{tex-core} is for questions that are independent of formats and macro packages. Such questions usually relate to low-level TeX programming or the behaviour of TeX at an underlying level. Note that even Plain TeX is a format in itself; for questions about it, use {plain-tex}.

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51 views

What language is TeXLive written in? [duplicate]

I read that TeX was written in SAIL and re-writen in Pascal. Do we still use that version today? In my Linux distribution, I use TeX-Live. Does that also use the Pascal version? Wikipedia says the ...
2
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1answer
80 views

How declare a new package language

I need writing normal text and some sentences in artifical conscript language. How writing small as possible package and how use it (include?) in file? My language have my own font and each glyphs is ...
5
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1answer
167 views

Past and future evolution of command line arguments

Upon typing latex -help, you can get a list of all command line arguments. AFAIK, none of these are mentioned in the original TeX/LaTeX books. So, I wonder how these were born, and more importantly, ...
15
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1answer
485 views

productivity tools

I am using latex to write a mathematically dense document which has several hundred differential forms and products. There must be better ways than just typing out the whole equations line by line. ...
9
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3answers
307 views

Ignored character as control symbol

Exercise 8.2(f) of the TeXbook (by Knuth) says it is not possible for an ignored character to appear in the midst of a control sequence name. But the following works... \catcode`\t=9 \def\t{\TeX} \t ...
2
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0answers
19 views

How to execute and show tex-code within a question on tex.stackexchange.com? [migrated]

I often see question and answeres where below or top of the code is a the generated output (PDF) of the tex code. How can I do that? ;)
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2answers
220 views

How can I produce the output of a carriage return in a \message?

It's all in the title. How is it possible to output a carriage return in a \message. For debugging purposes, I need to get readable messages. The obvious doesn't work : \message{A\cr B} outputs A\cr B ...
3
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2answers
31 views

How to separate each section in moderncv to different tex files

How to separate each section in moderncv to different .tex files and include it in main file so that it becomes handy. Consider separating each sections Education to Education.tex, Experience to ...
4
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1answer
64 views

Lua to Tex : content and variable content different?

Here is something bizarre ! (I mean I don't understand). I enter a content, let's say "Something" in the (global) variable context. In line 2 of the following code, as one may anticipate, we have the ...
0
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1answer
42 views

How to solved the problem with conditions? [duplicate]

I would question how do I solve the following problem. This is a stylistic package where I needed to create a condition. I have made a choice of work as semestral, bachelor. When selecting semestral ...
0
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2answers
69 views

“! You can't use `\raise' in internal vertical mode” error

I used the command \raise to superimpose a title to a writing. I got the error ! You can't use `\raise' in internal vertical mode which puzzled me for a while. For those interested, here is my ...
0
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0answers
45 views

if (first or second condition) <true> else <false> [duplicate]

does anyone know how to write the condition (if) with two conditions? \ifx{**1 condition** or 2 condition} <true> \else <false> Thank you.
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0answers
30 views

Maxima tex() function without computing the equation? [closed]

This may be simple but is there a way in Maxima to not compute an equation and output in Tex? An example would be: (%i1) tex(2^7 * 3^8 + sqrt(100)); $$839818$$ (%o1) ...
0
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0answers
124 views

pdflatex fatal error because of Bad parameter value, font_mem_size

during plotting graphics with pgfplot I faced the problem of two many data points in one plot so I first tried to avoid it, but later I needed more data points. This question How to expand TeX's ...
4
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1answer
124 views

Using PDFLaTeX inside C# .Net code does not load some math symbols

On my Windows 8.1 with MikTeK installed, the following C# code successfully generates a PDF file with Math expressions except for some Unicode codes such as plusminus sign: ProcessStartInfo startInfo ...
3
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1answer
50 views

halign and vertical spacings

Here is a somewhat simple \halign usage which show that I'm missing something: \documentclass{article} \begin{document} \halign{&#\cr \noalign{\hrule} \rule{0.4pt}{4cm}& ...
11
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2answers
285 views

What is the difference between assigning and \def

What is the syntax difference between these two assignments (basically) \arraycolsep=1mm \def\arraystretch{0.7} What are the fundamental differences of the command \arraycolsep and \arraystretch ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

