# What is “state=start”?

Throughout ConTeXt's web site and documentation, there are examples that have `state=start`. The reference manual also has this, but it isn't clear to me what this means. In the manual, for different commands, it can take the value of `start`, `stop`, `keep`, `none`, `high`, `empty`, `none`, `nomarking`, etc.

Can someone clarify?

• Which command are you referring to? Not all commands take `state` as an argument. – Henri Menke Nov 24 '18 at 3:19
• BTW, the reference manual is not a good resource, see my comments here: github.com/hmenke/context-examples/blob/master/… – Henri Menke Nov 24 '18 at 3:36
• Hi @HenriMenke, I just saw it everywhere, but didn't have specific commands in mind. How about `\setupinteraction[state=start]` and `\setupcolors[state=start]`? Another one I saw was `\definelogo`. I assumed that since it is such a common property, it had similar meanings everywhere. – Roxy Nov 24 '18 at 3:43
• `\setupcolors[state=start]` is not necessary in MkIV. Colors are enabled by default. – Henri Menke Nov 24 '18 at 4:35

The `state` property is usually associated with global properties of the document. Take for example

``````\setupinteraction[state=start]
``````

This enables document interaction (hyperlinks). If you wanted to switch it off (maybe only temporarily), you'd use

``````\setupinteraction[state=stop]
``````

Searching in the ConTeXt command reference for `state =` gives me 46 matches. Most of them are for some internal commands or on commands where `state=start` is the default.

In the second part you asked about what it means for `state` to be something other than `start` or `stop`. I could find this for `\setuplayouttext` where you have

``````state = start stop empty high none normal nomarking NAME
``````

To be honest, I have no idea what these mean, because I have never used this command directly and there seems to be no documentation on the Wiki. There is documentation for `\setupheader` (for which I never used the `state` property) which is implemented in terms of `\setuplayouttext`.

Maybe as addition to Henri Menke's nice answer: There are cases where start and stop might not have the meaning you would expect, e.g. when talking about layers (from the wiki):

The available options for the "state" of a layer are:

• start: layer appears only on the current page
• stop: layer doesn't show up
• repeat: layer prints on all pages
• next: layer appears on the following page
• continue: layer appears on all pages except the first

In one of your comments you are asking about `\setupcolors`. The wiki page tells you that it accepts four states: `local`, `global`, `start` and `stop`. In MkIV colors are enabled by default and only accept the states `start` and `stop` (see setup-en.pdf and sources).

This is just to exemplify that you should always check (and never fully trust) the documentation. If something is unclear, just ask a question, there will be people helping you :)