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

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2
votes
1answer
562 views

Scope of catcode change for escape character ?

In the following macro, I change the category code for the escape character (\) to "other" (12): \def\xxA{\begingroup \catcode`\\ = 12 \gdef\xxB ##1z{\tt ##1\endgroup} \xxB} How the heck does ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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
639 views

IPA characters in plain TeX

Is there a way to type IPA characters in TeX? There is the tipa package for LaTeX, but what about plain TeX? I don't have any experience with installing fonts in TeX and can't find any good resource ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Hard whitespace

I am using plainTeX and would like to typeset some (python) code examples. Switching to \tt gets me partway there, but I (obviously) need the whitespace respected. Is there a trick for doing this? The ...
9
votes
3answers
608 views

BibTeX with Plain TeX

The manpage of bibtex says that it can be used with both LaTeX and TeX. However, I did not find any resource how to do it and also no TeX book of mine explains it. Can someone provide a minimalistic ...
2
votes
0answers
515 views

PicTeX files inside a Plain TeX file [closed]

I am using Plain TeX to write my (scientific) texts which usually include many awful equations and graphs (or figures) I am constructing with unsurpassed PicTeX. My big problem is that with my MikTeX ...
3
votes
1answer
675 views

Nassi–Shneiderman diagram with plain TeX

First I was trying to quickly put together a file/package that provides macros for building Nassi-Shneidermann diagrams, but after a while it gave me a head ache – literally. So I decided to seek out ...
6
votes
2answers
350 views

Sectioning macros with Plain

Plain is awesome up until you'd want to make some structure for your document(s), because getting the sectioning macros right seems to be painfully difficult. Plain comes with a single sectioning ...
4
votes
2answers
744 views

How to get hanging hyphenation?

I am using XeTeX from TeXLive-2010-Basic in OSX with plain-format. My try was to follow the TeXbooks setup for commas et such (which I already have working nicely): \defaulthyphenchar=`‐% it is ...
5
votes
2answers
442 views

Wrapping \obeylines with \halign into a macro

In the TeXbook, Knuth gives an example: Are you tired of typing \cr? You can get plain TEX to insert an automatic \cr at the end of each input line in the following way: \begingroup \let\par=\cr ...
3
votes
2answers
878 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it a bad practice to declare variables locally inside macros or environments?

For me, declaring variables globally will clutter the project. Especially when there are many variables to be declared. In addition, declaring variables locally will save our time because we don't ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to make a local variable in Plain TeX?

I want to simplify my code below by creating a local variable as a temporary container to save the value of \numexpr#1+#2+#3+#4+#5}. \documentclass[dvips,dvipsnames,rgb,table]{book} ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a good plain TeX tutorial that explains about doing automation and making layout?

I am interested in learning plain TeX especially in automation: looping, conditional branching, jumping, iterating, etc. layout: creating custom smart tables and boxes that can span cross pages. ...
50
votes
7answers
5k views

Reasons to use plain TeX

Given the active development in LaTeX and ConTeXt, and how LaTeX insulates the writer from typographical details and ConTeXt gives the user extensive control over formatting thus taking useful ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

Can I see a plain TeX source file please?

all the LaTeX-tutorials tell me how LaTeX is an extention simplifying the building of TeX documents. Understandably, no one uses plain TeX anymore, right? But I seem to learn better when I grasp the ...
27
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it actually illegal to TeX `texbook.tex`? [closed]

At the top of texbook.tex, it is written: % This manual is copyright (C) 1984 by the American Mathematical Society. % All rights are reserved! % The file is distributed only for people to see its ...
5
votes
1answer
388 views

Figure-macro with TikZ: account for y-axis labels

How can I account for the space taken by the y-axis labels? Can I somehow \setbox the axis labels, or something similar? Because now, the y-axis labels stick out of the text block width (because I ...
14
votes
3answers
719 views

Is there a printable version of a reference manual for all TeX primitives?

Everywhere in the TeX community, I see suggestions like \parskip, \obeylines, \parindent, etc. I'd be surprised not to find them even in the most basic LaTeX packages. So I figured they must be deeper ...
5
votes
2answers
298 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Changing math font to OTF in XeTeX using plaintex-format

How does one change the math font?
3
votes
1answer
844 views

Horizontal braces with XeTeX take too much space

After some experiments and tests, I managed to create the following code for \upbracefill and \downbracefill in Plain XeTeX, which it seems is that used for \underbrace and \overbrace: ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Create my own mapping for XeTeX fonts

I'm trying to create mapping files, to make use of Cambria Math italic calligraphic and double stroke letters in Plain XeTeX. However, I'm unable to do so. This is what I tried to create for the ...
21
votes
1answer
691 views

Why do the definitions of \quad, etc. have \relax in them?

Plain Tex defines \quad so: \def\quad{\hskip1em\relax} Why is the \relax there? It's usually used as a token that can't be expanded, serving as a "do nothing" operation after macro expansion is ...
4
votes
2answers
338 views

How do I create a pdf file from old tex code?

How can I convert the old tex file below into a pdf? I would very much like to know as I have a few other files that I would like to convert. Thanks. PS: I selected the shortest example I had to ...