{expansion} is about expanding tokens, including the manipulation of expansion order and the suppressing of expansion.

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17
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2answers
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Minimal \protected@edef example

I recently came across \protected@edef in the/a LaTeX2e source. Can anyone give me a minimal or simple example, where I need this? I know this has to do with fragile commands/robustness, but I am ...
190
votes
3answers
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What is the difference between Fragile and Robust commands?

So I've read a few times about this, the “moving arguments” and all that. But what does it really mean? Could someone explain in a few words what is going on at the TeX level, what is the difference ...
15
votes
1answer
506 views

How do I ‘expand’ a control sequence `\let` to a character?

Consider the following: \let\1=X \edef\2{\1} \show\1 \show\2 The result is > \1=the letter X. > \2=macro: ->\1. Is it possible to ‘expand’ the meaning of \1 so that \2 contains just X?...
11
votes
4answers
709 views

What's the best/right way to test an argument to a macro?

This is essentially asking how to do a case switch in LaTeX. I want to define a macro so that if the argument passed is one thing, then something happens, and if not then something else happens. I ...
44
votes
6answers
7k views

LaTeX macro expander

Is it possible to have LaTeX (or another program) to expand a the macros in a .tex file, and output the expanded LaTeX source? If no such program exists: are LaTeX macros processed simply as string ...
21
votes
1answer
701 views

Why do the definitions of \quad, etc. have \relax in them?

Plain Tex defines \quad so: \def\quad{\hskip1em\relax} Why is the \relax there? It's usually used as a token that can't be expanded, serving as a "do nothing" operation after macro expansion is ...
8
votes
6answers
464 views

Is it possible to define a command that can be used where literal <comma-separated-list> is normally required?

I suspect I'm asking for magic, but I'll go ahead anyway. Suppose I have a command that accepts an arbitrary-sized list of comma-separated terms. One that we're all familiar with is \usepackage ...
127
votes
4answers
26k views

When to use \edef, \noexpand, and \expandafter?

I'm quite happy hacking TeX macros and cobbling together bits and pieces from different style files to suit my own ends, but I have a suspicion that my resulting hacks are not quite as elegant as they ...
4
votes
2answers
242 views

Can super/sub-scripts bind more tightly than macro expansion?

By "bind more tightly" I refer to the order in which operations are carried out by default. Experimenting shows that if \ab is ab and \cd is cd then \ab^\cd is ab^cd. I would like it to be {ab}^{...
10
votes
6answers
735 views

Is there a '\ReallyDontExpandUntilTheLastMinute' command?

There's a couple of things I want to be able to do that are quite similar and basically involve keeping back a macro expansion until the last minute. Possibly the simplest example is that I have a ...