Center last line of the paragraph; but I don't like small lines

Attention: This is an advanced TeX problem. I usually dislike lines that are too small, and so I tend to add \parfilskip=2em plus 0.6\textwidth to my documents (apart from small lines, this also ...
3
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1answer
46 views

What handles kerning TeX or DviOut

Does TeX process kerning so that sw reading dvi file does not need to do kerning as defined in tfm file but can run with character widhts information from tfm file only. I use TeX not LaTeX. I am ...
7
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1answer
385 views

TeX: reasons to start tokens using backslash

I was wondering over the TeX programming language syntax. Is there a known reason why Knuth chose the backslash notation we all love and fear? It seams to me that most other contemporary languages (C, ...
5
votes
2answers
89 views

How to define macros that are executed at begin and end of the page body or text column(s)?

I need a way to insert \special{...} or \pdfliteral{...} commands at the start of the page body and at its end, but before headers and footers are inserted into the box to be shipped out. The ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Latex files not compiling due to buffer size

So I have some Latex files with large eps images which cause a buf_size error. When I was compiling the files a few months ago I solved the problem by increasing the buffer size in texmf.cnf. I have ...
19
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2answers
1k views

Why do we need \ldots?

While trying to understand Chapter 12 of Knuth's TeXbook about Glueing, I run into troubles in understanding why \ldots ends up in looking better than .... It seems to me that the usual period . has ...
12
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3answers
751 views

What is Tex's gullet?

Chapter 7 of The TEXbook famously talks of Tex as having 'eyes', 'mouth' and 'stomach' and goes on to talk of Tex's 'digestive processes' and keeps reusing these terms. Chapter 8 introduces talk of ...
4
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2answers
182 views

Are xelatex, pdflatex, … compilers?

I am just asking for the terminology here. I know the technical details of what pdflatex, xelatex and similiar software really is. But how would you describe that? a "compiler"? does it "compile" ...
3
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0answers
62 views

Diagrams of TeX Design

In order to understand TeX better, and in order to procrastinate on stuff that is almost certainly more important, I'm slowly working my way through a YouTube series of Knuth explaining TeX82 ...
6
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1answer
427 views

Is there a language standard (ISO, ANSI, …) for LaTeX?

Coming from the C/C++ world, I am used to a standardized language. There are differenct standards, such as ISO or ANSI C. Is there a language standard for LaTeX? (Syntax, keywords, ...)
6
votes
2answers
125 views

How to extend existing macro with \edef?

\edef does expansion, but does not execute the commands. How in the following example make so that \foo will do assignment to \tmp at the moment of its call, not when it is defined? Why \foo produces ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Distributing a LaTeX2e compiler in .NET application

Is there a way to wrap a LaTeX compiler with a .NET application, so that the wrapper can compile an output .tex file, and visualize the results? Where can I get a compiler (For free, commercial?) ...
4
votes
3answers
118 views

How to make existing \strut-based code work with accented letters?

\strut-based solutions assume that heights cannot exceed 8.5 pt and depth - 3.5 pt. But with accented letters this assumption is not true. In the second example the last line is lower than in the ...
5
votes
1answer
166 views

Empty/blank lines in LaTeX code

I hope this question is in order here although it rather asks for a "best practice" than for some "solution". I am wondering to what extent blank/empty lines in the code (I am using pdflatex) should ...
8
votes
1answer
160 views

Infinite loop in \everypar

Why the following code enters an infinite loop? \everypar={\hrule} a \bye \tracingcommands=1 gives this: {vertical mode: \everypar} {blank space } {the letter a} {horizontal mode: \hrule} {\par} ...
8
votes
1answer
398 views

A “#1#” argument. What is the meaning of the second hash? [duplicate]

In an answer to this question Automatically replace environment align by equation+aligned combination egreg uses \def\relaxtag#1#{\relaxrelaxtag} \def\relaxrelaxtag#1{} The role of the second # is ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

LaTeX pgfplots - dimension too large

i have problem with drawing graphs... \begin{tikzpicture} \begin{axis}[ xtick=\empty, ytick=\empty, minor tick num=0, anchor=origin, % Align the origins axis lines=middle, ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

How to set margins and page size in pdfLaTeX without geometry?

