{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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8
votes
1answer
284 views

Can I make TeX completely free-form?

I'm bothered about the language format of TeX. I mean I want to know why the CR is converted into a space and % must be at the end of a line to avoid the matter. To make matters worse, a blank line ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Tracing group-level and position in LuaTeX

I am absolutely new to LuaTeX and I have few questions about it. First of all I learned that in LuaTeX it is possible to trace all TeX tokens with `token filter' callback. Is it possible to get some ...
10
votes
3answers
387 views

Why is tex designed to render spaces around brackets?

When I wrote following lines: \section{Introduction}{ Content in introduction ... } Unwanted space comes before Content as warned. I understand it's due to some technical decision in tex. But I ...
7
votes
1answer
907 views

TeX capacity exceeded (save size)

I am generating a fairly large index of .txt, .tex, and .pdf files. This process has worked for a long time, and the size of the index is not the issue. I have added logic to insert additional links ...
4
votes
2answers
197 views

Some misunderstanding about macro expansion

I have the following code which doesn't work: \documentclass[12pt]{article} \tracingcommands=2 \tracingmacros=2 \tracingall \makeatletter \let\sep\relax \def\put@stack@#1#2{\edef#2{#1\sep#2}} ...
14
votes
2answers
218 views

How to set tikzmarks with \noalign at the edge of tabular rows

I'm trying to improve the lines in a tabular with colored rows (lines above a colored row can disappear in the adobe reader at some zoom levels) by redrawing the line above a row after the row itself ...
2
votes
0answers
83 views

Is there a way to partially evaluate TeX files? [duplicate]

I am looking for tools or techniques that can partially evaluate (e.g. inline definitions) a TeX source file into an equivalent, simplified TeX file with some parameters fixed. Specifically I would ...
11
votes
4answers
251 views

How can I compare two (not necessarily integer) variables?

After experimenting and researching for hours, I still cannot figure out how to perform a simple equality test between two numbers. More specifically, here, the two numbers in question are the ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Moving arguments inside group

I have a setup similar to the MWE below in which I have a macro that needs to be called in the document, and also regularly becomes a moving argument (in this case, inserted into the index, though it ...
7
votes
3answers
167 views

Defining tabular rows with macros using `\ifnum` leads to `Incomplete \ifnum`

I am trying to define tabular rows using a macro which shall perform an conditional definition of the tabular row according to a given parameter. Please consider the following MWE: ...
11
votes
4answers
108 views

A question about macro matching

Consider the following macro definition, and subsequent invocation: \def\foo #1 #2 \bar{stuff with #1 and #2 goes here} \foo arg1 arg2 \bar The \bar simply acts as the terminator for \foo. This all ...
21
votes
2answers
218 views

Has a command access to its own name?

Can two commands where the one is a copy of the other so that \ifx gives true have different behaviour depending on the actual name used for a call? \documentclass{article} \newcommand\red{some code ...
22
votes
2answers
383 views

What is the differences between mathcode and catcode and how can I use mathcode?

The command \catcode is often used to change some internals. E.g. the command \makeatletter changes the catcode @. But what is \mathcode and how does it work? catcodes are well explained here: Wiki ...
13
votes
4answers
458 views

How does one change the math style to one of the “primed” styles?

Background TeX typesets each portion of a mathematical expression in one of 8 styles: display, display', text, text', script, script', scriptscript, or scriptscript'. Knuth calls them, D, D', T, ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Are there more to applications of \iftrue and \iffalse?

While reading "TeX for the impatient" on the topics of iftrue and iffalse, I encountered this example, \def\isbigger{\let\bigger=\iftrue} \def\isnotbigger{\let\bigger=\iffalse} \def\test#1#2{\ifnum ...
23
votes
5answers
581 views

Can one define a '\superexpandafter{n}' that would expand to 2^n-1 '\expandafter's?'

This question was inspired by comment banter in this question. See title.
9
votes
1answer
140 views

What can and can't occur as macro argument?

