[latexrefman] New todo's

Hefferon, Jim S. jhefferon at smcvt.edu
Wed Oct 17 13:16:23 CEST 2018

> I was working on a revision today and tested \alph and \Alph beyond the numeric range of 1-26 and LaTeX does give an error.

Sorry, I meant to say that the relevant entry, for instance for \alph at:


already describes what happens when you go outside the natural bound.



From: latexrefman <latexrefman-bounces+jhefferon=smcvt.edu at tug.org> on behalf of Bob <solimeno at gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 20:59
To: Karl Berry
Cc: latexrefman at tug.org
Subject: Re: [latexrefman] New todo's

Hi Karl,  Thanks for the feedback.  I was working on a revision today and tested \alph and \Alph beyond the numeric range of 1-26 and LaTeX does give an error. I was thinking of adding a work-around that some people were advocating on tex.stackexchange.com<http://tex.stackexchange.com> but I had some difficulty getting a MWE to work.  A short while ago Jim posted that he's already "coded it up and sent it in."  So maybe what I was pursuing would be going too far down the rabbit hole.

Jim - Thanks for going with what I had and I will begin working on \big, \bigg, etc.

Thanks,  Bob

On Mon, Oct 15, 2018 at 5:41 PM Karl Berry <karl at freefriends.org<mailto:karl at freefriends.org>> wrote:
Hi Bob - nice, thanks. In reverse order.

    Commands that cause the counter(s) {counter} to be typeset as a
    lowercase or uppercase letter.

Perhaps: ... uppercase (English) letter, a--z or A--Z.
(Just to be explicit that letters like German es-zet are not included here.)

What I'm curious about is what happens if the value is <1 or >26.
Does LaTeX report an error? Or does it just typeset some "random"

    The accent mark is selected by <number>, a numeric argument,
    followed by a space and then a <character> argument to construct the
    accented character in the current font.

The <number> is a character code in the current font, but the
<character> can come from a different font. (I'll insert the texbook.tex
description below since I have it up.) I don't think we need to explain
everything Knuth does, just say there can be an optional font change
between the <number> and the <character>.

Also, for completeness, we should say that the space factor is set to 1000.
(I didn't remember that until I reread Knuth's description.)

--thanks, karl.
[from texbook.tex]

\\^|\accent|\<8-bit number>\<optional assignments>.
Here ^\<optional assignments> stands for zero or more \<assignment>
commands other than ^|\setbox|.
If the assignments are not followed by a \<character>, where
\<character> stands for any of the commands just discussed in the previous
paragraph, \TeX\ treats |\accent| as if it were |\char|, except that
the space factor is set to 1000. Otherwise the character that follows
the assignment is accented by the character that corresponds to the
\<8-bit number>. \ (The purpose of the intervening assignments is to
allow the accenter and accentee to be in different fonts.) \ If the
accent must be moved up or down, it is put into an hbox that is
raised or lowered. Then the accent is effectively superposed on the
character by means of kerns, in such a way that the width of the accent
does not influence the width of the resulting horizontal list.
Finally, \TeX\ sets |\spacefactor=1000|.

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