Spaces in file names

Spaces in file names are a constant issue for LaTeX users. As many people will know, TeX is not really very happy with spaces, as they are used to delimit the end of input in a lot of low-level macros. This shows up particularly in two areas: graphics and shell escape. For graphics, the excellent grffile package will deal with many of the issues. When using shell escape, the issue is usually that \jobname may be slightly odd. For TeX Live users, that is not so much of a problem as the name is automatically quoted to protect the space. However, MiKTeX does things a bit differently, and uses a star in place of a space. So you end up with

> \example=macro:
l.2 \show\example

which is not exactly helpful. However, it is possible to deal with this, as recently mentioned on TeX.SX. As * cannot normally appear in file names, and \jobname makes all characters have category code 12, a simple approach is to do a quick replacement

\def*{ }
\catcode`\*=12 %

If you want to deal with both TeX Live and MiKTeX, you’d of course need first to test which system is in use (for example using \pdftexbanner).

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