[OS X TeX] Spaces in file or folder names

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Thu Feb 10 17:30:20 CET 2005

On 10 feb 2005, at 16:36, Aditya Dushyant Trivedi wrote:

>> Just avoid spaces in names that you have to pass to LaTeX. You'll be
>> much happier. Trust me on this.
> I have used files and folders with spaces in it (for LaTeX) on Windows 
> with no problem (On windows I use MiKTeX). I have never had a problem.

I would consider that a hack. Plain TeX uses a different \input, there 
you type "\input filename " (obviously without the quotes). To in plain 
tex (and context for that matter), the filename is delimited by white 
space. That is a fundamental issue. The issue can be resolved in part 
through patch files (file handling needs to be patched this way in any 
case for a new platform), but the portability issue is still there. The 
fact that you never had a problem with it, may depend on your usage of 

> If I understand correctly, OS X being a UNIX based system uses a unix 
> based distribution. Historically, LaTeX has been used through command 
> line. Having spaces in names when using it via command line causes 
> issues. You have to remember to quote things properly. Many scripts 
> which are used to automate a TeX run do not handle spaces in file 
> names properly. Thats a platform specific problem and not a TeX 
> problem.

I'd say it is a TeX issue, in that plain tex may have issues with it. 
Besides: you want your sources to be portable across platforms, and in 
that case avoiding spaces makes life a lot easier.

Combine the above with the fact that you're likely to use a long list 
of other Unix based utilities, and you'll quickly reach the conclusion 
that spaces are not your friend. Besides: the people who actually have 
the skills to come up with something resembling a solution (a hack at 
best), do not consider the space issue to be important at all (the 
issue periodically comes up on comp.text.tex, and is usually dismissed 
with: don't bother, just don't use spaces).


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