# Gibberish string prepended to deleted text in the PDF obtained by compiling 'diff' file generated by latexdiff

I am using latexdiff for marking up corrections requested by the examiners to my PhD thesis. I have a strange issue with this.

Upon compiling the diff.tex file, I get a specific string 4.0pt=-.55ex at the beginning of each deleted text throughout the document. See this figure.

In the source file diff.tex, the highlighted entires correspond to these lines

\DIFdelbegin \DIFdel{references are }\DIFdelend
\DIFdelbegin \DIFdel{\textbf{modified}}\DIFdelend
\DIFdelbegin \DIFdel{Creative Commons Attribution ...}\DIFdelend
\DIFdelbegin \DIFdel{they attribute it, that they :}\DIFdelend
\DIFdelbegin \DIFdel{that they do not alter, transform ...}\DIFdelend


The preamble generated by latexdiff for this diff.tex defines these commands as follows

\providecommand{\DIFdelbegin}{} %DIF PREAMBLE
\providecommand{\DIFdelend}{} %DIF PREAMBLE
\providecommand{\DIFdel}[1]{{\protect\color{red}\sout{#1}}}  %DIF PREAMBLE


I have tried searching for the string 4.0pt=-.55ex in the diff.tex file, but not even a portion of this exists anywhere! From where is this spurious string originating, and how do I get rid of this problem?

• as always it would be much easier to help if you provided an example. – David Carlisle Dec 31 '18 at 18:01

My crystal ball says that you are redefining \ULdepth:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{color}
\usepackage{ulem}
\renewcommand\ULdepth{4.0pt} %<--- wrong
\providecommand{\DIFdelbegin}{} %DIF PREAMBLE
\providecommand{\DIFdelend}{} %DIF PREAMBLE
\providecommand{\DIFdel}[1]{{\protect\color{red}\sout{#1}}}
\begin{document}
\DIFdelbegin \DIFdel{references are }\DIFdelend
\DIFdelbegin \DIFdel{\textbf{modified}}\DIFdelend
\DIFdelbegin \DIFdel{Creative Commons Attribution ...}\DIFdelend
\DIFdelbegin \DIFdel{they attribute it, that they :}\DIFdelend
\DIFdelbegin \DIFdel{that they do not alter, transform ...}\DIFdelend

\end{document}

• @UlrikeFisher, happy new year. Prima facie, your crystal ball indeed seems to be correct. Only the underline based styles have a problem. I am already using the ulem package with this custom depth in my thesis. How can I make this work with the underline style provided by latexdiff? – Krishna Dec 31 '18 at 18:53
• @Krishna it's always wrong to redefine a length resgister with \renewcommand you should set the length with \setlength not redefine it so it is no longer a length. that is true in general not just for ulem or latexdiff. – David Carlisle Dec 31 '18 at 19:06
• Use \setlength\ULdepth{4pt} instead. – Ulrike Fischer Dec 31 '18 at 20:03
• @Krishna \ULthickness is a macro which should be redefined with \renewcommand, not a length register, – David Carlisle Dec 31 '18 at 20:16
• \ULdepth and \ULthickness is not the same. – Ulrike Fischer Dec 31 '18 at 20:18