{macros} is for questions specifically concerning TeX's macro processor. Note that, because TeX uses macros ubiquitously, most questions about code that uses macros are not looking for information about how macros work, and so are not appropriate for this tag.

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26
votes
2answers
1k views

Arguments for TikZ style

Motivation To put arrows inside of a TikZ path I have defined myself a TikZ style arrow inside. To make it even more portable I want it to take arguments like this \draw[arrow inside={pos = 0.1, end ...
22
votes
3answers
5k views

\DeclareMathOperator won't take arguments

I'd like to define a family of math operators that have the same superscript, but different subscripts. My first attempt was: \DeclareMathOperator{\Upd}[1]{U^M_{#1}} But the log tells me that: l.3 ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I use \show?

Q: How do I use \show to determine macro definitions?. I've followed advice here: The definitions of LaTeX commands and here: \show with fewer lines? and am still struggling. I've naively tried ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the deal about these semantic vs syntactic commands?

I keep hearing people on this site talking about "semantic" vs "syntactic" commands and that the "semantic" ones are somehow better. I don't really get what they are talking about, could you explain ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How to draw a irregular circle(shape)?

I want to draw some irregular circle(shape) in my wireless scenario. with a basestation in the center. around is some irregular circle(shape). I find something(could be used) in this web(but I feel ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I use \patchcmd with commands with optional arguments?

This question led to a new package: xpatch This is likely a simple question, but I'm getting stuck on the small details. I have an internal command, defined by a package as ...
22
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I split a string?

I need to split a string into one or more substrings. I know that I could use the xstring package, but I'd like to do it using only inbuilt TeX/LaTeX commands. So, if I say \def\MyTeXKnowledge{Not ...
7
votes
3answers
392 views

Looking for an \ignorespacesandpars

Is there an analogue of \ignorespaces which will also ignore the following \pars?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Can (pdf)LaTeX recognize text strings and replace (expand) them?

I'd like LaTeX to replace e^ with \mathrm{e}^. I know I could just make a macro \e that does this, but I know I'll forget using it.. Can LaTeX find and replace and replace letter combinations (I ...
24
votes
3answers
667 views

Does \newenvironment have a \provideenvironment cousin, as \newcommand has \providecommand?

To avoid the problem of having to decide whether to use \newcommand or \renewcommand, LaTeX has the option of \providecommand. Is there something corresponding to this for environments? I'd like to ...
16
votes
1answer
521 views

What exactly does \@doendpe do?

Quoting from the LaTeX2e sources: [\@endparenv, \@doendpe] To suppress the paragraph indentation in text immediately following a paragraph-making environment, \everypar is changed to remove ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

\global\renewcommand equivalent of \global\def

The following MWE works just fine, but I had to resort to using \global\def (not that there's anything wrong with it). The intent of the MWE is to provide access to the value of macro as set in an ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Extendible equals sign

I have a command that has been floating around in my standard preamble for a while: \newcommand{\xeq}[1]{\stackrel{\;#1}{\cleaders\hbox{=\!}\hfill}\:} It is meant to mimic the AMS-LaTeX extendible ...
11
votes
3answers
124 views

How to defer content to a later part of the document?

I want to create a collection of problems, each problem consisting of the problem itself, optional hints and optional solutions. I wanted to know what would be the best way to do it ? I could use ...
11
votes
2answers
259 views

Print small TeX code verbatim and render it

To write some documentation, I would like the ability to define a command such as \showcase{x^{y}\in\Omega} which expands to something roughly equivalent to \verb|x^{y}\in\Omega| & ...
8
votes
2answers
600 views

On unprotecting (expanding) \protected macros (or, “the space after command name”)

I quite often come into a situation, where I need to obtain some text produced by a package macro as a string, like in say: Expanding (edef) a lipsum command? How do I "unprotect" an ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a LaTeX/TeX preprocessor/inliner that replaces only selected macros with their definitions?

