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Beyond ∖newcommand with xparse

Joseph Wright



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Introduction. The LATEX 2ε \newcommand macro is most LATEX users’ first choice for creating macros. As well as the ‘sanity checks’ it carries out, the ability to define macros with an optional argument is very useful. However, to go beyond using a single optional argument, or to create more complex input syntaxes, LATEX 2ε users have to do things ‘by hand’ using \def or load one of the packages which extend \newcommand (for example twoopt (Oberdiek, 2008)).
As part of the wider efforts to develop LATEX3, the xparse package (LATEX3 Project, 2009) aims to replace \newcommand with a much more flexible set of tools. This means looking again at the way that commands are defined, and so xparse uses different syntax conventions to \newcommand. In this article, I will be looking at some of the highlights of xparse.
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TUGboat, Vol. 31, No. 1. (2010), pp. 80-83 
Key: INRMM:14531739

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