TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a preamble which defines lots of symbols and a LaTeX document for testing them. In particular, I have source like this:

\[\wlength{abc} = 3\]
\[\lang{A} = \lang{\varphi}\]
\[\kplus{L} \defeq \kstar{L} \setminus \emptyword\]

Which faithfully creates this:

Default output

Now I would like to use the same PDF also as a reference which requires the source code to show up. That is, I want something like that:

enter image description here

Ideally, what I did by hand here (copy source into a Verbatim environment from fancvrb) would be done automatically; why write the same thing down twice, blowing up everything?

Can this be done and if, how? I guess you would have to rewrite how math environments are translated, but that is beyond me.

Solutions using pdflatex are preferred.

share|improve this question
A recent similar question is also LaTeX documentation with verbatim environment, which could be easily adjusted for your case. – Martin Scharrer Nov 14 '11 at 8:18
Thanks for those pointers. However, I would like it the other way round: set up a LaTeX file in a way that all math environments are accompanied by their source. That minimises source overhead in this special case and can be used a posteriori without changing each and every environment. – Raphael Nov 14 '11 at 8:30
You could redefine \[ and \] to do this, but it isn't trivial. – Martin Scharrer Nov 14 '11 at 8:45
That's why I'm asking. :> – Raphael Nov 14 '11 at 8:59
up vote 7 down vote accepted

For short math you can use the following. It might not give you good results for longer equations.



    \mopen #1 \mclose

\[a = b^C_D \]
\[A = \varphi\]


For left aligned output you could use:


    \(\displaystyle #1 \)

\[a = b^C_D \]
\[A = \varphi\]



Here a real verbatim implementation which doesn't add spaces after macros. It goes the other way around. Instead of reading the code normally and then turning it into verbatim, it reads it verbatim and then turns it back to code when required.

I also added line breaking support.


    \fbox{\minipage{\dimexpr\linewidth-2\fboxsep-2\fboxrule\relax}\raggedright\verbatim@font #1\endminipage}%
    \(\displaystyle \scantokens{#1} \)%


\[a = b^C_D \]

\[A = \varphi\]

\[a = b^C_\text{i} \]

\[ a = 
\alpha_1 + \beta_1 + \gamma_1 +
\alpha_2 + \beta_2 + \gamma_2 +
\alpha_3 + \beta_3 + \gamma_3 +
\alpha_4 + \beta_4 + \gamma_4



This all requires e-TeX, which is part of any modern LaTeX compiler. I could code an alternative if wanted.

share|improve this answer
Great, that's already a good solution! However, verbatim math includes numerous additional spaces after command names. Is this to be expected from detokenize? Also, linebreaks inside the box would obviously be great. Is there a chance? – Raphael Nov 14 '11 at 11:09
Yes, \detokenize will add a space after every command, to make sure it doesn't fuse together with any trailing text. You would need to use a full verbatim environment to avoid that. – Martin Scharrer Nov 14 '11 at 11:10
For the line breaking use the adjustbox package and then \adjustbox{minipage=\linewidth-2\fboxep-2\fboxrule,fbox}{\texttt{\detokenize{#1‌​}} instead of \framebox. You could also just place a minipage environment into \framebox. – Martin Scharrer Nov 14 '11 at 11:12
@Raphael: See my updated answer now. – Martin Scharrer Nov 14 '11 at 11:32
(Legacy comment:) I'm not allowed to use LaTeX syntax in there, right? :> Running (pdf)latex on adjustbox, I get prompted for ydocstrip.tex which I don't have. – Raphael Nov 14 '11 at 11:40

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.