Basic tcolorbox help appreciated

I'm not really a LaTeX programmer but have to go through the code of a document that I didn't write, and I'm wondering how to create a very basic box using the tcolorbox package. I have the manual that explains how it all works, but it's overwhelming to a LaTeX-noob like myself, so I'm just hoping someone can simplify things for me.

All I want to do is define a particular type of box (call it \qbox for example) in the .sty document and then call it when I need it. It just needs to be a 5mm square gray box with a white number (title) in it. How can I define and call a simple box like this with tcolorbox?

The boxes should look as close to these as possible:

• Welcome to TeX.SX! You can do it with the standard \colorbox, I think. – egreg Jan 15 '18 at 7:31
• Perfect! I didn't even know about \colorbox but it does the job fine and isn't too complicated to use. I just did \colorbox{gray}{\textcolor{white}{\textbf{\,1\,}}} and it pretty much looks the way I want. – James Rodkey Jan 15 '18 at 8:03

(Principally the frame is stolen from Torbjørn ;-), but this is one way to go for tcolorbox, defining a total TCBox:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{xcolor}

\usepackage[most]{tcolorbox}

\DeclareTotalTCBox[auto counter,number within=section]{\qbox}{+O{}}{
enhanced,
frame hidden,
sharp corners,
nobeforeafter,
colback=gray,
colupper=white,
size=small,
box align=base}{%
\thetcbcounter% Declare the content immediately, there the box number
}
\begin{document}
\section{Foo}
\qbox{}
And then some text and stuff.
\qbox{}
And so on. \qbox\qbox\qbox\qbox\qbox\qbox\qbox

\section{Bar}
Next section, start again with \qbox.
\end{document}


• Is the size of the box here (the width specifically) defined with the size=small parameter? – James Rodkey Jan 16 '18 at 7:43
• Yes, there are some possible values for size. Small is the quickest way, in my point of view, in order to get a small boundary – user31729 Jan 16 '18 at 8:31

If all your boxes are numbered sequentially, you can set up a counter to get the number automatically. In the example below I also reset the counter at every \section, as a demonstration. If you don't want that, remove the \counterwithin line.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{xcolor}
\usepackage{chngcntr}

\newcounter{boxnumber}
% reset counter at every \section:
\counterwithin{boxnumber}{section}

\newcommand\qbox{%
\refstepcounter{boxnumber}%
\colorbox{gray}{\textcolor{white}{\textbf{\arabic{boxnumber}}}}%
}

\begin{document}
\section{Foo}
\qbox{}
And then some text and stuff.
\qbox{}
And so on. \qbox\qbox\qbox\qbox\qbox\qbox\qbox

\section{Bar}
Next section, start again with \qbox.
\end{document}

• This is a great idea - I hadn't even considered the sequential counting as well. Thanks! – James Rodkey Jan 16 '18 at 7:42