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It's all in the title. How is it possible to output a carriage return in a \message. For debugging purposes, I need to get readable messages. The obvious doesn't work : \message{A\cr B} outputs A\cr B and \message{A\\B} produces an error like this

Undefined control sequence.
\\  ->\let \reserved@e
                        \relax \let \reserved@f 

Thanks for your help !

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You don't say, but \reserved@a suggests that you are using latex in which case


works although it is better to use latex constructs such as \typeout or \PackageInfo

In plain TeX the above \message will work if you set

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Thanks for the answer and the hint to use \typeout, that actually solves the whole problem. – Tom-Tom Jan 20 at 9:23

The \message primitive expands input in the same way as \edef and needs something which produces a 'raw' new line to get the desired effect. On the other hand, \\ is a command to produce a line break in typesetting, so fails here (it is also not expandable, hence the odd error). You therefore need to insert a character equal to \newlinechar. In the LaTeX format this is ^^J:


In formats where this is not set (such as plain), you'll also need to cover that

  \newlinechar=`^^J %
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Thanks for the pedagogical answer ! – Tom-Tom Jan 20 at 9:21

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