Plain TeX is Knuth's original default format for TeX documents.

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Plain TeX and underscores

We have a bunch of scripts to generate invoices for our customers. It creates plain TeX files from CSV and then PDF files (using the pdftex program). This "black box" was created by one of our former ...
8
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2answers
334 views

Conversion of tex to latex

Quite surprisingly for me, I did not find valuable information on how to convert plain TeX files to LaTeX documents. There is a TeX.SX question, but it was answered with a particular solution. I ...
7
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3answers
213 views

\csname error in defining in loop

In following snippet I try to use TeX programming to define commands \Ab, \Bb, \Cb and so on. Strangely, I get Missing \endcsname inserted error. What is my mistake? I hadn't read TeXBook, so it is a ...
6
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2answers
153 views

Plain TeX: Line up some text boxes

Forgive me for asking what is probably a trivial question. I'm working through the books but always seem to be confused when I sit down at the computer. I'm using plain TeX. I have three ...
5
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2answers
146 views

Incorrect encoding in PDF outlines

I'm trying to get encoding in PDF outlines right. The problem is that the letter in the outline must be Ъ - the same as on the page - but it is Ú. dvitype shows this: xxx 'pdf: outline 1 << ...
5
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2answers
287 views

%& magic line has no effect

I am using the %&format magic line in a plain TeX file. On older versions of TeX the result produces the expected results. On TeXLive 2009 (under Gentoo), however, this line has no effect. When I ...
14
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2answers
553 views

What is “plain TeX”?

I occasionally see a statement that plain TeX is not the same as TeX, because plain TeX is already a format. What is plain TeX, and what is the difference to TeX proper? Some answers are here (The ...
13
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1answer
144 views

How can we detect that we are right after display math mode? (for vertical spacing)

I need a "\smartmedskip" feature/macro in plain TeX which is in usual identical to \medskip, however, if we are right after display math mode, then it should be just "disabled", i.e. it should then ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Examples of list macros in plain TeX

I'm writing macros to typeset lists in plain TeX. Please can you suggest some examples of macros for numbered lists? I'd prefer examples from "living code", from CTAN packages and so on. But any kind ...
10
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4answers
196 views

How can I check whether two control sequences have the same name?

I'd like to test whether two custom control sequences have the same name, regardless of what they expand to or whether they're actually defined. For instance, \ifsamecsname\Foo\Foo should be ...
9
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3answers
342 views

How TeX creates DVI without reading TFM file?

My setup: TeX Live, version 2014.20141024-2 (packaged with Debian 8 Jessie) Consider test.tex A \bye $ tex -ini '\input plain \dump' This is TeX, Version 3.14159265 (INITEX) ...
9
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1answer
283 views

Problems understanding definition of \newif

Reading http://profs.sci.univr.it/~gregorio/introtex.pdf, I have come across the definition of \newif on page 75: \def\newif#1{\@ifdefinable{#1}{\@newif#1}} \def\@newif#1{\count@\escapechar ...
9
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1answer
877 views

Is there a counterpart/antidote for \obeylines?

The \obeylines command tells TeX to preserve line endings, which is useful for poetry and various other things. I can limit the effect of \obeylines by wrapping it in a scope, like so: {\obeylines ...
7
votes
2answers
134 views

Match number sign inside plain TeX loop

In order to strip comments from code I would like to input from a file into TeX, I am using the following loop \documentclass{article} \def\getfirst#1#2\relax{#1} \begin{document} ...
6
votes
3answers
244 views

Non-latin characters with plain TeX

What would it take to output non-latin letters (e.g. cyrillic letters) to a document using just plain TeX (i.e. without using "third-party" macro packages such as LaTeX)?
6
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1answer
4k views

“Missing \cr inserted”, but it looks to me like it's already there!

I'm trying to create a Plain TeX macro for typesetting two-column proofs with automatic step-numbering and step cross-referencing; currently, the "best" I have is: \newcount\stepno \def\twocols#1{% ...
5
votes
1answer
228 views

How to create a page with two columns that can span pages to achieve my special goal?

I am a Chinese plain TeX user and also a beginner. Now I encounter a hard question, that is I must write some numbered English paragraphs at the left column and its corresponding Chinese ...
5
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3answers
931 views

Non-vertically-centered TikZ matrix of nodes cell content

How can you make the matrix cell contents aligned to the top? I am using plain format with XeTeX. \input tikz \usetikzlibrary{matrix} $$\hbox{I'd like for the cells to be top-aligned}\cases{ ...
4
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1answer
110 views

How to replace CM fonts with ones compatible with XeTeX (in amsppt.sty)?

I would like to try to patch amsppt.sty AMSTeX style file to make it usable with XeTeX and non-Latin languages (Cyrillic). It looks like i need to replace the following CM fonts or font families with ...
4
votes
2answers
53 views

Updating glue after changing width of a box

I need to change the width of a saved box and want it to look as if it was constructed at that width. For example, this centers A in a 4cm wide box: \hbox to 4cm{\hfil A\hfil} But this centers B ...
4
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2answers
218 views

How can I get interline spacing to ignore a vbox? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Make an invisible vbox I want to insert a \vbox between paragraphs, but I do not want it to affect interline spacing. I'm using Plain TeX. Here is my MWE: \input plain ...
4
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1answer
147 views

What's special about \def\\ vs. \def\mksp?

In the following definitions, \\ captures a space token but \mksp does not. \documentclass{article} \begin{document} {\def\\{\global\let\sp= } \\ } {\def\mksp{\global\let\spx= } \mksp } \show\sp ...
3
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2answers
805 views

setting \tabskip in a repeating \halign preamble

Is it somehow possible to set the \tabskip glue to zero for the first and last column in a repeated \halign? Eg. % tabskip=0pt \halign{&#\hfil\tabskip1em plus1em minus.5em\cr ...
2
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1answer
156 views

How to typeset a vbox to a grid in plain TeX?

NOTE: update below I know this is a heavily debated subject, which is almost impossible in plain TeX, but what I want is merely a vbox with a height that's a multiple of baselineskip. Searching the ...
2
votes
1answer
215 views

Can I write a macro for placing a vertical, breakable rule along arbitrary paragraphs without an output routine?

I answered a question last week about creating a continuous but breakable rule next to an arbitrary number of paragraphs in Plain TeX. My solution gathered the paragraphs to rule in a vbox; my output ...
1
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1answer
40 views

babel/plain.def : ! Illegal parameter number in definition of \@yargdef

I tried to generate plain TeX cyrillic format files using makefmts.sh script from cyrplain package, here is the content of this script: #!/bin/sh tex -ini -fmt=cyrtex -progname=tex cyrtex.ini tex ...
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4answers
906 views

How to get started with plain TeX

I am using TeX Live 2010 on Windows 7. I have no experience to compile a plain TeX input file. Is my input file below correct? % gettingstarted.tex \input pstricks \topmargin=-72.27pt ...