{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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8
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
7
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
508 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
2answers
1k 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
466 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
493 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
646 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}% ...
16
votes
2answers
431 views

Duplicating Environments

When I want to globally modify a command in my document, I will often use a duplicated version of the original in the stencil, with the help of the \let macro. For example, if I wanted to do ...
15
votes
3answers
321 views

Parsing strings containing diacritical marks (macros?)

I apologize that this question may seem very much like several other recent ones I have asked (Parsing leading hardspaces, Parsing a \$ as part of an improved \getargs command). They are all related ...
12
votes
3answers
862 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
435 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
2answers
880 views

Iterating through comma-separated arguments

I've looked all over and can't seem to find a succinct answer to this question. Is it possible (and if so, how) to create a command that will iterate through its `arguments' of comma-separated values ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
60
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} ...
25
votes
5answers
933 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 ...
29
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
643 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

On testing two fully expanded character strings for equality

I know three macros that test two fully expanded character strings for equality: \ifthenelse{\equal{<op1>}{<op2>}}{<true>}{<false>} (ifthen package) ...
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
373 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
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
834 views

Problem with environment expansion and the Tikz external library.

I've created my own environment mytikz, which basically looks like this (full MWE): \documentclass[a4paper]{article} \usepackage{tikz} \usetikzlibrary{external} \newenvironment{mytikz}{%begin code ...
37
votes
2answers
11k views

newcommand vs. DeclareMathOperator

As far as I understand, whatever can be done using DeclareMathOperator can also be achieved using newcommand, but not the other way around. If this is the case, what are the circumstances where ...
34
votes
2answers
2k views

Understanding \@ifnextchar

I understand the definitions of the \makeatletter and \makeatother commands and also \def and \newcommand somewhat. But, explained in a simple way, what is happening in the following line? ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Defining a new function with argument in LaTeX environment

I want to define a function in a LaTeX document. More precisely, I want to define a function, say \ang{x}, where x is any input, such that the output is \rangle x \langle. Is there a way to go about ...
25
votes
1answer
509 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.
18
votes
2answers
362 views

How can I redefine my macro to accept a charcode instead of a character?

I recently posted this answer to How to highlight all words of the form [0-9][A-Za-z0-9]* immediately following an equal sign?. It works, but it suffers from (a lot) of code duplication. What I have ...
17
votes
2answers
523 views

Selecting random elements from a comma separated list

I would like to have a command (either user-defined, or from a package, or whatever) that has the basic form: \selectNrandom{N}{list, of, comma, separated, elements}{code to execute} which will ...
14
votes
4answers
774 views

Create fill-in-the-blank version of a document with ability to toggle blanks on and off

I am preparing some lecture notes/slides and would like to efficiently create two versions of the output: a complete version for myself, and a version for my students with certain text replaced with ...
12
votes
5answers
936 views

Push/Pop or save a length/dimension?

Is it possible to push or pop a length like parindent? I want to change it temporarily but reset it soon after. I have a solution but looking for something a little nicer. I'll post it as an answer.
9
votes
1answer
828 views

Highlighting line ranges in a lstlisting: partial solution, but expansion issues

In my quest for a better solution for How to change appearance of a particular line when using \lstincludelisting, I came across the linebackground= option Martin Scharrer added to the listings ...
7
votes
3answers
683 views

How can I redefine the \verb|…| command?

I'd like to redefine the \verb|...| command so that it had a light-gray background and a little bit darker border around it, and a little bit of padding to make this background "box" noticable. Anyone ...
17
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Macro for Declaring Variables in Class Files

I'm designing a new LaTeX class, and trying to write a convenient helper command for declaring new 'variables' for use in the class. Specifically, say I want to use a variable called \foo. I'd like ...
12
votes
1answer
267 views

\show with fewer lines?

I am writing some macros for general debugging purposes (See Yiannis' question). I am basically expanding a given input step by step, and printing the result to the terminal and log. In order for this ...
10
votes
2answers
261 views

How do others manage their footnotes?

Sometimes I find footnotes either annoying or distracting when trying to edit the body of a text: particularly one which is heavily annotated with footnotes. One solution I've come up with is to ...
9
votes
2answers
125 views

How do you peer into the definition of a robust command?

I know that, whenever I want to see how some control sequence, say \mycontrolsequence, is defined, I can use \show\mycontrolsequence then compile my code and look up the .log file. However, robust ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Control command arguments

Can I define a command that takes an argument but does not eval the argument?
7
votes
2answers
571 views

Where can I find an online manual for low-level LaTeX commands?

Is there an online manual for low-level LaTeX commands I can download? I am looking for something which would have, for example: \newif\ifportrait \newif\ifcustomsize \newif\ifdebug \makeatletter ...
3
votes
1answer
425 views

Command that gobbles all following empty lines

One distinction between knitr and Sweave is that the former forcibly inserts two empty lines in the generated TeX source for chunks that do not do any output. I'm not sure if this issue is a bug or a ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the differences between \newdimen, \newskip and \newlength?

What are the differences between \newdimen, \newskip, and\newlength? When should I use each of them? Please give me a non-trivial example for each case.
20
votes
1answer
12k views

What is the purpose of \protect? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between Fragile and Robust commands? I've never understood the purpose of the command \protect? When and why should it be used?
17
votes
2answers
241 views

Can I turn a collection of optional parameters into a macro?

I currently have several environments from mdframed that have a large number of options that are shared between them. The situation looks like \newmdtheoremenv[options0,options1]{env1}{Environment 1} ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How do magic \dots work in amsmath?

The amsmath package redefines the \dots command so that it "guesses" the correct height of the dots with respect to its context. For example $x, \dots, y$ will produce three lowered dots, aligned ...
15
votes
3answers
379 views

What is the difference between local and global in a TeX meaning?

In tikz declare function and babel french option it came to the question about the difference between local and global in a TeX meaning. In the liked question the babel shorthand ; should be ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

How to add a hook to a macro

LaTeX uses hooks extensively, one method employed is the command g@addto@macro. It is defined in source2e as: \long\def\g@addto@macro#1#2{% \begingroup \toks@\expandafter{#1#2}% ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Define an “escape underscore” environment

I am writing a text document in LaTeX where I need a lot a words with underscores: foo_bar_1, more_bar_2_long_expression_3. I know about the underscore package, but for some reason the [strings] ...
14
votes
3answers
781 views

\def taking rest of the line as argument

I know how to define a macro that will take the rest of the paragraph as parameter. Simply write \def\a#1\par{\textbf{#1}}. But, how do I write a macro whose argument will extend to the end of the ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Abbreviations and spacing

I'm sure this is a pretty standard questions that's been asked (and answered!) a hundered times before, so apologies for boring people. In LaTeX, I'd like to write a macro for abbreviations, such as, ...