Why doesn't verbatim work within …?

The LaTeX verbatim commands work by changing category codes. Knuth says of this sort of thing “Some care is needed to get the timing right…”, since once the category code has been assigned to a character, it doesn't change. So \verb and \begin{verbatim} have to assume that they are getting the first look at the parameter text; if they aren't, TeX has already assigned category codes so that the verbatim command doesn't have a chance. For example:


will work (typesetting \error), but if we define no more than a no-op macro,


which simply regurgitates its argument, and use it as:


the combinartion will not (it will attempt to execute \error). Other errors one may encounter are “\verb ended by end of line”, or even the rather more helpful “\verb illegal in command argument”. The same sorts of thing happen with \begin{verbatim}\end{verbatim}:


provokes errors like 'File ended while scanning use of \@xverbatim, as \begin{verbatim} fails to see its matching \end{verbatim}.

This is why the LaTeX book insists that verbatim commands must not appear in the argument of any other command; they aren't just fragile, they're quite unusable in any “normal” command parameter, regardless of ''\protect''ion. (The \verb command tries hard to detect if you're misusing it; unfortunately, it can't always do so, and the error message is therefore not reliable as an indication of problems.)

The first question to ask yourself is: “is \verb actually necessary?”.

- If \texttt{your text} produces the same result

  as ''\verb+//your text//+'', then there's no need of
  ''\verb'' in the first place.

- If you're using \verb to typeset a URL or email

  address or the like, then the ''\url'' command from the
  [[ctanpkg>url|url]] will help: it doesn't suffer from all the problems of
  ''\verb'', though it's still not robust; 
  "[[FAQ-setURL|typesetting URLs]]" offers advice here.

- If you're putting \verb into the argument of a boxing

  command (such as ''\fbox''), consider using the ''lrbox''

If you can't avoid verbatim, the \cprotect command (from the package cprotect) might help. The package manages to make a macro read a verbatim argument in a “sanitised” way by the simple medium of prefixing the macro with \cprotect:

\cprotect\section{Using \verb|verbatim|}

The package does work in this simple case, and deserves consideration in many others cases; the package documentation gives more details.

Another way out is to use one of “argument types” of the \NewDocumentCommand command in the experimental LaTeX3 package xparse:

\NewDocumentCommand\cmd{ m v m }{#1 `#2' #3}
\cmd{Command }|\furble|{ isn't defined}

Which gives us:

Command ''\furble'' isn't defined

The m tag argument specifies a normal mandatory argument, and the v specifies one of these verbatim arguments. As you see, it's implanting a \verb-style command argument in the argument sequence of an otherwise “normal” sort of command; that


may be any old character that doesn't conflict with the content of the argument.

This is pretty neat (even if the verbatim is in an argument of its own) but the downside is that xparse pulls in the experimental LaTeX3 programming environment (l3kernel) which is pretty big.

Other than the cprotect package, there are four partial solutions to the problem:

- Some packages have macros which are designed to be responsive

  to verbatim text in their arguments.  For example,
  the [[ctanpkg>fancyvrb|fancyvrb]] package defines a command
  ''\VerbatimFootnotes'', which redefines the ''\footnotetext''
  command, and hence also the behaviour of the ''\footnote'')
  command, in such a way that you can include ''\verb'' commands in
  its argument.  This approach could in principle be extended to the
  arguments of other commands, but it can clash with other packages:
  for example, ''\VerbatimFootnotes'' interacts poorly with the
  ''para'' option of the [[ctanpkg>footmisc|footmisc]] package.
  The [[ctanpkg>memoir|memoir]] class defines its ''\footnote'' command so that
  it will accept verbatim in its arguments, without any supporting package.

- The fancyvrb package defines a command \SaveVerb,

  with a corresponding ''\UseVerb'' command, that allow you to save
  and then to reuse the content of its argument; for details of this
  extremely powerful facility, see the package documentation.
  Rather simpler is the [[ctanpkg>verbdef|verbdef]] package, whose ''\verbdef''
  command defines a (robust) command which expands to the verbatim
  argument given; the [[ctanpkg>newverbs|newverbs]] package provides a similar
  function as well as several related ones.

- In a similar vein, the verbatimbox package makes it

  possible to put verbatim material in a box:
  some exotic _&$ stuff
  the operation typesets exotic stuff into an anonymous box, and its
  contents may be retrieved using the command ''\theverbbox''.  It is
  clear that it's in the same mould as the ''\verbdef'' command
  mentioned above; the package defines other similar commands.

- The tcolorbox package provides a similar facility - If you have a single character that is giving trouble (in

  its absence you could simply use ''\texttt''), consider using
  ''\string''.  ''\texttt{my''\string''_name}''
  typesets the same as 
  ''\verb+my_name+'', and will work in the argument of a command.  It
  won't, however, work in a moving argument, and no amount of
  [[FAQ-protect|''\protect''ion]] will make it work in
  such a case.
  A robust alternative is:
  \section{... \texttt{my\us name}}
  Such a definition is "naturally" robust; the construction
  "<//back-tick//>''\<char>'' may be used for any
  troublesome character (though it's plainly not necessary for things
  like percent signs for which (La)TeX already provides
  robust macros).

- One may also consider putting verbatim material in an external

  file; this is somewhat more tedious, but the file may be reused
  several times within a single document.  The [[ctanpkg>tcolorbox|tcolorbox]]
  package allows this:
  \begin{tcbverbatimwrite}{<file name>}
  which (as one might guess) writes to the named file; load the saved
  contents using ''\input{<file name>}''
  A second environment puts your verbatim material in an (apparently)
  anonymous temporary file:
  \begin{tcbwritetemp}{<file name>}
  In this case, you use the anonymous file with the ''\tcbusetemp''
  macro.  (You can change the name used for the "anonymous" file, if
  its default proves troublesome.)
  The [[ctanpkg>moreverb|moreverb]] package provides a ''\verbatimwrite''
  command, which doesn't provide an anonynous file.
  Macros, to achieve the same effect, are outlined in the
  documentation of the [[ctanpkg>verbatim|verbatim]] package; the macros use the
  facilities of the package, but the user has to write a mini-package
  actually to use them.

Source: Why doesn't verbatim work within &hellip;?

composition/texte/paragraphes/pourquoi_verbatim_ne_fonctionne_pas_dans.txt · Dernière modification: 2018/12/04 00:53 par jejust
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