[NTG-context] Defining command with optional and mandatory arguments

Alan Braslau braslau.list at comcast.net
Thu May 24 18:07:19 CEST 2018

On Thu, 24 May 2018 11:24:34 +0200
Christoph Reller <christoph.reller at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you Hraban for pointing me to the wiki. I was aware of this page
> but it contains only the case of mandatory arguments in curly braces
> {} not in brackets [].

One must *not* confuse with the LaTeX convention where "mandatory"
arguments are contained in curly braces and brackets indicate
"optional" arguments.

As Taco states below, curly braces not only give grouping but generally
are used for objects to be typeset, as for \in{Figure}{a} [fig:ref].

For new users, it is worth repeating here that arguments within braces
can be either a comma-separated list of words OR a comma-separated
list of keyword=value pairs, BUT NOT A MIXTURE OF BOTH. Generally, a
keyword=value exists for all words, for example \cite[authoryear][ref]
and \cite[alternative=authoryear,reference=ref]

values can be grouped using curly braces, as in
\cite[alternative=authoryear,lefttext={{see },}][ref1,ref2] where the
lefttext is associated with the first cite reference (and none with the
second). This can be tricky but is in fact rather straight-forward.


P.S. The wiki is only as good as users make it; some pages have not
been changed since mkii...

On Thu, 24 May 2018 15:43:27 +0200
Taco Hoekwater <taco at elvenkind.com> wrote:

> The original intent was for user-level commands to have square
> brackets for arguments setting things up, and curly braces for
> arguments that are actually typeset. That is where commands like \in
> come from, where the braced part is optional and the bracketed part
> required.

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