{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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2
votes
2answers
210 views

When does TeX choose to stretch the glue?

Suppose I type \hbox to \hsize{abc} \hbox{abc} \bye Now, since the first \hbox is set at \hsize, I am expecting the abc to be glued with maximum stretched glue. In the second \hbox, I expect abc ...
5
votes
1answer
60 views

The difference between `\the\numexpr` and `\number\numexpr`

I wonder if there is any functional difference between \the\numexpr and \number\numexpr. Some obscure context where they would yield different results? (I'm obviously aware that \the and \number ...
3
votes
1answer
22 views

How to use control symbols using \expandafter?

Suppose I want to typset P\' olya correctly in TeX but suppose my computer does not have the key invoking the character/symbol ' (This is of purely theoretical interest). Now, TeX lets you use \rq to ...
3
votes
2answers
40 views

How do I perform an expandable string comparison?

I need to perform a string comparison (string equality). If the macro is non-expandable (e.g. contains \def or \let), it causes problems in the place where it is used. I tried using \ifthenelse from ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

How to define LaTeX like environment in plain TeX?

How do I define LaTeX like environment using TeX primitives? I have just started learning TeX using Knuth's TeX book and found it hard to implement the LaTeX like environment using TeX primitives. An ...
15
votes
0answers
122 views

Is there a reliable way to get the number of arguments of a command?

While pondering over a test to distinguish two versions of a command I came up with the following example: \documentclass{article} \begin{document} \def\testA#1{\#2->blabla} ...
4
votes
0answers
53 views

LuaTeX tex->dvi conversion code

I'm researching ways to teach computers to generate LaTeX code from Page Description Languages (PDL) like PostScript and PDF, using Machine Translation. For this to work, it would be majorly useful ...
20
votes
3answers
207 views

Why is a discardable item not discardable?

I have the following code \output={\plainoutput \message{outputpenalty=\the\outputpenalty}} % for debugging \hrule \vskip21.9cm plus1pt % plus1pt because to avoid underfull vbox until output one ...
15
votes
1answer
579 views

What is the programming term for the command invoking '\' in latex?

I don't think it would be called a delimiter. Is there a specific term for this character? Just to clarify, I'm talking the slash here: \frac{1}{2}
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the \bye command not used by LaTeX?

Is there a technical reason why the \bye TeX command was replaced in LaTeX by \begin{document} and \end{document}? I suspect there must be a good technical reason behind this, as otherwise it would ...
5
votes
0answers
57 views

How to tell LaTeX to throw a warning if argument is not being used?

In this question the given argument wasn't used, because #1 was missing.. One would actually assume an error or a warning be thrown. A little MWE based on 1: \documentclass{article} ...
9
votes
2answers
249 views

What is the maximum nesting depth of \input?

Large documents are best split into various files. Using \input allows to nest multiple files. What is the technical limit of \input regarding the nesting depth? I haven't found any clue searching ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Question about \maketoks macros from cwebmac.tex

Consider the following code from cwebmac.tex: {\setbox0=\hbox{\toksA={1.}\toksB={}\maketoks}\the\toksA} What does \maketoks macros do and how does it work? The following is a complete example ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

TeX capacity exceeded, sorry [input stack size=5000] in LyX Classicthesis

I use classicthesis-LyX-v4.2_biblatex_bibtex8 I got this error message when I load hanging module into the parent document (probably my personal issue, as I tried it on the newly downloaded template, ...
2
votes
3answers
33 views

Retaining count values between blocks

How can one make a count retain values between different blocks e.g in nested loops? For example \newcommand\example {% \newcount\N \loop {\loop \the\N\quad \ifnum\N<5 ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Get the current state of all macroes

I was wondering if there was a way to save the current configuration state at some point in the document. For example, if I have the file A.tex \documentclass[10pt]{article} ...
11
votes
2answers
180 views

How to typeset in initex?

Just curious how to typeset letter 'a' in initex without 'overfull' warnings. $ tex -ini '\font\f=cmr10\f a\end' This is TeX, Version 3.14159265 (TeX Live 2015/Debian) (INITEX) Overfull \hbox ...
9
votes
1answer
184 views

How does \delimiter work? How does it convert its argument into character(s?) and why?

studying the definition of \lvert (which just made me finally understand what does mean \@xp\@gobble and how it works \o/), I found the \delimiter command, with a numeric argument advanced by ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

xdef and cedille

I need to xdef some data. In rare cases it'll contain cedilles like: \xdef\xxx{spam\c{e}eggs} \bye Unfortunately this failes. Is there a chance to get this working? (I'm on LaTeX in my code, using ...
7
votes
2answers
128 views

Expansion of \char in \def

In answering another question, I ran into some issues trying to use a combination of \def and \char. Consider the following example: \documentclass{minimal} \usepackage{etoolbox} ...
0
votes
0answers
7 views

Compiling a latex file .tex to a PDF File [closed]

I've downloaded a file from this link But i don't know anything about .tex extensions, i've googled it, it turned out to be a latex file. So I've downloaded & installed MacTex, but it doesn't ...
16
votes
3answers
944 views

Why is SVG not supported by the TeX backend?

I've always wondered why SVG is such a problem for many document creation tools. For example MS Office can't do it, Libre Office can only use very simple SVGs afaik and even in Latex we can't use them ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

Underline (or otherwise format) all text in custom environment

I'm trying to define a custom environment, in which all text is underlined. I know the underline command underlines its input, but I can't figure out how to get it to work seamlessly with my ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

Tips for using TEX / LaTeX for writing meeting protocols

I found TEX / LaTeX just over a week ago and I am very pleased with it. I used to hate writing documents on the computer because it felt so inefficient and messy with the word processors. TEX was ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Externalize pdf_tex like externalize tikz

I am using the workflow explained in this tutorial for typesetting images in my document: Tutorial for pdf_tex using inkscape Briefly, a vector image is imported into inkscape and then image itself is ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Macro with \afterassignment syntax?

Say for some reason I want to make a macro with input stream behaviour mimicking that of \afterassignment and \aftergroup. Namely, I want to absorb exactly one token from the input stream following ...
22
votes
1answer
272 views

Summary of TeX Capacity Limits

I seem to often run into capacity issues and have been upping the limits each time. There are several question on this site pertaining to these. However, there seems to be some conflicting information ...
0
votes
0answers
55 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
votes
1answer
109 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
votes
1answer
189 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
votes
1answer
516 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
votes
3answers
327 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
226 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
votes
2answers
38 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
votes
1answer
71 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
votes
1answer
46 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
votes
2answers
154 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
votes
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.
1
vote
0answers
33 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
votes
0answers
160 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
votes
1answer
176 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
votes
1answer
55 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
votes
2answers
296 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
80 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
votes
1answer
54 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
votes
1answer
390 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
96 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
61 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
votes
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
763 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 ...