The \verb command

The \verb command allows us to insert short selections of literal text into a LaTeX document. For more extensive selections, for example, long pieces of code, it is necessary to use the verbatim environment..

### Files

Download the .tex file to play with or the .pdf file to see the typeset output from the .tex file.

Here is the content of the verb-command.tex file. It is largely self-documenting.

%% verb-command.tex
%% Bent E. Petersen
%% Oct 23, 2000

\documentclass[11pt]{article}

%% Use non-indented paragraphs

\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}
\setlength{\parskip}{10pt plus 6pt minus 4pt}

%% \jobname is the name of the current file without the extension.
%% The period serves to terminate the \jobname macro below, so no space
%% is needed in \jobname.tex

\title{\jobname.tex}
\author{Bent Petersen}
\date{Oct 23, 2000}

\begin{document}
\maketitle

%% Suppress the page number on the current page. Note something
%% must be output on the page first for this command to work.
%% In our case the title has already been set by \maketitle

\thispagestyle{empty}

This document illustrates the \verb=\verb= command. It is also
an example of a (nearly) minimal \LaTeXe{} file. The \verb=\verb= command
is used to produce literal text, without
any interpretation or mangling by \TeX{}. It is particularly helpful if
you are writing about \TeX{} commands (as here), or you are inserting small
snippets of code in your document.

In the command \verb=\verb#some text#= the \verb=#= character
acts as a switch. All the text that comes between the two \verb=#=
characters is output verbatim. For example, commands are not interpreted.
Any character, which does not occur in the string \verb=some text=,
other than the \verb=*= character,  can be used as the switch. It is even possible to
use the space character, but it is not recommended, since it is hard
to see. The equals sign \verb/=/, the forward slash \verb=/=, and the
pipe \verb=|=, are commonly used as switches.

There is a star version \verb=\verb*= of the of the \verb=\verb= command. It
behaves exactly the same as the \verb=\verb= command except spaces are rendered
visible. They are replaced by the \verb*= = character. Thus the command
\begin{quote}
\verb|\verb*#Here is some sample text.#|
\end{quote}
produces the output
\begin{quote}
\verb*#Here is some sample text.#
\end{quote}

The \verb=\verb= command is only suitable for short selections of text.
For longer selections use the \verb=verbatim= environment.

%% It is not necessary to use \verb=verbatim= here of course. I did it
%% only to guarantee that the word verbatim would be set in the same
%% font as the commands.
\end{document}

Last updated Thursday, April 10, 2003
Bent E. Petersen
petersen@math.oregonstate.edu

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