Is it possible to have a conditional that allow us to do something if a given command is being used in the document? For example for the \part command would be:



The following would avoid the \bfseries for the chapter entry in the TOC, because the \part command is being used in the document.



  \ifnum \c@tocdepth >\m@ne
    \vskip 1.0em \@plus\p@
      \parindent \z@ \rightskip \@pnumwidth
      \parfillskip -\@pnumwidth
      \hskip -\leftskip
      #1\nobreak\hfil \nobreak\hb@xt@\@pnumwidth{\hss #2}\par






I've changed \@ifcommandIsBeingUsed to \@ifcommandisbeingused 'cause I've remembered that in TeX/LaTeX language is common to use uppercase letters only in "very low level" macros.

  • 3
    Note that usage of such a command would at least require two compiles since you may want to use \@ifcommandIsBeingUsed before it is actually used...
    – Werner
    Mar 17, 2014 at 20:55
  • LaTeX is turring-complete, so yes. I recently used the ifthen package in an answer here: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/165873/…
    – Argo
    Mar 17, 2014 at 21:23
  • To clarify, you wish this command to discern whether a macro has actually been invoked, and not just if it has been defined. Is that correct? Mar 17, 2014 at 22:17
  • 4
    Also, when you say "is being used", do you mean "will be used at some point" or "has been used to this point" in the document? Mar 17, 2014 at 22:41
  • @StevenB.Segletes I hope my update will answer your questions.
    – Aurelius
    Mar 17, 2014 at 23:34

1 Answer 1


This solution creates a file \jobname.use which tracks, which commands have been used. You add a command to the list by doing \ifused\<command>{<hook>}. In the example I used \patchcmd from etoolbox to remove \bfseries from \l@chapter. Doing \ifused twice for the same command will produce errors.


\file_if_exist:nT { \c_job_name_tl . use }
 { \file_input:n { \c_job_name_tl . use } }

\iow_new:N \l_cloud_used_stream
\iow_open:Nn \l_cloud_used_stream { \c_job_name_tl . use  }
\AtEndDocument { \iow_close:N \l_cloud_used_stream }

\cs_new_protected:Npn \cloud_is_used:N #1
  \iow_now:Nx \l_cloud_used_stream
   { \exp_not:N \bool_set_true:c { l _ cloud _ if \cs_to_str:N #1 _ bool } }

  \preto #1 { \cloud_is_used:N #1 }
  \iow_now:Nx \l_cloud_used_stream
   { \exp_not:N \bool_new:c { l _ cloud _ if \cs_to_str:N #1 _ bool } }
  \bool_if:cT { l _ cloud _ if \cs_to_str:N #1 _ bool } { #2 }



\chapter{Before first part}
\part{First part}
\chapter{After first part}
\part{Second part}

enter image description here

  • 1
    \preto =? \tl_put_left:Nn?
    – Manuel
    Sep 14, 2014 at 14:19
  • @Manuel Indeed that works, but it shadows the initial intention. Unfortunately there is no \cs_put_left:Nn. Sep 14, 2014 at 14:36
  • \cs_put_left:Nn would be more like \pretocmd. I think \tl_put_left:Nn is fine here, but it's true what you say :)
    – Manuel
    Sep 14, 2014 at 14:38
  • 1
    Note that \c_job_name_tl has been replaced by \c_sys_jobname_str in the September 2015 release of expl3.
    – egreg
    Sep 30, 2015 at 9:43

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