# [texhax] current position in output

Uwe Lück uwe.lueck at web.de
Mon Dec 29 01:31:33 CET 2008

Intending clarification of the most important aspect of Reinhard's
criticism of using \pagetotal [just sport]:

At 05:08 28.12.08, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
>tom sgouros writes:
>  > I don't know if you'll get the precision you seem to be looking for, but
>  > you should try playing with \pagetotal,
[...]
>The only reasonable solution is what Martin proposed.
[pdfTeX]
>Everything else is inaccurate and unreliable and not worth to consider.

At 05:48 28.12.08, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
>tom sgouros writes:
>
>  > \the\pagetotal\the\pagegoal
>  >
>  > \the\pagetotal\the\pagegoal
>  >
>  > \the\pagetotal\the\pagegoal
>
>This is useless.  Put these commands into paragraphs containing text,
>one near the beginning and one near the end of each paragraph and see
>what happens when a page break occurs.

While processing input not containing any \par, the expansion of
\the\pagetotal won't change [1]. So e.g., if you have an author like
Heinrich von Kleist where a sentence may fill more than a page (f. Exercise
14.15 in the TeXbook) \the\pagetotal may expand to 0pt' all over the page.
This means that \the\pagetotal may not give any clue as to the vertical
position on the page. Rather it will just indicate the vertical position at
which the previous paragraph ended.

Cheers,

Uwe

____________________________
[1]
\begin{document}
\newcommand{\ohmydear}{%
Oh my dear! Oh my dear! Oh my dear! Oh my dear! Oh my dear!
Oh my dear! Oh my dear! Oh my dear! Oh my dear! Oh my dear!
\the\pagetotal\space}
\ohmydear \ohmydear \ohmydear \ohmydear \ohmydear
\end{document}

`