I have the following MWE which takes an argument and prints it verbatim. I have obtained the code from this answer.

    % deactivate special characters
    % change '{' and '}' back to normal

yields $\alpha$ on the page.

I want to define a macro \showcase which will print the code that was used for the text, and the evaluation of that code, namely

\newcommand\showcase[1]{\myverb{#1} #1}

I expected this to print

$\alpha$ <actual-letter-alpha>

but instead it prints

<actual-letter-alpha> <actual-letter-alpha>

because the argument is expanded before it is taken by \myverb (I think).

What should I do to make the macro behave the way I want?

Note: I want to use this macro either inside a table or minipages, so that I can showcase the macros I have defined. So I need to be able to play with it, like put the column delimiter & between, or separate them into two minipage environments.

  • \newcommand\showcase[1]{\texttt{\meaning#1} #1}} Jul 25, 2014 at 14:53
  • The argument is not expanded, but catcode changes have no affect on tokens (which is why you can not use \verb in a macro argument) so your definition is just \texttt{#1}` Jul 25, 2014 at 14:54
  • @DavidCarlisle True, I also noticed curly braces are not printed. How can I achieve this then?
    – osolmaz
    Jul 25, 2014 at 15:09
  • curly braces should be printed by \meaning in texttt ? Jul 25, 2014 at 15:18
  • @DavidCarlisle I meant in the one I defined, \myverb.
    – osolmaz
    Jul 25, 2014 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


You need \meaning, something like



\texttt{\expandafter\foo\meaning\tmp} #1}



  • I'm getting a space after \alpha. What could be the reason? I'm getting spaces after macros in general.
    – osolmaz
    Jul 25, 2014 at 15:42
  • @nrs tex has no idea whether you entered $\alpha$ or $\alpha $ that information just isn't recorded. It always puts a space out so that if you entered $\alpha a$ it shows $\alpha a$ not $\alphaa$ Jul 25, 2014 at 15:45
  • @nrs an alternative would be to use \verb|$\alpha$| $alpha$ Jul 25, 2014 at 15:46
  • Excellent, thanks. Although I still wonder whether there is a way to make it verbatim and evaluate it at the same time? Is it not possible? Because it would be much better if I could also adjust the spaces.
    – osolmaz
    Jul 25, 2014 at 17:18
  • You could read it verbatim and then use \scantokens but scantokens can bite, I'd use the one in the answer or the one in the comments:-) Jul 25, 2014 at 17:35

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