Questions tagged [expansion]

{expansion} is about expanding tokens, including the manipulation of expansion order and the suppressing of expansion.

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16
votes
4answers
598 views

(Why) Can't we get 'fully expandable' versions of every command?

I'm just starting to figure out what 'expandable' means in LaTeX, and why it is useful to have commands that expand as far as possible. In particular: If you want to \typeout some string to the log ...
16
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3answers
2k views

TeX macro and command expansion?

I have implemented couple of macros that should remove commas from numbers. It's nasty dirty stuff, but it works when input is number: \removecommas{12,34,56.7} % => 123456.7 But it stop working ...
16
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2answers
550 views

Passing arguments to a macro hidden in the text

Context: I'm trying to write a macro that behaves somewhat like C's printf family of functions. For instance, the following C code: #include <stdio.h> int main() { printf("Hello %s! Today'...
16
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2answers
3k views

How to add a hook to a macro

LaTeX uses hooks extensively, one method employed is the command g@addto@macro. It is defined in source2e as: \long\def\g@addto@macro#1#2{% \begingroup \toks@\expandafter{#1#2}% \xdef#1{\...
16
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1answer
791 views

Why does \expandafter not expand the full { } group?

I thought I had understood the principle of expansion ... but apparently not! \def\a{AAA} \def\b{BBB} \expandafter\detokenize\expandafter{\a\b} I thought that the 2 \expandafter would store \...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Expandable full expansion of tokens that preserves catcodes

Is it possible to fully expand tokens in an expandable manner and preserves category codes? I'd like to do this just using pdfTeX. I'm looking for something that would work like this: \def\foo{foo} \...
16
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1answer
645 views

A problem with counters

While trying to answer a question I came upon a problem with counters and I need some help. The idea is to collect answers to some numbered exercises, so the collected answers can be all typeset at ...
16
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1answer
250 views

Workaround for open lualatex bug in \scantokens?

As package author I am in need of writing a manual with lots of examples. Now I started to make heavy use of lualatex in order to speed up operations which take a long time in TeX (of my package, not ...
16
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1answer
540 views

How do I ‘expand’ a control sequence `\let` to a character?

Consider the following: \let\1=X \edef\2{\1} \show\1 \show\2 The result is > \1=the letter X. > \2=macro: ->\1. Is it possible to ‘expand’ the meaning of \1 so that \2 contains just X? ...
15
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6answers
2k views

Defining new commands inside a for loop

I would like to define a number of related commands by using the counter in a for-loop. For example, I want to define 26 commands like this: \newcommand{\calA}{{\cal A}} \newcommand{\calB}{{\cal B}} ...
15
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4answers
893 views

Create a capitalized macro token using \csname

Two things I understand and one thing I don't: I often use \csname to create user-defined tokens. For instance, the following code uses \expandafter to expand everything between \csname and \...
15
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3answers
515 views

Parsing strings containing diacritical marks (macros?)

I apologize that this question may seem very much like several other recent ones I have asked (Parsing leading hardspaces, Parsing a \$ as part of an improved \getargs command). They are all related ...
15
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1answer
10k views

Difference between \newcommand and \pgfmathsetmacro used in TikZ \coordinate

Consider the following code: \documentclass{article} \usepackage{tikz} \begin{document} \begin{tikzpicture} \newcommand{\MA}{4} \pgfmathsetmacro{\MB}{4}; \coordinate (V11) at (0,0); \...
15
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2answers
2k views

Allow underscore in PGFPlots tick labels read from table

I'm trying to use the text data from a table column as the tick labels in a plot. The text data contains underscores, which makes LaTeX throw a Missing $ inserted error. I'd usually get around this by ...
14
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3answers
590 views

How to pass a macro as the argument to \selectlanguage

The following mwe throws the error You haven't defined the language lang yet. \documentclass{article} \usepackage[american]{babel} \newcommand{\lang}{american} \selectlanguage{\lang} \begin{document} ...
14
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2answers
473 views

LaTeX3: How to get reliable control over the level of expansion?

