I found several entries about the fact that the ifthen package is obsolete. So my question is: how to define a condition check then? I have searched and I find several example for ifthenelse (contained in the ifthen) package OR the statement "ifthen package is obsolete".

  • 1
    it is not obsolete
    – user2478
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 12:32
  • @Herbert I agree; maybe it's not the first choice any more, but it's easy and in some cases it's sufficient. Probably using xifthen in place of it is better anyway.
    – egreg
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 13:01

2 Answers 2


It may be considered obsolete because there exist more modern variants and the package was not updated for a long time.

See for example http://www.ctan.org/pkg/etoolbox which uses e-TeX features.

Apart from the macros in ifthenelse being fragile, if you can handle that, you can just use them, no problem.

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX-SX! You may have a look at our starter page for a quick intro if you wish to familiarize yourself with our format. Commented May 6, 2013 at 12:47

I prefer

\def\something{} %% set to true
%% or:
\let\something\undefined %% set to false


to avoid the ifthen package.

The advantage of not using a package is that this approach can be used in files that are just \input by large document (for example TikZ images), when it cannot be guaranteed that a certain package is loaded.

  • Your code only shows how to check whether a macro is defined; I believe the OP's question is more general than that.
    – jub0bs
    Commented Aug 9, 2014 at 14:38
  • If you can influence setting the variable to true or false, you can also instead define or undefine it (\let\something\undefined)
    – Scz
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 16:30

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