# Redefine macro without using tmp variable

Is it possible to amend to a macro without storing the original one in a tmp variable?

Approach is similar to this one here: Redefine macro in terms of old one. But without the OldMacro

I came up with something using groups, but doesn't work.

\def\abc{abc}
\begingroup\let\orgabc\abc\def\abc{\orgabc\endgroup def}


EDIT: It's indeed partially working. But not to my expectations.

\documentclass{article}

\def\abc{abc}
\begingroup\let\orgabc\abc\def\abc{\orgabc\endgroup def}

\begin{document}
\abc
\end{document}


Output: abcdef (Works, as expected)

\documentclass{article}

\def\abc{abc}
\begingroup\let\orgabc\abc\def\abc{\orgabc\endgroup def}

\begin{document}
\abc
\abcorg
\end{document}


Output: Error: undefined control sequence (Works as desired, because \abcorg is not defined)

\documentclass{article}

\def\abc{abc}
\begingroup\let\orgabc\abc\def\abc{\orgabc\endgroup def}

\begin{document}
\orgabc
\end{document}


Output: abc (Why is \orgabc defined here?)

EDIT: The redefinition somehow clashes with the titlesec package. I opened a new question here

• Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look at our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format. Feb 28 '17 at 7:24
• What is your goal? For me it prints abcdef. Feb 28 '17 at 7:27
• In LaTeX there is \g@addto@macro, so \g@addto@\abc{foo}\abc  expands to abcfoo then
– user31729
Feb 28 '17 at 7:29
• Thank you for your answers! I now understand the power of the MWE. It does indeed work in a MWE, but doesn't in my main document. I will edit my question. Feb 28 '17 at 7:34
• Ooops, I meant \g@addto@macro\abc{foo} above...
– user31729
Feb 28 '17 at 7:36

This of course cannot work, because it will leave the effect of \begingroup hanging until you call \abc, which will probably happen in undesirable places (see your other question).

To me it seems you want to do

\def\abc{abc}
\expandafter\def\expandafter\abc\expandafter{\abc def}


but this is clumsy and limited to only allow appending.

Without reinventing the wheel, you can use etoolbox:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{etoolbox}

\newcommand{\abc}{abc}

\begin{document}

The macro \verb|\abc| expands to \abc''.

\appto\abc{def}

The macro \verb|\abc| expands to \abc''.

\preto\abc{X}\appto\abc{X}

The macro \verb|\abc| expands to \abc''.

\end{document}


This will print

The macro \abc expands to “abc”.
The macro \abc expands to “abcdef”.
The macro \abc expands to “XabcdefX”.

The cause why \orgabc is still available is that the group is actually never closed, it causes warnings about semi groups.

Now, egreg has used \expandafter\def\.... already.

It is possible to use \xdef\foo{\foo other stuff} to use a shorter version.

As a third variant, apply \g@addto@macro from the LaTeX kernel, which stores everything expanded in a token first and redefines the macro with \xdef, in order to expand the token.

\documentclass{article}

\def\abc{abc}
\def\abcother{abc}
\def\abcyetanother{abc}
\expandafter\def\expandafter\abc\expandafter{\abc\ defappended which works}

\xdef\abcother{\abcother\ defappended works as well}

\makeatletter