So, through the years, I have an on and off user of TeX. Although I have master some things in the past, I find myself to re-read books at the Introductory level. Recently, I have started reading Marc van Dongen's "LaTeX and Friends" introductory book. This was published in 2012 I presume.

Now, as I progressed in my reading, I have found that some of the commands in the text are not recognized by my LaTeX Distribution: I am using texlive on a Windows 10 64-bit Laptop and writing with Texmaker as the editor.
For instance, here is a screenshot:
simple bibliography

As you can see the command \endashabove was not recognized and I got an error. After much googling, I found that \textendashis the working alternative. This is a code snippet from a book that was published 12 years ago yet my LaTeX distribution cannot typeset the code from it. I have tried to look at Esenbach and Trettin's l2tabu which sums up a list of deprecated commands and packages and suggests the newer versions. Unfortunately, I haven't found anything related to the \endash command.
Now I am wondering if there is a list of obsolete commands that I should be aware of (other than l2tabu obviously).


1 Answer 1


The LaTeX command is \textendash.

\endash is not defined by any packages in common general use that I know. It may be the book was using a local package that defined this, or as it is simply a typeset example in a book, it may be that it never related to running code at all.

On the other hand, the LaTeX class used for TUGBoat, the proceedings of the TeX User group, ltugboat.cls, does define \def\endash{--} so it's possible that this originated in a tugboat article and picked up local definitions from there.


  • Not a bad theory. Just begs the question, who'd rather write \endash than simply use -- ? :-)
    – Ingmar
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 8:39
  • @Ingmar people who find \textendash too much to type? Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 8:45
  • I see. \textendash is too much, -- is too little, so \endash it is. And why not? I'm a firm believer of the Goldilocks principle myself, at times, and there should always be more than one way to skin the cat.
    – Ingmar
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 8:49
  • 1
    @Ingmar And direct input: ‒ – —. ;)
    – Cicada
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 12:52
  • amsrefs defines \ndash to be --, the documentation says it works better in some fonts. Commented Apr 18 at 3:03

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