# What are original itemize bullet definitions?

We are given a document with original bullet definitions overwritten:

\renewcommand{\labelitemi}{$\circ$}
\renewcommand{\labelitemii}{$\circ$}
\renewcommand{\labelitemiii}{$\circ$}
\renewcommand{\labelitemiv}{$\circ$}
...


Assume, we want to make list (in such document) with original bullets (using \begin{itemize}[label=...]).

What are default definitions of \labelitemi, \labelitemii, \labelitemiii, \labelitemiv...?

How to retrieve this information?

-

If you do not know where to look for the definitions you can use texdef. To use it with LaTeX definitions you have to either call it with the option -t latex or use the corresponding alias latexdef (if the alias is defined on your system).

To check the definition for \labelitemi you can issue texdef -t latex \labelitemi. To also check where the definition is to be found add the option -f. So, to check the definitions for \labelitemi, \labelitemii, \labelitemiii and \labelitemiv you can issue

texdef -t latex -f \labelitemi \labelitemii \labelitemiii \labelitemiv


and on my system it returns:

\labelitemi first defined in "article.cls".

\labelitemi:
\long macro:->\textbullet

\labelitemii first defined in "article.cls".

\labelitemii:
\long macro:->\normalfont \bfseries \textendash

\labelitemiii first defined in "article.cls".

\labelitemiii:
\long macro:->\textasteriskcentered

\labelitemiv first defined in "article.cls".

\labelitemiv:
\long macro:->\textperiodcentered


If you want to see the available options for texdef or learn more about it you can access its documentation with texdoc texdef.

-

The original definition is in the class file, e.g. article.cls:

\newcommand\labelitemi{\textbullet}
\newcommand\labelitemii{\normalfont\bfseries \textendash}
\newcommand\labelitemiii{\textasteriskcentered}
\newcommand\labelitemiv{\textperiodcentered}


If a definition isn't there it's generally in source2e.

-

Use \show to display the definition of a macro in the terminal, and in the log file:

\documentclass{article}
\show\labelitemi


Alternatively, to get the output in the pdf or dvi, use \meaning:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\texttt{\meaning\labelitemi}
\end{document}

-
Won't you please add \meaning as it is sometimes easier to read, just for completeness? –  Yiannis Lazarides Jan 30 '12 at 16:19
@YiannisLazarides --- What is the best way to use \meaning? –  Ian Thompson Jan 30 '12 at 16:31
I normally use \meaning\labelitemi with tt font. –  Yiannis Lazarides Jan 30 '12 at 18:07