[texworks] Unwanted side-effect of <tab> : how to avoid ?

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Tue Jun 14 00:21:18 CEST 2011

On 2011-06-13 at 19:53:24 +0100, Philip TAYLOR (Webmaster, Ret'd) wrote:

 > Stefan Löffler wrote:
 > > In particular (as elaborated a bit elsewhere in this thread), Tw
 > > has no way of knowing/guessing what kind of file you're working
 > > on.
 > This part I don't understand.  When I open a file in TeXworks, the
 > first thing I do is to go to the dropdown menu alongside the green
 > "Typeset" arrow and select the engine needed to process that file.
 > Once I have done that, TeXworks /knows/ what kind of file I am
 > working on, and could then offer autocompletion appropriate to that
 > kind of file.  Prior to setting the typesetting engine,
 > autocompletion must be completely inappropriate since, as you say,
 > "Tw has no way of knowing/guessing what kind of file you're working
 > on".

Even if you specify a particular engine, it's still not clear which
type of file you want to process.  Suppose you select "plain TeX" but
the file contains the line "\input texinfo.tex".  After loading this
file, the escape character is "@" instead of "\".  This breaks command
completion and syntax highlighting and it's extremely difficult for an
editor to find out what to do.

The problem you reported is a good example.  Plain TeX can more or
less considered as a programming language, whereas LaTeX is supposed
to be a markup language, i.e. a file format.  One would expect then
that it's easier to support command completion and syntax highlighting
in LaTeX.  This is definitely true, but Beamer re-defines standard
LaTeX list environments.  Hence, if you want to provide proper command
completion and syntax highlighting, you have to evaluate the whole


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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