Re: TeX syntax?

glen herrmannsfeldt <>
16 Feb 2007 23:43:38 -0500

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From: glen herrmannsfeldt <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 16 Feb 2007 23:43:38 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 07-02-024 07-02-029 07-02-037 07-02-046
Keywords: macros
Posted-Date: 16 Feb 2007 23:43:38 EST

Joseph H Allen wrote:

> I made my own preprocessor/format for TeX based on these books. I
> remember playing a lot of games with the macro name space. For
> example, only a limited character set can be used in macro names, but
> I wanted to use any character. I ended up escaping: AA maps to A, AB
> maps to backslash, AC to {, etc.

Just about any character can be used in macro names if one really
wants to do it. LaTeX uses @ in many of its internal names, by
first changing the catcode of @ to letter, then defining macros
with @ in the names, or references to those macros. After
defining all the internal macros, it changes @ back to other.

You can also change the escape character used for macro references
from \ to something else. I believe catcode is described fairly
early in the TeXbook.

-- glen

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