Why does TeXShop add a dot after auto-completing an environment? An example is shown in the following image:
enter image description here

I'm referring to the dot after \end{itemize}. If I don't delete it pdflatexmk can not compile the document and throws the following error:

Package inputenc Error: Keyboard character used is undefined
(inputenc) in inputencoding 'utf8'.

What is the purpose of the dot?

1 Answer 1


I raised this issue on the TeX on OS X mailing list a few years ago, and received the following reply from Herb Schulz, who created the basic autocompletion file for TeXShop:

Well, they will show up depending upon your input encoding. You are supposed to replace them by using the Next/Previous Mark commands to move and select them and replace them. When I go to the final • at the end of the environment I simply hit return and it gets removed and a newline is entered. I like to isolate environments. And you can remove them by editing the CommandCompletion.txt file in TeXShop if you wish.

Personally, I've never found them very helpful, but the idea is that you can move from one to the other and replace them easily.

You can read the entire thread here: Still trying to understand autocompletion.

  • Something similar was used by the LaTeX mode of the Alpha (or Alphatk) editor, where • was used as a placeholder and hitting TAB would move to the next one, selecting it, so that one could just start typing at the right place.
    – egreg
    Apr 9, 2013 at 13:57
  • Never knew about the Next/Previous Mark commands. Thanks for the answer. Apr 9, 2013 at 13:59
  • This is a typical feature of a certain philosophy of TeX editors, apparently. Vim-LaTeX uses analogous markers to allow you to jump to significant places in auto-inserted material. By contrast, AucTeX just parses the LaTeX code for its various locator functions. The problem with the markers is that you can only use them once...
    – Ryan Reich
    Apr 9, 2013 at 15:26
  • 3
    Note that in OSX the command for moving to the next marker is found Source/Command Completion/Marks/Next Mark. The key binding is CTRL-COMMAND-F, and for the previous mark it's CTRL-COMMAND-G. Jan 26, 2015 at 13:55

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