What is the TeX equivalent of \usepackage[paperwidth=10cm, paperheight=15cm, margin=0mm, bottom=1mm]{geometry} ? I know nothing in TeX and so far, I am playing ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Calculation in a TeX function. How to do it?

I don't know anything of TeX but would like to improve a function. Here is the initial function: \newcommand{\setnewvsize}[1]{% \global\paperheight\dimexpr#1+\initialVerticalInset\relax% ...
4
votes
2answers
84 views

How to place amsmath equations at top of page ignoring \topskip?

I need every amsmath equation to place at the top of the page. So I use \noindent to do that. Everything is fine except equation+split environment. Than formula is placed a bit higher (by ...
4
votes
2answers
73 views

Output Location of Element

Suppose I have a LaTeX document, the entirety of whose content is: $\frac{a+b}{c}$ Now, suppose I want to bounding rectangles for the $a$, $b$, and $c$. Is there a way to DEFINE A FUNCTION "bbox" ...
11
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2answers
691 views

How are curly braces used?

In TeX, the same characters (namely, { and }) are used for grouping and to define macros (\def{...}). I think that this is because it can be distinguished from context which one is which. So, ...
7
votes
2answers
100 views

\write and \ifmmode

This is related to a previous question of mine (if I understand correctly, \write works a bit like \edef). Consider the following code: \documentclass[varwidth,convert={size=640}]{standalone} ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

\edef, \xdef and \ifmmode

I don't understand the difference between \edef and \xdef in the following code. Clearly, the \xdef does what I'm expecting but why? AFAIK, $ does not start a group. ...
3
votes
2answers
52 views

What are the rules for style change in formulas (Plain TeX)?

Both numerator and denominator in the following two formulas are of the same size, namely \textstyle (from which we conclude, that: 1) style change does not affect the digit, which immediately ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Weird spaces after \magstepN

Consider example1: hello% world \bye In example2 a space is added between o and w, in comparison with example 1: hello% \magnification\magstep0 world \bye (It seems that space (which appeared ...
13
votes
1answer
368 views

How to write a two-pass system in TeX?

On page 400 of The TeXbook ("Dirty tricks" part) it is said: An output routine can also write notes on a file, based on what occurs in a manuscript. A two-pass system can be devised where TeX ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

Why depth of \vadjust does not influence interline glue?

Consider the following examples: example1.tex %\input vadjust_hook \def\marginalstar{\strut\vadjust{\kern-\dp\strutbox\specialstar}} \def\specialstar{\vtop to \dp\strutbox{ ...
6
votes
1answer
136 views

How are dimensions converted in multiplication and division?

In the TeXbook it is said (page 118): Multiplication and division are possible too, but only by integers. ... Dimension values are integer multiples of sp (scaled points). Example 1. Result is ...
7
votes
2answers
113 views

Why does the redefinition of \par disable \nopagenumbers?

Let's disable page numbers: \nopagenumbers Hello world. \bye Page numbers appear if we redefine the nearest \par: \begingroup\def\par{\endgraf\endgroup} \nopagenumbers Hello world. \bye If we ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

How to get last box in vertical mode?

I'm trying to get the contents of a paragraph with \showbox via \vadjust, by overloading \par. I came up with this: \showboxdepth\maxdimen \showboxbreadth\maxdimen \let\oldvadjust\vadjust ...
11
votes
1answer
109 views

Why does \moveleft not contribute to width but \moveright does?

Consider example1: \setbox1=\vbox{ \moveleft 1pt \vbox{\hrule width 4pt height 10pt depth 0pt} \hrule width 4pt height 10pt depth 0pt } \showbox1 The output: \vbox(20.0+0.0)x4.0 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a macro, really?

From the list of catcodes, \ starts a new control sequence, { starts a group, and } ends a group. In LaTeX, a macro appears as \foo[opt-arg]{arg1}{arg2} However, TeX does not seem to have the ...