[texhax] The effect of the space character

Lars Madsen daleif at imf.au.dk
Sun May 23 10:49:49 CEST 2010

P. R. Stanley wrote:
> Hi folks,
> The following extracts are from chapter 14 of the TeXbook.
> "... you shouldn't leave any blanks next to the tilde, since they will 
> count as additional spaces."
> What kind of blanks is the author refering to here? I thought additional 
> space chars (ASCII 32) had no impact on the output. Could he be refering 
> to macros such as the quad, qquad etc.?
> "If you put tilde at the very end of a line in your input file, you'll 
> get a wider space than you want, because the  return  that follows the 
> tilde produces an extra space."
> Is this extra space horizontal or vertical?  If horizontal, how would a 
> space differ visually from the rest of the page with no printing?
> Many thanks
> Paul

horizontal space. Most TeX macros in text eats a space behind it, as in 
'\TeX is great' \TeX eats a space behind it. It seems the tilde does 
not, it inserts a space in the output, plus some badness or similar. 
Thus '~ ' (tilde followed by a space) results in two spaces.

It would AFAIK not differ visually from 'blah~ blah' because the 
linebreak (in the source) is replaced by a space.


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