As I am working on improving my answer to Different approach to literate programming for LaTeX, I have created a macro that automatically processes two arguments and formats indexes accordingly. The arguments are strings (not control sequences), with #1 being the type of macro and #2 being the name of the macro.

Here is a sample of the macro I am using. It relies on etoolbox and xstring.

    % Default definitions
    % Specific type definitions
            \entryname @\string\texttt{{\string\textbackslash}\entryname}}}{}
            \entryname @\string\texttt{{\string\textbackslash}\entryname}}}{}
         \def\macro@format{\textbackslash#2\par\textbackslash end#2}
            \entryname @\string\texttt{{\string\textbackslash}\entryname}}}{}}

However, I would like to make it so that the user can add new types of macros with an interface such as:


which should append the following code to my existing macro:


Ideally, the \addmacro command could be starred, too, as I have an additional switch to toggle depending on the user's wishes.

So, my question is: how can I implement a macro that appends some code at the end of the main macro, and that can be used repeatedly. I would prefer to keep using etoolbox if possible (I have seen \apptocmd in the documentation but can't get it to work). The main difficulty which I am encountering is with the arguments #1 and #2 of \set@macro@style, which the user must be able refer to in some way. How could this be implemented? An explanation would be very welcome too.

1 Answer 1


You could probably place an empty macro without arguments (\setmacrotypeend) at the end of \set@macro@type and append code to this with \ltx@GlobalAppendToMacro from the ltxcmds package. About necessary expansion see Comparing an argument to a string when argument is a result of a command with etoolbox. I did not test this, but for a comment it is too long and needs too much format.


... (unchanged as it was before)


  • Thank you very much for your answer. I adapted the general idea to etoolbox and it works fine. One question however: do you know how I should write a boolean switch in \addmacro (created earlier with newif, so something like \thingtrue)? \expandafter does not work there.
    – ienissei
    Apr 5, 2012 at 7:11
  • @ienissei \newif\ifname \newcommand{\addmacro}[4]{\ltx@GlobalAppendToMacro{\setmacrotypeend}{\ifname ... \else ...\fi}} \nametrue or \namefalse seems to work, i.e. I just do not understand it at the moment. Could you ask this as new question, please? (Even if I still would not see the issue, surely somebody here will provide a solution, which is more unlikely for a question in a comment.) (Maybe I should just get some sleep, better yet, should have gotten more of it last night, sorry.)
    – Stephen
    Apr 5, 2012 at 18:48
  • Sure, thank you for your answer :). I will give it a bit more thought and eventually ask a new question about it.
    – ienissei
    Apr 5, 2012 at 20:04

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