The documentation of the environ package says The advantage to using environments is that their contents is not treated as a macro argument, so there are less restrictions on what can exist ...
7
votes
1answer
406 views

Is there likely to be an xpsTeX?

The 2007 TUG April Fools' announcement was pretty funny, but does this idea have any traction whatsoever? From a design point of view, XPS may be the starting point for future document formats beyond ...
26
votes
9answers
702 views

When is it appropriate to use \outer?

\outer is a strange beast. Any control sequence declared \outer cannot be used as either the parameter text or replacement text of a macro, at least if the control sequence is declared \outer at the ...
5
votes
1answer
61 views

tex using the wrong macro

Out of curiosity I tried to weave the bibtex.web source code and compile the resulting bibtex.tex with tex. I got some errors which led me to investigate; I'm sure my confusion stems from incorrect ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

superscript issue in latex [duplicate]

I have 2 superscripts in 1 equation but one of these is floating higher than the other making it look messy. The code I have used is: $\hat{\boldsymbol\beta}^T X^T$ The T is higher for the beta ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

only expand next macro if its depictable content is placed at a specific place on the page

I'm looking for a conditional that checks if the visual processor puts the depictable content of the macro that is going to be expanded at a specific place on the page where the content is placed. ...
9
votes
2answers
182 views

Is it possible to use $ as a macro delimiter?

Experimenting with macro definitions that use strange delimiters (see e.g. this or this question), I thought it would be fun to have a macro that takes an argument of the form "a/b" and turns this ...
44
votes
2answers
2k views

Electronic version of Knuth's “TeXbook”?

I have a printed copy of the TeXbook (from D.E. Knuth) at home. Now that I travel a lot, I don't want to take my library with me every time. Question: Is there a legal way to obtain (=purchase) a PDF ...
9
votes
3answers
144 views

Problem with ^^<HEX>

I have small problem with ^^<HEX>. If I have a <HEX> part of the ^^<HEX> in the macro \def\attemp{<HEX>}, I cannot write ^^<HEX> as ^^\attempt or ...
22
votes
1answer
253 views

Is \def sensitive to spacing?

In the code below, it took me a long time to figure out that the space in the second line below beginning with \def generates an error. I'm new here. Where is the documentation of \def that would ...
3
votes
1answer
205 views

Tex Custom Arrow with oplus symbol

I'd like to create the kind of arrow that shows inner classes in UML, that is, an arrow that starts with an \oplus symbol as it can be seen here: ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

font loading via URL for all TeX-en

Firstly, I'm not asking about typesetting URLs. What I am talking about is font resolution via a URL reference. My limited experience is in using XeLaTeX so I'll couch the question accordingly. If you ...
13
votes
1answer
147 views

What is considered a token for non-standard input encodings?

When I use an input encoding to (La)TeX that allows me to directly input characters such as é and ä (such as by declaring \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}), how is a token defined? Specifically, is it ...
2
votes
1answer
338 views

How to render LaTeX in programs?

Recently I'm writing a calc program, on android. As a frequent LaTeX user, it comes to be compelling to use LaTeX rendering in displaying the inputs and outputs. Is there any possibilities to use a ...
14
votes
4answers
707 views

\aftergroup a list of tokens

\aftergroup executes the next token after the end of the current group. Is there a variant, \Vaftergroup{\some\tokens\a\b} that would put \some\tokens\a\b after the current group ends? Of course, one ...
60
votes
1answer
2k views

A LaTeX log analyzer application (visualizing TeX expansion)

Consider the following MWE, test.tex: \documentclass[12pt]{article} \begin{document} \tracingassigns=1 \tracingmacros=1 \def\aaa{something} \def\bbb{else \aaa, else} \edef\ccc{third \bbb, level} ...
20
votes
2answers
397 views

Will LaTeX work on any TeX?

