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Some packages (ntheorem for example) take only text switches as arguments that can be used in the form {\switch text}, for example \bfseries. If I now want to have a suitable command for underlining, the \underline command does not work, as it requires the argument explicitly using parentheses.

To make this clearer, I would like to convert something like

\underline{lorem ipsum}

to the form

{\ulswitch lorem ipsum}
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The latex-project tag is really just about the develop project of LaTeX. You don't need to tag a question for LaTeX, that's the default here. – Martin Scharrer Dec 19 '11 at 22:23
AFAIK, you should not use \underline for text, because it is only intended for math. Use \uline from ulem as I show in my answer or the corresponding macro from soul. – Martin Scharrer Dec 19 '11 at 22:35
I'm using ulem, but I thought \underline would make the question clearer. – David Dec 19 '11 at 22:37
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can use the ulem package to define such formatting macros. The section 2 Defining new commands in the manual.

Basically you can turn a \textsomething{<content>} macro into a {\switch <content>} macro using \useunder{\textsomething}{\switch}{}. For underlying this can be done using \useunder{\uline}{\ulined}{} where \uline{<content>} is provided by ulem and \ulined is made a switch-version of it. See my answer to I cannot get a (properly) underlined hyperlink in blue where I'm using it.




{\ulined Some underlined text}


You should load it with the normalem option to keep \emph as normal. There is also the soul package (Strike-Out, UnderLine) which might do the same.

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