I have to escape underscores very frequently inside \texttt, because I use it to mark functions and variables.

I'd like to redefine \texttt, under different name, so I could write \mycommand{my_variable_name} instead of \texttt{my\_variable\_name}.

  • 1
    \verb!my_variable_name! does the same ;-) – user31729 Apr 7 '16 at 20:09
  • Do you plan to have spaces in the argument to \mycommand? Or just strings of plain characters and _? – egreg Apr 7 '16 at 20:18
  • @egreg I do not plan to have spaces but it'd be nice to have. – Luke Apr 7 '16 at 20:21

You are done with


provided you load fontenc with the T1 option. Otherwise you need category code changes, which make the command not suitable to be in the argument to another command.




Here is a variable \myvar{my_variable_name} and also
in a description
\item[\myvar{my_variable_name}] is a nice variable


enter image description here

  • Is \detokenize{#1} the core part of the solution? What does T1 mean? – Luke Apr 8 '16 at 13:31
  • @Luke Yes, \detokenize is the key; T1 is a font encoding where printable ASCII characters appear as themselves, contrary to what happens with the default OT1 encoding. – egreg Apr 8 '16 at 13:33
  • Does it mean I won't be able to write math equations in the same document? – Luke Apr 8 '16 at 13:46
  • @Luke Why? There's no reason to worry about math. – egreg Apr 8 '16 at 14:02
  • "printable ASCII characters appear as themselves" I guess I didn't get that part. – Luke Apr 8 '16 at 14:29

You can try to use verbatim mode, i.e. \verb!my_name! -- this is output always as \texttt or use xparse and define a command with verbatim argument 'v', but this macro can't be used in another macro.

This works with spaces too.

Note: The \begingroup...\endgroup is to prevent the leaking of \ttfamily to the following text.



  \ttfamily #1%



  • It doesn't seem to work inside \item: \begin{description} ... \item[\verb!abc(d_e, e_f)!] -- blah, blah \end{description} – Luke Apr 7 '16 at 20:29
  • @Luke: That's what I wrote: You can't use neither of them in another macro. And your question did not contain \item ... – user31729 Apr 7 '16 at 20:31

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