[texhax] TeX Queries 4: Overfull boxes

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Wed Aug 1 15:46:41 CEST 2012

On Aug 1, 2012, at 9:30 AM, Paul Stanley wrote:

> What is a box?

If memory serves, there's a very good discussion of this in _TeX for the Impatient, which is available in source code form here:


which if you haven't found it yet, may be of interest / use.

>From concepts.tex:

``A \defterm{box}  is a rectangle of material to be typeset.  A single
\refterm{character} is a box by itself,
and an entire page is also a box.
\TeX\ forms a page as a nest of boxes within boxes within boxes. The
outermost box is the page itself, the innermost boxes are mostly
single characters, and single lines are boxes that are
somewhere in the middle.''

This goes back to Paul Isambert's row of bricks analogy, I think.


William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications
Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.

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