{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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16
votes
2answers
352 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
312 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
429 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
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
667 views

some \newcommand instructions not working

I have created some new short command using \newcommand in the following example: \documentclass[12pt,twoside,a4paper]{book} \usepackage{enumerate,amsmath} \newcommand{\ba}{\begin{array}} ...
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
915 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
2answers
421 views

How to design a command inquiring internally required packages?

How can I define a document command \FilesRequire that writes to the .log (or to the output console) a list of all packages internally required by the declared document class and by the packages that ...
29
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

Repeat command n times?

Is it possible to define a command, which repeats the following command n-times? Call it for example \Repeat, then \Repeat[4] \command{...} should be equivalent to \command{...} \command{...} ...
10
votes
2answers
555 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
353 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
796 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 ...
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? ...
33
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
1k 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
502 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
350 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
479 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
664 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
791 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 ...
16
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
263 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
246 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
124 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
545 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 ...
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.
17
votes
2answers
236 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
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
3answers
769 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, ...
13
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] ...
13
votes
7answers
992 views

How to get the string with \

Apologized for my unclear description. I wish I could explain my problem more clearly. In document, I wish I can just write something as "how to use \cmd \mbox in xxx" or "what is \cmd minipage ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Nesting command definitions more than two levels

How do you access macro arguments if the macros are nested by more than two levels? To explain it in more detail: Creating a new command in another command (nesting command definitions), it is ...
12
votes
2answers
866 views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
226 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| & ...
9
votes
1answer
419 views

Alignments by means of the tikzmark macro

This is a follow up of my previous question Issues and potentiality of the tikzmark macro: dynamic box adaptation. I thought should have been better to ask two questions although they are related to ...
9
votes
2answers
578 views

Is it possible to use a macro to name a TikZ node?

Is it possible to use a macro to name and reference TikZ nodes. For example: \begin{tikzpicture} \node (0) at (0,0) {X}; \node (\mymacro{2}{3}) at (1,2) {Y}; \draw (\mymacro{2}{3}) -- ...
6
votes
1answer
847 views

Using \leftroot{}, \uproot{} with closed square root symbol

As mentioned in this answer to Nice-looking p-th roots the amsmath package provides \leftroot{} and \uproot{} which allow you to move the position of the root to the left, and up in small increments. ...
6
votes
1answer
430 views

How to expand values stored in a token defined by newtoks

In this project, the directory structure and file names are based on three parameters, with there being one exception to both. Directory Path: \GetTexFilePath{}{}{} The directory path is based on ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Mark portions of text without affecting spacing

I would like to mark portions of my text that requires special attention during the review process. This marking won't be in the final document, so would like to be able to add these marks without ...
3
votes
3answers
150 views

Automatically Adding Potentially Referenced Macros From Auxillary File

In this question someone asked if there was any way to eliminate user defined macros from a TeX document and replace them with the appropriate primitives. The answer seemed to be that while some ...
2
votes
1answer
386 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 ...