Say you want to write LaTeX3 code that manages user data. Sometimes you want to process that data, but other times you just want to store it, move it around and return it unchanged (when developing a ...
14
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3answers
465 views

Expansion of first token in a tabular cell

Background I currently do some work on the collcell package which collects the content of a tabular/array cell and provides it to a user defined macro, e.g. using >{\collectcell\mymacro}c<{\...
14
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2answers
279 views

Why does this use of `\expandafter` not work?

I've written the following code: \newif\ifconsecutive \consecutivefalse \newcommand{\myfirst}[1]{#1\consecutivetrue\expandafter\consecutivefalse} \newcommand{\mysecond}[1]{\ifconsecutive $\...
14
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2answers
1k views

Tricks to make macros expandable

Expandable macros are useful (I find working in the lion's mouth super cool). But they are difficult to write. Can more experienced users give hints that help achieve expandability? For example, we ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a robust \renewcommand replacement?

Replacing \newcommand by \DeclareRobustCommand makes a new command robust. But what about \renewcommand? Is there a command to robustly renew a command? It would be possible to first use \...
14
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2answers
1k views

Save counter value inside command?

I'm trying to automatically generate commands based on the value of a counter: \documentclass{article} \newcounter{count} \newcommand\generator[1]% {% \stepcounter{count}% \expandafter\def\...
13
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6answers
918 views

Is there a '\ReallyDontExpandUntilTheLastMinute' command?

There's a couple of things I want to be able to do that are quite similar and basically involve keeping back a macro expansion until the last minute. Possibly the simplest example is that I have a ...
13
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4answers
778 views

Useful applications of \edef with macro arguments

Well, it's been in my head for some time, but I haven't got anything out of it, so I ask here. At what places could be useful to have \edef\foo#1{..}? What applications could it have? Is it useful at ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Expanding a sequence inside a TikZ path

I am trying to draw a simple path using TikZ, with a custom syntax to specify it. This works: \documentclass{article} \usepackage{tikz} \begin{document} \newcommand{\latticepath}[1]{ \draw[thick]...
13
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3answers
571 views

Expandable 'character scanning' command that preserves spaces

David Carlisle recently offered a clean and rather elegant TeX solution to a question about expandable 'character scanning' commands. Unfortunately, David's solution does not preserve spaces in the ...
13
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4answers
826 views

Insert a period / full stop if caption argument doesn't end with one

I have a command \Notes which simply is a caption under a figure: \newcommand{\Notes}[1]{\captionsetup{position=below}\caption*{#1}} I would like the punctuation to be consistent in the caption, ...
13
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2answers
811 views

\expandafter within a \begingroup … \endgroup [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does \begingroup\expandafter…\endgroup do? In many of Heiko Oberdiek's packages one sees this type of construction: \begingroup\expandafter\expandafter\expandafter\...
13
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2answers
985 views

Concurrently interleaving execution of Lua and TeX in LuaTeX

The usual way to interleave Lua and TeX in generating documents is by invoking Lua from Tex through the \directlua facility and generate Tex from Lua using tex.print(). For example, consider the ...
13
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1answer
1k views

How to do \scantokens inside \edef without triggering “Runaway definition”

I'm trying to find a way to use the e-TeX \scantokens command inside [the equivalent of] an \edef (well, actually an \xdef, but presumably this does not make any real difference since that's just the \...
13
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1answer
960 views

How to expand a macro used in the range of a foreach loop?

Motivating Example: Suppose that I want to draw the following tree: root / / \  / A B C D This is easy enough to do by explicitly drawing the two subtrees as children ...
12
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2answers
2k views

On unprotecting (expanding) \protected macros (or, “the space after command name”)

I quite often come into a situation, where I need to obtain some text produced by a package macro as a string, like in say: Expanding (edef) a lipsum command? How do I "unprotect" an ...
12
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4answers
441 views

Expandably change letter case and use inside \csname, without a package

I want to change the letter-case of a single character argument, and use that changed letter inside a \csname. And I want to do it without an additional package. For example, I want to pass a macro ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Macro to do nothing via a \def

I have encountered another expansion issue and have narrowed it down to this simple test case of a macro that does nothing, well at least it tries to do nothing, but is not all that successful. If I ...
12
votes
4answers
620 views

How to prepend and append tokens to a macro definition in the current scope only?