I have the following situation: Like most LaTeX users that write much, I have my own header files where the packages I use normally are required and the macros I use often are defined. So if I write ...
5
votes
3answers
979 views

Removing a backslash “\” when passing arguments to newcommand

Consider the following minimal example: \documentclass{article} \usepackage{glossaries} \makeglossaries \newcommand{\NewS}[4]{ % Q1: How can I use argument #1 without the backslash in the ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

How to change theorem numbering when macro file is involved

In my macro file, I have certain theorem environments defined, for example. \newtheorem{theorem}{Theorem} \newtheorem{lemma}[theorem]{Lemma} \newtheorem{corollary}[theorem]{Corollary} ...
19
votes
1answer
285 views

Defining multiple shorthands quickly

Most of the bloated preambles I see have dozens of lines like \newcommand{\Acal}{\mathcal{A}} \newcommand{\Bcal}{\mathcal{B}} %... \newcommand{\Gcal}{\mathcal{G}} While I can easily code a macro to ...
15
votes
4answers
333 views

What are the consideration when choosing either newcommand or newenvironment?

The first time I learnt LaTeX, I thought \newcommand properly fits for inline mode and \newenvironment for displayed mode. Later I noticed it is not correct. So the question is What is the rule of ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

macro for empty nodes in tikz-qtree

I'm trying to define a macro for writing empty nodes in a binary tree using tikz-qtree. Referring to the code below, I want the string \missing in my code to be replaced by \edge[draw=none]; {} as-is ...
15
votes
1answer
639 views

How do I create a macro which reads the content of a file when the macro is defined?

I am trying to do something like: \newcommand{\sometext}{\input{somefile.txt}} This works, but requires inputting the file every time the macro is used in the document. I would like to know a way ...
14
votes
2answers
337 views

Is there a simple way to retroactively add the \long prefix to a macro's definition?

According to chapter 20 of the TeXbook, a macro that is defined as "long" (by saying \long just before \def\<macroname>) allows arguments with \par tokens (i.e., paragraphs). Suppose I encounter ...
13
votes
2answers
617 views

Macro for formatting names (initials or full name)

I want to write full names of authors in the LaTeX source, but assign different roles to them, and then via macro decide whether to print the full first name or just initials: In the work of ...
8
votes
1answer
151 views

Restrict the scope of a command to the execution of another command

In one section of a document I used \let\thefootnote\relax\footnote{} to have a footnote without number. The problem is that it propagates through the whole document then and all footnotes ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

lstlisting in a newenvironment

I have a problem with the lstlisting package. I want to define an \newenvironment with one obligatory parameter, which will be the caption name for the lstlisting. I will also have other lstlisting ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Macro for figure position?

Why is the following minimal example not working? I.e., what do I need to do, in order to define the float placement specifier of a figure within a macro? (I know that I should use \newcommand, but ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Save current value of counter in a command

I would like to define kind of an own index, that collects certain information and one counter value - in the following small example the \addstuff-command that may get the value of a counter as its ...
4
votes
3answers
503 views

How do I “unprotect” an argument?

I'm having trouble with an argument that I need to "protect" (a concept I don't completely grasp‡) in order to avoid errors. When I write \command{\argument} I get an error; but when I try to ...
2
votes
1answer
546 views

Create a two column static small box

how can I create a new command to make a static true and false as labels of the first and two columns. This columns are lanes of small boxes. This small boxes would depend on the questions created. If ...
2
votes
1answer
681 views

Verbatim text can't be shown correctly in pdf

I try to change the font of verbatim text as below % Used by @verbatim ... @endverbatim \newenvironment{DoxyVerb}{% \verbatim% \fontencoding{OT1}\fontfamily{ptm}\fontseries{m}\fontshape{n}% ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How to check if the value of a parameter is a number?

