Is there a way to hide LaTeX commands for distract-less reviewing?

When I review and revise LaTeX documents, the commands are distracting. Is there a way to hide them or even make them as the same color as the background, so that they can not be seen? Any packages or editors?

  • 2
    What do you mean hide LaTeX commands? You mean have a text file that contains everything except the \commands? In the editor? – Seamus Oct 12 '11 at 16:19
  • one can revise and review the pdf, or use lyx... – Yossi Farjoun Oct 12 '11 at 16:49

Most serious text editors allow for multiple syntax highlighting themes. If you really need this, I'd suggest keeping one 'writing' theme with commands highlighted, and create a second 'review' them which is identical to the default except with all commands set to match the background or (perhaps a better idea) a few shades different, as Tobi suggested.

If reviewing in raw TeX is enough of an annoyance to you, you might consider switching to MultiMarkdown, a Markdown variant with LaTeX support. As you know, the philosophy behind Markdown is not just that it should be easy to write, but likewise easy to read.

  • I'll try to use (Multi)Markdown for writing and reviewing as far as I can before writing in LaTeX. Thanks. – microbe Oct 13 '11 at 21:48

In most editors you can set the color for keywors. There you can set it to light gray or even white, but in this case the are not visible but taking space however.

This is how it looks like in TeXStudio. (I like my keywords in red …)


  • It's possible in TeXnicCenter as well. – doncherry Oct 12 '11 at 17:33
  • Thank you for your suggestions. I mainly use vim-LaTeX suite but I'll the editors out. – microbe Oct 13 '11 at 21:42
  • @microbe: I guess it’s possible to change the colors in vim too … – Tobi Oct 14 '11 at 10:58

Whilst agreeing with the earlier answers and comments, it may be worth pointing out some types of document can be more effectively reviewed by increasing the semantic significance of commands rather than by hiding them.

For example, \newcommand can be used to replace commonly used command sequences with something more semantically significant. Some examples from a recent article I wrote included:

    {\textsf{\textbf{\Large #1}}\par\medskip}
    {\textsf{\textbf{\large #1}}}

This simplifies the appearance of the document but also makes clearer the semantic intent of many of the commands (in addition to the benefit of allowing document-wide changes by an edit at one place in a document). Checking that appropriate Any-TeX commands have been applied to content can reveal errors that may be harder to find later.

Finally, if you have not already seen it, do read through the answers and associated comments to Workflow for reviewing PDFs generated from TeX? -- it does include material wider than the question might suggest and relevant to your question.

  • Thanks for the link. I'm experiencing the similar situation. – microbe Oct 13 '11 at 21:45

Here's an entirely different approch to your problem -- for most situations, the editor solution will still be better. Convert your document into plain text or a Word document, which is more comfortable for non-LaTeX reviewers. There are several questions about such tasks here; reading through them, Pandoc seems to be a pretty popular choice, I haven't used it myself though. Here are some related questions:

  • Thank you for the links. They are relevant to the problem I have. – microbe Oct 13 '11 at 21:46

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