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

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6
votes
2answers
251 views

Toggling Phantom In Macros (plain TeX)

I am using plain TeX / pdfTeX. Is there a way to build a set of macros, say \showOn / \showOff, such that I can nest them for a given piece of text, it "looks up the parse tree", find the first ...
4
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

The mysteries of \mathpalette

I would like to make a macro, \vfrac, which output would look like: $$\displaylines{ \displaystyle\raise.25ex\hbox{$\displaystyle1$}\!/\!\lower.5ex\hbox{$\displaystyle2$} \cr ...
6
votes
2answers
189 views

Executing TeX commands s.t. (1) produces empty boxes (2) and no other output

EDIT: I need plain TeX, not LaTeX. Furthermore, I don't want to use an existing package -- I want to reinvent the wheel. [This is part of a complicated set of TeX macros I have set up; and I need to ...
8
votes
4answers
316 views

Subscript sizing of text in math formulas

I am using Plain TeX, not LaTeX. Right now, I have \def\text#1{\hbox{#1}} This works for things like $$A + \text{foo bar}$$. However, not for things like: $$\Sum_{ \text{foo} = a}$$. How do ...
20
votes
1answer
327 views

Why are \new… defined as \outer in the plain TeX format?

In plain.tex, D.E.Knuth decided to define as \outer all the macros which allocate registers: \newcount, \newdimen, \newskip, \newread, \newwrite. This forbids them from entering the argument of ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Producing arXiv-submittable documents with figures using plain TeX

I am proficient with TeX but have never used LaTeX and would prefer not to learn it - though perhaps that preference is the sole source of my difficulties. I am trying to figure out how to produce ...
3
votes
1answer
327 views

Create my own NSD

I'm trying to create a set of macro-s for plain [Xe]TeX to be able to create Nassi-Shneidermann Diagrams that produces a table (\halign). (I would note the cases slant lines differently in a way, that ...
16
votes
1answer
334 views

What does `\ ` exactly do?

In the The Not So Short Introduction to LATEX2e - Version 5.01, April 06, 2011 it is suggested that: A backslash in front of a space generates a space that will not be enlarged. (page 39) It ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I change font in pgfplots with plain XeTeX?

I have tried: \font\figfn="Myriad Pro:mapping=tex-text" at 8pt \input tikz \tikzset{font=\figfn} \input pgfplots \pgfplotsset{ width=\hsize, compat=1.3, every axis label={font=\figfn}, tick ...
4
votes
3answers
743 views

Verbatim in plain-format with XeTeX

(I'm aware there has been a similar question before, but this one has a twist) I wanted a verbatim macro to use which would use an unlikely character as an end-of-verbatim -marker (unlikely as in it ...
6
votes
1answer
712 views

pitchfork in plain TeX

I was asked the following question: How do I get get \pitchfork in plain TeX? He tried \input mssymb and \input amssymb but neither works. More generally, is it possible to get ams symbols to ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Template for cheat sheet

I have been working with LaTeX for a couple of years but I don't know anything about pure TeX. I find this LaTeX cheat sheet useful to remember some commands. So I'd like to have a LaTeX template for ...
8
votes
1answer
417 views

Execute token after \halign

I like to create a macro which processes a following brace group as "argument" using \halign. After it has been processed a token (a macro) should be executed. With an \hbox I can use ...
2
votes
2answers
360 views

pst-text with plain XeTeX

How, if possible, can I use pst-text with plain XeTeX? I have TeX Live 2011. When I try to run the minimal example: \input pst-text \pscharpath{TeXnik} \bye , I get a bunch of ** WARNING's, ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Using hyph-utf8 with plain TeX

I want to use the UTF-8 hyphenation patterns (for Croatian) with plain TeX (pdftex). I've read the documentation on the hyph-utf8 package but I haven't found it very useful. There's mention of a ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

How to define font size in plain TeX such that it works as font size defined in article?

% gettingstarted.tex \hoffset=-72.27pt \voffset=-72.27pt \hsize=72.27pt \vsize=72.27pt \special{papersize=\the\hsize,\the\vsize} \parindent=0pt \nopagenumbers \input pstricks ...
1
vote
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
351 views

How to obtain PlainTeX in LaTeX environment?

In The TeXbook it is written that \char13 is <return> and \char32 is space. But when I use this symbols I receive fl ligature for \char13 and something like hyphen for \char32. What do I do ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Make an invisible vbox

I'm placing a PDF meta information in a \vbox in a plain XeTeX document, and I would like it to behave as if there were no box at all (so any additional \vskip after the \vbox will appear). Right now, ...
2
votes
1answer
826 views

Plain TeX: running header with section name

I want to create a TeX document with sections and a running header containing the name of the current section. I know I can use \mark{} to mark the section headings and then use \topmark or \firstmark ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Convert from LaTeX to Plain TeX

Is there a way to convert a LaTeX document, which uses a lot of packages and macros, into Plain TeX, such that all macros are expanded and all dependencies on external packages are gone?
7
votes
3answers
317 views

How to define a macro containing a tabbed line (\+…\cr)?

\def\test{\+test\cr} \test \vfill \eject The above gives error: ... Runaway definition? -> ! Forbidden control sequence found while scanning definition of \test. ...
2
votes
1answer
581 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
650 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
631 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
531 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
687 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
361 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
752 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
444 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
904 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
389 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
735 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
299 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
858 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
693 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
340 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 ...