I think it could be nice to have commands on TeX.SE for writing TEX, LATEX etc. in the same style as in TeX documents. In my opinion, these styles are part of the spirit of the TeX community and therefore belong on TeX.SE. Yes, I know, it is completely useless. Yet it should be even more completely trivial to implement, so why the heck not?

I know my attempts above were horrible-looking, but Wikipedia proves it can be done beautifully with some simple CSS.

<span class="texhtml" style="font-family: 'CMU Serif', cmr10, LMRoman10-Regular, 'Nimbus Roman No9 L', 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">T<span style="text-transform: uppercase; vertical-align: -0.5ex; margin-left: -0.1667em; margin-right: -0.125em;">e</span>X</span>
  • Because we like to write TeX or LaTeX and are not completely lazy? ;-)
    – user31729
    Jun 7, 2015 at 21:22
  • 4
    How is this completely trivial?
    – percusse
    Jun 7, 2015 at 22:52
  • 4
    There are those in the TeX community who are strongly opposed to using logos in running type!
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Jun 8, 2015 at 7:18
  • @JosephWright If Knuth approves of it, then God approves of it. ;-)
    – Gaussler
    Jun 8, 2015 at 7:23
  • @percusse, well, my TeX logo above was almost good enough IMO, while the LaTeX logo would require some work. And that was achieved solely through very basic HTML. So it should not be difficult to get it to work well, even if it does not look exactly like what \TeX produces.
    – Gaussler
    Jun 8, 2015 at 8:30
  • @Gaussler the code you just posted does not render on-site here. Only a limited subset of HTML tags/attributes are available. See What HTML tags are allowed on Stack Exchange sites? Jun 23, 2015 at 10:43
  • I am well aware of that. That is why I put it all in a code environment. Remember my suggestion: I want a command that produces that code; I am not suggesting allowing us to input the code itself.
    – Gaussler
    Jun 23, 2015 at 10:45
  • @Gaussler if the code itself does not work, what good will a command to produce and insert the code do? Jun 23, 2015 at 11:45
  • If you write the command in your text field, TeX.SE is simple supposed to replace it by that CSS code in the final output. This is essentially how this site renders all the markdown code we write (even if there, in some cases at least, are allowed HTML variants of them as well).
    – Gaussler
    Jun 23, 2015 at 11:48
  • In TeX language, think of it as a primitive; it does some magic that cannot be replaced by some other piece of allowed code.
    – Gaussler
    Jun 23, 2015 at 11:49

2 Answers 2


Quoting from the TeXbook:

The correct way to refer to \TeX\ in a computer file, or when using some other medium that doesn't allow lowering of the 'E', is to type 'TeX'. Then there will be no confusion with similar names, and people will be primed to pronounce everything properly.

While our medium technically does allow lowering of the 'E' (and raising of the 'A' for LaTeX), the lack of kerning makes it look not very nice. Even if you figured out the kerning, it would get broken if the Powers do a site update that changes the fonts or if a user's web browser loads different fonts for personal or fallback reasons. Some more reasons are accessibility, search-ability, and copy/paste-ability. These sorts of HTML/Unicode tricks would reduce the "search weight" (totally made-up term) of our pages, which in my mind is one of the great strengths of the Stack Exchange network. For these reasons I think it's better to just use the plain-text versions.

Another point: If you think it's completely trivial to implement (I don't, btw), why don't you go ahead and implement it as a user-script? You can post it at Useful StackApps and other User Scripts for TeX.SX; then everyone can give feedback and use it if they like.


I disagree completely, just showing the image of your question should be reason enough

enter image description here

Why inflict such horrors on people interested in typesetting?

  • It shouldn't be hard to do better if you have access to more CSS options than those allowed on SE. That was why I wanted a command for it, built into the site. In other words, laugh all you want of the result, but you completely misunderstood my request.
    – Gaussler
    Jun 10, 2015 at 14:09
  • @Gaussler I normally just use latex using LaTeX just seems like an affectation and then going to some effort to fake the logo with css serves no purpose whatsoever. Jun 10, 2015 at 14:11
  • 1
    I try to remember to always write LaTeX because it annoys the hell out of me if people edit my posts for the sole purpose of 'correcting' me and 'improving' my post. I am extremely grateful to the inventor of tex and he surely ought to be pardoned on its account, but the inventor of TeX... surely there ought to be a law? Certainly there are laws against far less egregious offences. And the copycat following makes it worse. Who can remember whether bibtex should be BibTeX, BiBTeX, bibTeX or something else entirely?And what are we to do with biblatex? And who cares? Could we not have latex3?
    – cfr
    Jun 11, 2015 at 23:35
  • @cfr The biblatex package is easy: PL was quite clear he wanted normal capitalisation (as I do for siunitx), and he quite sensibly went for \latex{} not \LaTeX{} in running text (with \newcommand*\latex{LaTeX}). For 'TeX' there is the trademark business (tex.stackexchange.com/a/30342).
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Jun 12, 2015 at 8:00
  • @JosephWright But what's 'normal capitalisation' at this point? My point is that it is difficult to know how it is meant to be typeset. That is, without researching the author's stated preferences. In normal English, I don't have to research inventors', authors' and designers' preferences in order to figure out how to capitalise most words - not even when those words are the names of organisations, programmes, devices or patented sewage disposal procedures. Not even when they are trademarked. I don't try to emulate logos when I refer to things, even things which have logos.
    – cfr
    Jun 12, 2015 at 12:37
  • For your information, Wikipedia proves it is quite possible to achieve a beautiful result using simple CSS.
    – Gaussler
    Jun 23, 2015 at 10:18
  • See also my updated question.
    – Gaussler
    Jun 23, 2015 at 11:17
  • @Gaussler It looks better perhaps but still I prefer TeX or tex from non-tex systems such as css, so I still would argue against adding such a command. Jun 23, 2015 at 11:20
  • @cfr -- regarding rendering of the tex logo either with \TeX or as "TeX", the creator of tex was at least partly forced into it by a legal trademark challenge. (the letter from the lawyers was ugly!) only the mass objection (to honeywell) by a number of very-well-connected and influential computer scientists quashed that attempt; the resolution was a promise that the tex logo would always be properly represented in one of the two "approved" forms. (and yes, i'm guilty of ignoring that much of the time myself, in informal communication.) read chapter 1 of the texbook. Jun 23, 2015 at 12:27
  • @barbarabeeton Another argument against the insanity which is trademark/patent/copyright law.
    – cfr
    Jun 23, 2015 at 12:28
  • @cfr -- i certainly don't disagree with you there! (my personal preference would be for those laws to be made sane, rather than do away with them. unfortunately, i don't see that happening any time soon.) Jun 23, 2015 at 12:31

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