I am getting this error and i do not know why, i need to know what it is to be able to work around it.

i have this latex document which has a place holder to take a month and when i am feeding it a month from the terminal it is screaming at me with this error:


also saying ! Missing number, treated as zero.

the field is just a normal renewcommand{\month}{\Month}

in summary what is c_sys_month_int and does it expect a certain formate.

PS when i hardcore the month name into the tex file before compiling, ie renewcommand{\month}{March} or renewcommand{\month}{5} i get no error in compiling. so why if i feed it the value from terminal it does not work, moreover the document has about 7 other input values being taken from the terminal with no problem.

i have also noticed that i can use batchmode but it will only accept digits for the month and not the word like march may or june. i am also having this error from time to time: Package inputenc Warning: inputenc package ignored with utf8 based engines.

  • You should post an MWE, so we can see the errant code. Otherwise, it'll be hard to help you. – A Gold Man Oct 14 '17 at 19:23
  • unfortunately, the code is not with me, i can only send the request to the server to print me a pdf, i just want to know what is c_sys_month_int, and ill try to give it the input it is expecting, since it saturday, if i want the code ill have to wait till monday – Hazo Oct 14 '17 at 19:27
  • Have you tried using a number to represent the month? The _int part implies that it expects a number. As does the error message – A Gold Man Oct 14 '17 at 19:28
  • yes i tried it says: ! You can't use `the character 5' after \the. \month – Hazo Oct 14 '17 at 19:29
  • If you put \global\errorcontextlines\maxdimen in your document and post the full error message, it may help us. – A Gold Man Oct 14 '17 at 19:42

One can trigger the error with for example


The error arises as \c_sys_month_int is where expl3 (the LaTeX3 programming layer) stores a copy of the month from the \month primitive. As this is a primitive (part of TeX itself), expl3 (and many other packages) expect it take be a particular form: an integer in the range [1,12]. Redefining it is not a good idea: if you want to localise the output for e.g. \today, look at appropriate packages.

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  • so in other words, \month is a reserved variable to that pacakge and if i want to feed it from terminal with custom values that i want it should have another name so that it does not use its package ?> – Hazo Oct 14 '17 at 19:54
  • @Hazo you could write a wrapper, which takes the month's name you want and returns its number. – Skillmon likes topanswers.xyz Oct 14 '17 at 19:56
  • @Hazo Well nothing in TeX is 'reserved' but it's a bad idea to alter such things. – Joseph Wright Oct 14 '17 at 19:56

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