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detex - a filter to strip TeX commands from a .tex file.


detex [ -clnstw ] [ -e environment-list ] [ filename[.tex] ... ]


Detex (Version 2.6) reads each file in sequence, removes all comments and TeX control
sequences and writes the remainder on the standard output. All text in math mode and
display mode is removed. By default, detex follows \input commands. If a file cannot be
opened, a warning message is printed and the command is ignored. If the -n option is
used, no \input or \include commands will be processed. This allows single file
processing. If no input file is given on the command line, detex reads from standard

If the magic sequence ``\begin{document}'' appears in the text, detex assumes it is
dealing with LaTeX source and detex recognizes additional constructs used in LaTeX. These
include the \include and \includeonly commands. The -l option can be used to force LaTeX
mode and the -t option can be used to force TeX mode regardless of input content.

Text in various environment modes of LaTeX is ignored. The default modes are array,
eqnarray, equation, figure, mathmatica, picture, table and verbatim. The -e option can be
used to specify a comma separated environment-list of environments to ignore. The list
replaces the defaults so specifying an empty list effectively causes no environments to be

The -c option can be used in LaTeX mode to have detex echo the arguments to \cite, \ref,
and \pageref macros. This can be useful when sending the output to a style checker.

Detex assumes the standard character classes are being used for TeX. Detex allows white
space between control sequences and magic characters like `{' when recognizing things like
LaTeX environments.

If the -w flag is given, the output is a word list, one `word' (string of two or more
letters and apostrophes beginning with a letter) per line, and all other characters
ignored. Without -w the output follows the original, with the deletions mentioned above.
Newline characters are preserved where possible so that the lines of output match the
input as closely as possible.

The TEXINPUTS environment variable is used to find \input and \include files. Like TeX,
it interprets a leading or trailing `:' as the default TEXINPUTS. It does not support the
`//' directory expansion magic sequence.

Detex now handles the basic TeX ligatures as a special case, replacing the ligatures with
acceptable charater substitutes. This eliminates spelling errors introduced by merely
removing them. The ligatures are \aa, \ae, \oe, \ss, \o, \l (and their upper-case
equivalents). The special "dotless" characters \i and \j are also replaced with i and j

Note that previous versions of detex would replace control sequences with a space
character to prevent words from running together. However, this caused accents in the
middle of words to break words, generating "spelling errors" that were not desirable.
Therefore, the new version merely removes these accents. The old functionality can be
essentially duplicated by using the -s option.

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