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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
2answers
285 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
141 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
votes
2answers
474 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
votes
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
279 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
votes
1answer
242 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
votes
1answer
804 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
128 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
1answer
3k 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
223 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
votes
3answers
904 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
votes
2answers
209 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
votes
1answer
144 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
votes
2answers
768 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
votes
1answer
134 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
208 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
vote
4answers
867 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 ...