or rather, is currently treating) as special. \texttt is for when you just want typewriter font.

\verb has some downsides, such as not working in moving arguments. In those cases, you're probably better off using \texttt (or related semantic markup) and performing the appropriate escaping.

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I'd recommend using \texttt (or, better, a macro with semantic name that uses \texttt) unless you know it won't work for your particular string, such as with \verb|x=1%2|. And even then, using \texttt{1\%2} is probably just as good. – Will Robertson Sep 6 '10 at 9:04
Another huge downside of \verb I think is it sometimes doesn't work with other environments. I think for instance you can't use \verb in a \section{} environment. – CommuSoft Mar 12 '12 at 17:40
Would using \protect allow \verb to work in moving arguments? I'm only asking, because I don't know how to test for myself. – Tyler Crompton Oct 21 at 21:02

Sometimes using \verb|...| is better. For example if you copy paste a piece of code like __start: in a \texttt{} environment you might get an error as symbol "_" is not inside a math environment. And then you have to rewrite the code like this: "\texttt{\_\_start}". But why would you do this when you can just use:"\verb|__start|".

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Notice that \verb{__start} will give tons of errors. I've fixed the delimiters: they should be identical characters that are not among those to typeset verbatim. – egreg Mar 12 '12 at 17:21

One advantage of \verb is that underscores are typeset better. For example in



the first foo_bar has a thinner underscore. See Underscores in words (text) for more details.

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Just to add on to what @TH mentioned, \texttt also works well inside equation/eqnarray environments and TikZ code. \verb (in its primitive form) doesn't work very well in such cases.

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\verb (in its primitive form) works without problem in equation (or eqnarray)... – Werner Jul 22 at 17:24

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