# equivalent of showframe on generic boxes (for debugging)

I have done a lot of searching but cannot figure out how to visualized the box that a piece of content falls into without shifting the content. How do you debug?

Note: How can I visualize boxes? could be a good question if it had answers that worked without lua. But, also that OP is specifically looking to outline all boxes which I am not. If I were able to get that to work, I'd probably have a whole new problem interpreting what I see.

• I did look at that answer, but it was not useful. There's not a way to say "can I get more answers to this" so I have to ask the question differently. – Bruno Bronosky Jul 16 '18 at 18:58
• The way would be to add a comment at the other question. And if you ask a new question at please post a link to the other one and explain what makes your question different … maybe you like to edit your question and add some more information ;-) – Tobi Jul 16 '18 at 19:00
• Done. Thanks @Tobi. I didn't link earlier because it was a hassle as I was posting via mobile app. – Bruno Bronosky Jul 16 '18 at 20:02
• Your welcome, and thanks for clarification. I’m not aware of other solutions with pure (La)TeX. But maybe you could explain a bit mor in detail what exactly you want to debug, at least I didn’t understand it yet – I guess … maybe you also add an MWE illustrating a thing you want to debug. – Tobi Jul 16 '18 at 21:00
• Your question is pretty hard to understand. Can you add more detail as to what you want and a minimal working example? – Andrew Jul 18 '18 at 15:58

## 1 Answer

A simple \setlength{\fboxsep}{-\fboxrule} helps if you use \fbox. I sometimes use something similar to

\documentclass{article}
\setlength{\fboxsep}{-\fboxrule}
\begin{document}
\raisebox{0pt}[0pt][0pt]{\rlap{\fbox{test1}}}test2
\end{document}


As one can see, no issues with shifted text, test1 is exactly below test2. In case you want a more general approach, with probably other drawbacks, you can use something similar to this approach, an answer by Circumscribe to help debugging in math mode.

• I had to add a \noindent inside the fbox, but after that it put a box around it without shifting anything. This is very helpful. Am I don't something that makes it want to indent? Can I fix that? (That's probably the biggest reason I'm having to debug.) – Bruno Bronosky Jul 16 '18 at 20:09
• I'd still like to find a solution to visualize an existing box rather than create a new one. Creating a new one can be error prone (as demonstrated). – Bruno Bronosky Jul 16 '18 at 20:10
• @BrunoBronosky I assume you don't use Texlive then? The provided code produces exactly the picture I posted for me, running Texlive (on Linux, though). You can, of course, create custom commands to get rid of that need (if it's indeed needed), like \newcommand{\myfbox}[1]{\fbox{\noindent#1}}. You could also store and restore the previous used \fboxsep if you want to use \fbox in your main document as well. – nox Jul 16 '18 at 21:28