To begin with, I'm not even sure if tex has this functionality, but let me try to explain what I'm trying to do.

So I'm keeping a work log in tex format, that I try to update every now and then. So far, I've been making a new section for every day I add things. So my sections look like

\section*{February 05, 2013}
% tables, figures, text, etc..
\section*{February 06, 2013}
% other tables, figures, text..

Although it is nice to keep chronological order when I'd like to go back to see when I did something, this messes up the contextual order of things. So equivalently, I may have a version of my log that looks like

% tables, figures, text, etc..
\section*{Ordered Parts}
% other tables, figures, text..

And, as you already guessed, the chronological order and the contextual order don't match. So what I'm trying to do is set up a way to typeset in my choice of order. I'd like to be able to specify that I want contextual order, and I want the compiler to extract information that belongs to the same contextual section from different chronological sections, and typeset accordingly.

Like I said, I don't even know if this is possible with tex, but any help or suggestions on other platforms to do this would be appreciated.

  • So this is similar to grouping entries by tags, like it is done on stack exchange.
    – cartonn
    Feb 7, 2013 at 20:01
  • IT is not exactly clear to me what you are trying to do. I would suggest you post a complete example of the input files and the desired output. I am pretty sure this is doable, but need to understand exactly what it is that you desire. Feb 8, 2013 at 2:46
  • Here are some questions that are similar, one of the answers might help you out: 1, 2, 3
    – Scott H.
    Feb 12, 2013 at 22:55

2 Answers 2


It is possible (TeX is Turing complete, after all), but I'd be surprised if easy/convenient... In such a case, I'd create a textfile with entries of a structure like:

20130131 Frobbing the baz
   A nicely laid out paragraph written in LaTeX, describing in excruciating
   detail how the poor baz was brutally frobbed

20130131 Tweaking
   Another paragraph

20130201 Frobbing the baz
   Continue where the above left off

That by itself isn't too bad to read, is easy to write as a raw worklog, and easy to process with a tool like Perl into proper LaTeX files in the format you want. You could even add in a command like \worklogentry{date}{context} that allows to process the raw worklog as-is and give the massaging process enough of a clue to separate contexts.


By my own experience, I think that you will get a better service from an stablished software. What you are behind, sounds like a log or some kind of note taking. I can suggest you wikidpad. Has the ability of keep a chronological log, that can be tagged and copy figures.

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