Suppose I have a length \mylength, defined to be

\setlength{\mylength}{5pt plus 1pt minus 2pt}

I'd like to make \mylength a fixed length, but keep the default length. In this example, I'd like


But what if I didn't know the definition of \mylength? I know I can use \the\mylength to have it printed in the document, which I then can inspect, but I was wondering whether there is a simple way to strip out the glue of a length.

  • 1
    If you use 1\mylength the stretch and shrink components are removed.
    – egreg
    Dec 3, 2016 at 11:02
  • That answers my question!
    – Hugh
    Dec 3, 2016 at 11:03

1 Answer 1


If you use a factor in front of \mylength, the stretch and shrink components are discarded. With


\setlength{\lenA}{5pt plus 1pt minus 1pt}

the length \lenB will be set to 5pt.

If you just need to use \lenA without stretch and shrink components, the same holds:


will make a nonflexible space.

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