As I understand it, latex is simply a macro package for tex, as in tex the program, not the format. (Again, weird, but I understand LaTeX to be a format of TeX.) Does this imply that LaTeX the ...
6
votes
0answers
122 views

Replace paragraphs with boxes [closed]

I would like to replace the paragraphs of a compiled document with framed boxes. Although I read the /tex/latex/base documentations I have no idea how to tackle this problem. In detail I want to ...
27
votes
2answers
2k views

Components of (La)TeX's memory usage

After reading Increase LaTeX capacity and not being able to summon Gandalf1, I am curious to know what contributes to the components of memory usage during a (La)TeX compilation. Take the above post's ...
10
votes
1answer
190 views

How can latex and pdflatex be both symbolic links to same executable (pdftex) and not behave the same?

When I run $ latex my_doc.tex and $ pdflatex my_doc.tex it works, and when I run $ pdftex my_doc.tex it doesn't work. The thing is I noticed that both LaTeX and pdflatex commands are ...
41
votes
1answer
805 views

On the basics of writing to & reading from auxiliary files (.aux, .toc, etc.)

Some actions (such as generating the Table of Contents) require two passes of the TeX compiler: during the first pass, some data get written to an auxiliary file, only to be retrieved during the ...
2
votes
0answers
106 views

How to generate an AFP document by using LaTeX compiler? [closed]

I'm working on a new program who have to generate an AFP file. I would like to generate this kind of file by using a powerful language like LaTeX. Because I hate Dialog (HP solution), is there a ...
13
votes
1answer
191 views

What practices are there regarding the use or avoidance of “internal” TeX or LaTeX commands?

What practices are there regarding the use or avoidance of "internal" TeX or LaTeX commands? (About "command" vs "macro", there is some discussion in this TeX.SX answer, though I don't know whether ...
11
votes
1answer
219 views

TeX capacity exceeded, sorry [semantic nest size=500]

Reading through tex.web, I note that there is a difference between grouping levels and semantic nesting (i.e., the nesting of math, horizontal, and vertical modes). I can think of commands which ...
29
votes
1answer
1k views

How to generate “You can't use \unskip in vertical mode”?

We all know (or believe so) that \unskip is not possible in main vertical mode and this statement can be found in various answers on the site. And yes LaTeX does a lot of gymnastics in \addvspace or ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

How to include a tex file with own formatting options

I have two tex files, tex1 and tex2. I want to include tex1 into tex2. I know \include and \input but those won't allow to include tex files with own formatting. tex1 has a header for example but tex2 ...
13
votes
3answers
594 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 ...
91
votes
4answers
16k views

When to use \edef, \noexpand, and \expandafter?

I'm quite happy hacking TeX macros and cobbling together bits and pieces from different style files to suit my own ends, but I have a suspicion that my resulting hacks are not quite as elegant as they ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

How to make a rich png image from a Latex Math Equation [duplicate]

I have a LaTeX math equation that I have been trying to convert it into a rich .png image by compiling the .tex file into .dvi and then from .dvi to .png. But I noticed that the Image is small and the ...
31
votes
3answers
42k views

Escape character in LaTeX

I need to output the below text but since \ is a special character, I cannot: [RegularExpression(@"\d+")] Also sometimes I need use dollar sign $ as well but it seems to be a special char, too. ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Hook tex macro without altering tokens stream

Is is possible to hook a macro with function which writes some info to file or log without altering stream which creates dvi file. For example if i have macro definition \def\foo{\mathop{A}} and i ...
2
votes
1answer
423 views

How to convert an A5 document (PS or PDF) to an A4 document (PDF)?

I have a document with A5 pages (created from a TeX file) and want to combine pairs of A5 pages to A4 pages. That is, without scaling, page 1 and 2 of the A5 document should become page 1 of the A4 ...
9
votes
1answer
108 views

Interactively look up macro definitions

In a TeX document, the primitive command \show will print out the current definition of a macro one level deep (it won't (and can't?) reduce to primitives). This comes with the restriction of actually ...
16
votes
3answers
261 views

Can I convert a string to catcode 11?

In the TeX FAQ there's a way to test if the jobname is equal to something (comparing the jobname). The difficulty of the naïve test is that the contents of the \jobname primitive are catcode 12 so to ...