I use LyX especially for writing math, and I created my own bind file for my preferred shortcuts.

Among other commands, I defined shortcuts that insert a command-sequence, for inserting long data easily. for example, I have the following shortcut assigned:

\bind "C-S-L x 1 n" "command-sequence self-insert x; math-subscript; self-insert 1; char-forward; self-insert ,; math-insert \ldots; self-insert ,; self-insert x; math-subscript; self-insert n; char-forward;"

This sequence generates a list of variables, named x_1 to x_n, separated by dots and commas. As can be seen, I use a shortcut that defines exactly the variable type I want to insert, and the needed range for the sequeunce. Soon enough, I realized I want all sorts of these sequences that only differ in their variable name ('x', here) and their range (1 to n, here).

My question is - is there any way to define a 'dynamic' shortcut, in that sense it will generate the wanted sequence according to three given arguments, instead of defining each of these as a separate shortcut?

Thanks for the help.

1 Answer 1


Why don't you use math macros? In LyX menu: Help/Math/22.2 Math macros. If you still need a special shortcut afterwards, you just bind the shortcut to inserting the command of your macro and that should simplify editing even more.

  • thanks for the tip. I still prefer to use command sequences as I described above, since inserting them gives exactly the requested expression. Using math macro, though, as far as I get it, only lets me create some kind of patterns. After inserting a macro I have to go back and fill in the data manually - and that's exactly what I don't want to do (mostly for typing speed reasons). Besides, macro are only available in the document where they were defined - and that means redefining them for each document, but binding a command sequence is available globally.
    – Mosheke
    Commented Jul 13, 2012 at 16:12
  • @Moasheke: I am not sure I understand what you mean. A math-macro defines a new command with the name of the math macro. A macro can have zero arguments, i.e., it defines a static math expression. It can however also have arguments so that your macro can be arbitrarily parametrised. Now let's say you need all sorts of expressions of the template <var>_1,\ldots,<var>_<range>. You define a macro with two arguments for <var> and <range> and all occurences of those will get automagically filled in. Macros can be reused as well.
    – walkmanyi
    Commented Jul 13, 2012 at 22:43
  • I understand that macros can be set to be fixed expressions ("zero arguments") or some kind of templates (taking arguments). Still, when using a macro, this template is inserted and I have to manually fill in the arguments. Is there any way to give the arguments together with the macro name in advance - so as soon as the expression is generated it will hold the given args? otherwise it means going (almost) from box to box filling them up - which doesn't take too long, but I just want to make sure. Also, how do I use macro in another document without redefining it every time? tnx.
    – Mosheke
    Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 23:08
  • Macros: I think the best way to find out is to play with it. Again: macros are in fact just new commands. I.e., macro is not only a template. Consider it an arbitrary expression optionally with placeholders for parameters of your interest (variable name, index range). As for the second question regarding macro re-use, you are right, you would need to redefine it again and again. But in my case copy&paste are working just OK for the set of macros I use often.
    – walkmanyi
    Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 23:25
  • Is there some way to get LyX to not replace \foo from a two argument macro \foo{#1}{#2} with the LyX graphical representation before both arguments have been typed in as well?
    – Rasmus
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 21:29

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