# Command for special text with reserved LaTeX symbols

Surely I am missing something here, but I can't remember =(. I want to build a command that accepts special LaTeX symbols and correctly display them. As special I mean \, _, or some others, and respect spaces, page/line breaks. The special text can be in \rmfamily or \ttfamily and no hyphenation is desirable.

\documentclass{article}

\newcommand{\specialtext}{\ttfamily #1}

\begin{document}

\specialtext{This a special text with \ # _}

\end{document}

• Do you mean \verb? – egreg May 2 '13 at 16:52
• More or less like \verb, but with more options. After posting the question I thought about something like inline listings, but it seems to much for this operation. – cacamailg May 2 '13 at 17:01
• To respect things like \rmfamily, I presume you mean that it is specified prior to entry into the command/environment, since otherwise it would display literally, rather than being enacted? – Steven B. Segletes May 2 '13 at 17:17
• Yes you are right. – cacamailg May 2 '13 at 17:19
• listings provides an inline command, \lstinline. It has an optional argument for all the settings you want. There's also \lstMakeShortInline which defines a shortcut for \lstinline where you can have preset options for the specified shortcut. – clemens May 2 '13 at 17:55

Thanks to a trick from David Carlisle (see Optional arguments in verbatim environments), he helped me with the following (EDITED for T1 encoding, per egreg's suggestion):

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{verbatimbox}
\renewcommand\encodingdefault{T1}
\parskip 1ex\parindent 0em

\newenvironment{venv}{\verbatim\venvinner}{\endverbatim}
\makeatletter
\newcommand\venvinner[1][]{{\nfss@catcodes\scantokens{\gdef\tmp{#1}}}\tmp}
\makeatother

\begin{document}

\normalsize
\begin{venv}[\LARGE]
this is a test of \LARGE verbatim
\end{venv}

Back to normal text outside of verbatim

\normalsize
\begin{venv}[\large]
\tiny this is a test of \large verbatim
that begins with a \ character, which
is tricky business when using optional
arguments in a verbatim environment.
\end{venv}

Back to normal text outside of verbatim

\normalsize

\begin{venv}[\rmfamily]
Here is verbatim text in \rmfamily.
\end{venv}

\begin{venv}[\slshape]
And we have verbatim in \slshape
\end{venv}

\end{document}


p.s. I would add in closing that the verbatimbox package incorporates this kind of [optional pre-conditioning] logic in order to stuff verbatim into a box. But in that case, it must display on a single page, as a box cannot be broken across pages.

• A backslash is printed as such if you use T1-encoded fonts. – egreg May 2 '13 at 21:31