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18

The manmac format used for processing the TeXbook defines ^ in a very special way. Under the standard setup, ^ alone is the marker for superscripts and also has a very peculiar behavior when followed by itself, see What is the role of an unescaped circumflex or hat character " ^ "? However, manmac.tex makes ^ into an active character and Knuth ...

13

If you are referring to the use of ^ like in ^^{TeX78} and ^^|\copyright|, here's the relevant part from manmac.tex % Indexing macros \newif\ifproofmode \proofmodetrue % this should be false when making camera-ready copy \newwrite\inx \immediate\openout\inx=index % file for index reminders \newif\ifsilent \def\specialhat{\ifmmode\def\next{^}\else\let\next=\...

10

The ^ character is used either to indicate the switch to superscript typesetting or it is a character replacement method (better shifting method),e.g. ^^+ will be replaced by the character k, since k and + differ by 64 positions in the ordinary ASCII code, it's possible to say \vs^^+ip 8cm instead of \vskip 8cm Identically, ^^k will replaced by + then, ...

5

The syntax uses file as in pdftex, \documentclass{article} \usepackage{ifxetex} \begin{document} %for text \ifxetex \mdfivesum{Hello World!} \else \pdfmdfivesum{Hello World!} \fi %for file (content) \ifxetex \mdfivesum file {\jobname.tex} \typeout{ xetex \mdfivesum file {\jobname.tex}} \else \pdfmdfivesum file {\jobname.tex} \typeout{pdftex \...

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