[l2h] Trouble with control space

Greg Gamble gregg at maths.uwa.edu.au
Fri Feb 10 04:41:18 CET 2006

On Thu, Feb 09, 2006 at 12:26:42PM +0000, Anthony Stone wrote:
> I'm having trouble with LaTeX2html's treatment of "control space",
> i.e. backslash followed by space, which TeX and LaTeX use to force a
> space after a control sequence. That is, if I say
> \newcommand{\foo}{{\sc Foo}}
> to get Foo in caps and small caps, I have to write \foo\ in the LaTeX
> source in order to make sure it is followed by a space.

Dear Anthony,

This is a `feature', not of LaTeX2HTML, but of (La)TeX which uses a space
to separate tokens. You will find that the space disappears in your .dvi,
.ps and .pdf versions as well. You need to do one of:

  ... \foo\ FOLLOWING TEXT
  ... {\foo} FOLLOWING TEXT

to ensure that (La)TeX (and LaTeX2HTML) does not gobble up the space
looking for the next token. The ~ (tie) method works slightly differently
in (La)TeX, by forcing the following word to appear on the same line, and
the space doesn't stretch.

> LaTeX2html seems to screw this up completely, usually losing some of
> the text after the control space, and (when I do use it as with \foo
> above) using caps and small caps for the whole of the text that
> follows.
> This seems a fairly basic bug -- or is this a a documented `feature'?

I recommend you do a global substitute \foo -> {\foo}. Encapsulating in
curly braces works also (by effectively doing nothing), in those situations
where there is no space intended after the macro \foo:


If you get into this habit, you will find that those times when an expanded
macro butts up to following text don't happen anymore.

  Greg Gamble

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