I have just downloaded the FasTeX package of macros for LaTeX. It is excellent and is already speeding up my work.Briefly, it has a whole bunch of short text strings which, when followed by two space marks, enter a whole bunch of code. For instance bfig adds \begin{figure} to your document.

In a TUGboat article entitled Introduction to FasTeX it shows how to add more abbreviations on a Mac or on Unix, but I did not see any information how how to do this on a Windows machine using WinEdt. (e.g. I would like blistrt to create \begin{listing}[package = R, breaklines = TRUE].

Is there a way?


Was specially ported to windows for WinEdt so there are slight differences compared to the Mac(TypeIt4Me) and Unix (scedit for expect) reference versions at Caltech

To allow for International use the "trigger" key is a pair of keys (WinEdt=double space) and could be reduced to a single key (e.g. a space) for "plain Latin" (i.e. English) However in this time of increasing UTF8 usage that simplification is probably best avoided as likely to cause problems.

In LyX such abbreviated string aliases (aka macros) are stored within the document preamble which means there can be downstream issues. In FasTeX such abbreviated aliases are personal to the machine thus not kept in the TeX so are not a portability issue for others.

There are about 1500 alias shortcuts already defined but since its a very simple alias substitution scheme it is easy to add your own. In the Mac Typeit4Me version there is a front end GUI. However in the WinEdt version you simply use WinEdt, Obviously without FasTeX active so as not to interfere with saving its files.

When you download and install from http://www.winedt.org/macros/latex/FasTeX.html Follow the instructions and you should eventually see in the editor console

OK:      File ActiveStrings-FasTeX.ini copied to ConfigEx.
OK:      File FasTeX_Templates.edt copied to Macros\Active Strings\FasTeX.
OK:      File FasTeX_Templates.edt.dat copied to Macros\Active Strings\FasTeX.
OK:      File ConfigEx\ActiveStrings.ini successfully updated.


You need to find where those working copies are most likely they are hidden in

your personal %appdata%\WinEdt Team\WinEdt 10\ConfigEx directory and
%appdata%\WinEdt Team\WinEdt 10\Macros\Active Strings\FasTeX folder
you should be able to paste those entries into explorer to check.

Best to make a local backup in case of needing to restore after any editing problems.

Open FasTeX_Templates.edt.dat and at the end (after the previous ending entry which by default may be -tabl-) leave a blank line then add for your need the trigger word, then definition followed again by your trigger word but wrapped in hyphens.

\begin{listing}[package = R, breaklines = TRUE]

Open ActiveStrings-FasTeX.ini and add after the last Macro Line (before the //END line) the following NOTE the trigger string blistrt MUST be followed by TWO SPACES

STRING="blistrt  "
  MACRO="[BeginGroup;Backspace(9);Ins('\begin{listing}[package = R, breaklines = TRUE]');EndGroup;]"

This last step is where your trigger word is assigned as a string to be executed

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  • Thanks! I am new at this. How do you make Fastex inactive? (I've been using WinEdt and LaTeX for a while, but very much at a basic, plain vanilla level and I am not a programmer at all). – Peter Flom - Reinstate Monica Mar 27 at 20:30
  • I hit accept too soon. Neither of those files are on my hard drive. – Peter Flom - Reinstate Monica Apr 4 at 17:46
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    Ok the files are available from this link winedt.org/macros/latex/FasTeX.html I have added the location they install to by default as %appdata% so cut and paste that into explorer address bar to help find them for your additions – user170109 Apr 4 at 19:00
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    Sorry I made a stupid substitution of wrong line for your request see updated entry I was able to change last line of ActiveStrings-FasTeX.ini externally with notepad while ini was loaded Winedt is intelligent to see the change and ask if I want to reload I said yes and then again reloaded macros so that it works as you requested.whilst loaded – user170109 Apr 4 at 19:35
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    Not so much tricky but easy to go wrong and then trickier to know what I did wrong (such as I did not take one step ahead of you) to guide you well. – user170109 Apr 4 at 21:02

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