Is there any way to put a string into a token list and have it be interpreted as if the string was a token list itself?

In the snippet below, I want/expect all 3 solutions to display the true-branch (3 times "well, hello there."), but the middle one displays "what?".

What can I do, to solve this? The string, I want to put left in the token list is a given and comes from another procedure - that's something I can not change (in my use case, not the example below, obviously).

\clist_new:N \l_some_clist
\clist_put_right:Nn \l_some_clist {hello-world, bye-world}

% only token lists:
\tl_set:Nn \l_testBa_tl {hello}
\tl_set:Nn \l_testBb_tl {-world}
\tl_put_right:No \l_testBa_tl \l_testBb_tl
\clist_if_in:NoTF \l_some_clist \l_testBa_tl {
% token list with a string
\tl_set:Nn \l_testA_tl {hello}
\str_set:Nn \l_testA_str {-world}
\tl_put_right:No \l_testA_tl \l_testA_str
\clist_if_in:NoTF \l_some_clist \l_testA_tl {
% token list with a string should be interpreted the same as if it would be entered manually:
\tl_set:Nn \l_testA_tl {hello}
\tl_put_right:Nn \l_testA_tl {-world}
\clist_if_in:NoTF \l_some_clist \l_testA_tl {

PS.: I have seen Comparing LaTeX3 token list to string, but this does not seem to be about the LaTeX3-strings…

  • @Manuel as I tried to explain: I don't necessarily want to use a string, but I get one from \StringEncodingConvert from the package stringenc and want to compare this string to an item from a clist.
    – genericFJS
    Dec 1, 2017 at 20:20
  • Removed the comment. Yes, if that's a given you need to work around that ;)
    – Manuel
    Dec 1, 2017 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


When you use o arguments you should use braces. Plus in your cases sometimes what you want is V arguments (which do not need braces).

You can do \tl_set_rescan with the “given string”.

\str_set:Nn \l_given_str { -world } % this is the given string that you want to convert
                                    % to a normal token list

\tl_set:Nn \l_tmpa_tl { hello }
\tl_set_rescan:Nno \l_tmpb_tl { } { \l_given_str } % here you rescan to a normal token list
\tl_put_right:NV \l_tmpa_tl \l_tmpb_tl
\clist_if_in:NVTF \l_some_clist \l_tmpa_tl
 { well, ~ hello ~ there. }
 { what? }
  • Thanks for the answer and the additional tips regarding arguments.
    – genericFJS
    Dec 1, 2017 at 20:23

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