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What is the command for file copy? I want to copy the contents of one file into another without any command expansion. The operative system would use

copy source target

I tried reading the contents of one file into a variable and the writing it into the target:

\CatchFileDef{\OriginalF}{\jobname.sc0}{}
\newwrite\hcOutputStreamF
\immediate\openout\hcOutputStreamF=\jobname.sc1
\immediate\write\hcOutputStreamF{\OriginalF}
\immediate\closeout\hcOutputStreamF

but it expands the TeX commands saved in the original file.

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2  
While Hector knows it, for others I wanted to note that \CatchFileDef is from the ctan.org/pkg/catchfile package. –  Stephen Nov 11 '11 at 18:28

4 Answers 4

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Here's a Plain TeX solution that uses the ε-TeX extension \readline. It copies its source to \jobname.copy.

\newread\in
\openin\in=\jobname.tex
\newwrite\out
\immediate\openout\out\jobname.copy
\endlinechar-1
\loop \unless\ifeof\in
        \readline\in to\l
        \immediate\write\out{\l}
\repeat
\immediate\closeout\out
\closein\in
\end
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You were very close in your original question; just replace

\immediate\write\hcOutputStreamF{\OriginalF}

with

\immediate\write\hcOutputStreamF{\unexpanded\expandafter{\OriginalF}}

and I think you'll get what you're after.

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The verbatimcopy package provides the command \VerbatimCopy which seems to do exactly what you are looking for. It doesn't seem to work for "binary" (i.e., non-text) files, though.

\documentclass{scrartcl}
\pagestyle{empty}

\usepackage{verbatimcopy}
\usepackage{graphicx}

\begin{document}
  \VerbatimCopy{input.tex}{input.tmp}
  \input{input.tmp}

  % This doesn't work for binary files:
  %\VerbatimCopy{img.png}{img2.png}
  %\includegraphics{img2.png}
\end{document}

I have added a compilable example to GitHub.

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This one comes fairly close. The trick is to make every character non-special while copying.

\def\everythingother{%
  \count255=0
  \loop\catcode\count255=12
    \advance\count255 1
    \ifnum\count255<256 \repeat}

\newread\infile
\newwrite\outfile
\newif\ifgo

\begingroup
\obeylines
\gdef\copyfileverbatim#1#2{%
 \begingroup\everythingother
 \obeylines
 \def^^M{}
 \immediate\openin\infile=#1
  \immediate\openout\outfile=#2
  \loop
    \read\infile to\data
    \immediate\write\outfile{\data}%
    \ifeof\infile\infile\gofalse\else\gotrue\fi
    \ifgo\repeat
  \closein\infile
  \immediate\closeout\outfile
  \endgroup}
\endgroup

\copyfileverbatim{tt.in}{tt.out}
\bye

One remaining problem: any control character in the input will be copied to its TeX equivalent, so a backspace character becomes ^^H. I have no fix for that.

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10  
But honestly, I find the stated requirement somewhat bizarre. Why use TeX to copy files when every operating system does it better? –  Harald Hanche-Olsen Jan 17 '11 at 17:45
2  
File A was created at the beginning of the process and contains some TeX code. File A is copied to file B at the end of the TeX compilation. In the second run, I use file B to generate a "table of contents". If the compilation halted, then file B was not copied and the "table of contents" is not generated (this is what I want). If I use only one file in this work flow, then there is no way (that I know of) to prevent an incomplete file A to produce the incorrect input for the second run. –  Hector Jan 17 '11 at 17:56
    
you might be interested in the answers to tex.stackexchange.com/questions/8729/… –  Bruno Le Floch Jan 17 '11 at 18:21
1  
@Hector: How about using a \newif\ifsuccess, and then at the end (where you would otherwise do 'copy fileA fileB') put \addtocontents{aux}{\successtrue}. You can then use \ifsuccess\input{file}\else No ToC\fi (or whatever). –  Villemoes Jan 18 '11 at 14:11

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