August 20, 2020
Creating new document commands in LaTeX has traditionally been the job of
\newcommand. This lets you create command with mandatory arguments, and can
also add a first optional argument. However, it can’t create more complex
commands: LaTeX uses for example stars, multiple optional arguments, etc. To
create these, the kernel itself uses lower-level TeX programming. But this is
opaque to many users, and a variety of packages have been created to ease the
August 19, 2020
Creating document commands in LaTeX has traditionally involved a mix of
\newcommand, semi-internal kernel commands (like
\@ifstar) and low-level TeX programming using
\def. As part of wider
efforts to improve LaTeX, the team have over the past few years improved
xparse to the point where it is capable
of creating a vast array of document commands.
January 15, 2020
A few years ago
I wrote about the work the LaTeX team were doing on providing case changing
expl3. Since then, the code has been tested and revised,
and very recently has moved to a ‘final’ home within
expl3. It therefore
seems like a good time to look again at what the challenges are and what tools
November 2, 2019
I’ve been talking about a new version of
siunitx for a
number of years now, and progress has been
slower than I’d hoped.
March 17, 2019
Regular readers will know that I’m a fan of the light-weight
TeXworks editor. It keeps the user interface pared
down, letting both new and experienced users focus on their input, whilst at the
same time having lots of handy features.
March 7, 2019
LaTeX environments are almost always used for cases where the content does
not make sense as a macro argument. That can happen for example because
there are clear ‘start’ and ‘end’ conditions, because the content is long
and open-ended, or because category code changes are needed.
January 1, 2019
Just over ten years ago, I decided to establish a blog about TeX matters.
After a bit of consideration and searching, I found that
available, and decided to call the blog Some TeX
December 9, 2018
TeX does not include any ‘native’ support for floating point calculations, but
that has not stopped lots of (La)TeX users wanting to do sums (and more
complicated things) in their document. As TeX is Turing
complete, it’s not a
surprise that there are several ways to implement calculations. For end users,
the differences between these are not important: what is key is what to use.
Here, I’ll give a bit of background, look at the various possibilities, then
move on to give a recommendation.
December 6, 2018
In parallel with work on the
\expanded primitive, I’ve been working
recently on bringing the ‘utility’ primitives in
XeTeX into line with those in
pdfTeX, pTeX and upTeX.