I have a command with a parameter. I want to check if its value is a positive number and perform actions based on that. \newcommand{\mycommand}[1]{ \ifnum#1>0% %some actions \fi } ...
8
votes
1answer
462 views

Custom macro for multicolumn with & without xparse

The following example has two normal LaTeX \newcommand macros and two xparse \NewDocumentCommand for specifying multicolumn text. The only difference between each pair of commands is one has the ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Wrapping code (listings, verbatim, or other method) inside a newcommand

For some teaching I've been doing, I'd like to have code from two different languages side-by-side. To do so, I hacked together a newcommand which uses a tabular environment to arrange two verb ...
63
votes
1answer
2k views

A LaTeX log analyzer application (visualizing TeX expansion)

Consider the following MWE, test.tex: \documentclass[12pt]{article} \begin{document} \tracingassigns=1 \tracingmacros=1 \def\aaa{something} \def\bbb{else \aaa, else} \edef\ccc{third \bbb, level} ...
57
votes
3answers
20k views

What do newcommand, renewcommand, and providecommand do, and how do they differ?

What do newcommand, renewcommand, and providecommand do, and how do they differ? I think \newcommand overwrites any previously existing command, while \providecommand creates the command only if it ...
25
votes
5answers
1k views

How to find out where a macro is defined?

Using \@ifdefined (in LaTeX), we can check whether a command is defined. Using \meaning, we can get the definition of a command. Can we also get information about where a command was defined? For ...
32
votes
1answer
12k views

What is the difference between \vskip and \vspace?

I found myself writing: \vspace 1 \baselineskip and then when not compiling changing without thinking to: \vskip 1 \baselineskip but what is the difference? Perhaps knowing this will make me ...
25
votes
3answers
3k views

Display source for a command

When using renewcommand, sometimes I wish to first check what the original source code for a particular command, such as chapter was before I change it, so that I can be certain that I do not make ...
30
votes
3answers
1k views

How to know whether or not we need \expandafter?

The following is quoted from Peter Grill's answer on question LaTeX dynamic macro definition. The \expandafter is requried as the \newcommand needs to be dealt with after the \csname. As a ...
29
votes
2answers
1k views

Please tutor the usage of patchcmd and xpatch

I understand that the patchcmd package provides a command \patchcommand that can be used to add material at the beginning and/or end of the replacement text of an existing macro. It works for macros ...
22
votes
2answers
7k views

What is \null and when do we need to use it?

Up to now I don't understand well what \null actually is and when we need it. I have only known that it can be used to create hypothetical anchors as follows. \documentclass{article} ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

How does one append material to a token list?

Several times, the floatrow package uses \newtoks which (according to this website) means that a token register is allocated. An example code snippet is ...
12
votes
2answers
833 views

create a framed environment for a margin note

What am trying to achieve is the following: Of course, if this can be done so that there is a switch between even and odd pages. Currently I am only interested in the not appearing on the LHS ...
25
votes
1answer
542 views

Is there a \die command?

Is there a command that generates the error or warning of my choice? I'm planning to put it in an \ifthenelse, so it can't be a syntax error.
20
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does TeX remove braces around delimited arguments?

On pp. 203–204 of the TeXbook, Knuth describes how TeX absorbs macros' arguments: delimited go until the first appearance of the delimiter, and undelimited go until the next token, in both cases ...
16
votes
3answers
408 views

Print 'system information' in LaTeX doc

I've used TeX quite a bit before but am getting back into it at the moment. I want to print a document details page with info such as: Compiled on: Compiled by: OS version: LaTeX version: ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

How to create new table environment

I am working on a book that has many many such tables. Is there a way to create shortcut for the code shown below. I want to make table caption a variable, because in the MWE shown below except ...
14
votes
2answers
697 views

Equivalent of \show to display the LaTeX code in the document

I am looking for a command similar to show, but want the output in the document itself. All the examples I have found produce the output in the terminal, not the document. So, I want to replace the ...