# 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 :)