I am facing the problem of both prepending and appending some tokens to the definition of a macro that does not take arguments. I found out that in the LaTeX2e kernel there is the macro \g@addto@...
12
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2answers
3k views

Cannot use \toprule when doing \input inside tabular — why?

Using \input inside a tabular environment does not seem to work in all cases, but I don't see why. The MWE below gives the following error message: ! Misplaced \noalign. \toprule ->\noalign ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Censor text spanning multiple lines

I'd like to censor or hide some text while replacing it with the appropriate amount of white-space. The replacement text cannot be searchable. The text to be hidden usually exists in the LR mode. The ...
12
votes
4answers
935 views

Expansion of commands in errmessage

When I run \documentclass{article} \def\pet{dog} \errmessage{My \pet\ is {sick}} \begin{document} My \pet\ is {sick}. \end{document} the error message is: My dog\ is {sick}. but the PDF output ...
12
votes
1answer
452 views

Text being output when none should be

I am confused as to why the MWE below produces any black text. As the code is below, the output is: However, if you comment out the \IfStrEq line then it works fine and the black text goes away? \...
12
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2answers
2k views

Package xparse \SplitList last token

I need to create a macro to render lists with a variable number of arguments (1+), e.g. \mylist{1,2,3} should expand to $\tilde{1}$--$\tilde{2}$--$\tilde{3}$. I'm trying to use xparse and \SplitList, ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Problem with environment expansion and the Tikz external library.

I've created my own environment mytikz, which basically looks like this (full MWE): \documentclass[a4paper]{article} \usepackage{tikz} \usetikzlibrary{external} \newenvironment{mytikz}{%begin code ...
12
votes
1answer
761 views

Forcing macro expansion

I have done my best to understand \expandafter, \edef and friends, but I can't find a way of using them to force expansion of the parameter passed in to the macro \FormatDate in the following example. ...
12
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1answer
284 views

expandable unit conversion

I'm writing a package to assist typesetting documents for some special Pen & Paper Fantasy RPG. In this fantasy setting, there are three types of coins: gold, silver and copper pieces, which ...
11
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5answers
1k views

How to create a “delay expansion” environment?

I don't want to use the following \begingroup \edef\next{\endgroup \noexpand\const{Xp}{\X(tp)} \noexpand\const{Yp}{\Y(tp)} \noexpand\const{Xf}{\X(tf)} \noexpand\const{Yf}{\Y(tf)} }\...
11
votes
4answers
900 views

Partially expanding a command

My \john command is defined like so: \def\john{\DontExpandMe} I would now like to repeatedly change its definition, to keep adding some extra stuff on the front. \foreach\i in {ape,bat,cow,dog} { ...
11
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3answers
773 views

How to delay expansion

Consider the following document: \documentclass{article} \usepackage{polynomial} \begin{document} \def\a{-3} \def\b{-2} \def\c{-4} \[ \polynomial{\a,\b,\c}\quad\polynomial{-3,-2,-4} \] \end{document}...
11
votes
2answers
302 views

How to expand \ifthenelse so that it can be used in \parshape?

How do I get the following MWE to work: \documentclass{article} \usepackage{xifthen} \usepackage{lipsum} \newboolean{bar} \setboolean{bar}{true} \def\foo{\parshape = 2 \ifthenelse{\boolean{...
11
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3answers
825 views

Arguments possibly delimited by \bgroup and \egroup

I still don't see (and haven't thought about) pros and cons of making available the arguments as \foo{…} or \foo\bgroup …\egroup (or even unbalanced, \bgroup …} and {…\egroup). But I'm curious about ...
11
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3answers
908 views

How do I pass an expanded optional argument using expl3/xparse?

I have a command defined using xparse syntax: \DeclareDocumentCommand \foo { O{} m } {} Inside some other command (say, \bar), I want to call this command. The calling command (\bar) has to ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How to use \noexpand in an \edef?

Continuing with my struggle to deal with expansion issues, I am stuck on how to use an \edef properly. The code below with the switches set as: %\def\ApplyColorToTitle{} %\def\UseMathrmInTitle{} \def\...
11
votes
1answer
867 views

Expansion of macros and box contents

I don't understand the following behavior. Intro First, here is a simplified version of a macro I am using (which is itself a hacked version of a macro found in gloss.tex). If you have a string MY|...

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