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List items starting with brackets broken in LaTeX output #414

RyanKoppenhaver-NCC opened this issue Feb 24, 2017 · 2 comments


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For the markdown input:

* \[foo\] bar

...kramdown generates this LaTeX output:

\item [foo] bar

LaTeX then processes [foo] as an optional parameter to \item, specifying the bullet point symbol. (The intervening whitespace is ignored.) This results in output that looks like this:

 | Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
 | * asdf
 foo bar
 | * blah

The issue also applies to ordered lists, and to input where the brackets are not escaped, but kramdown can't find a corresponding link definition, so it passes the brackets through. It's possible other LaTex output has similar issues, but I haven't looked in depth.

Based on some messing around, I think this can be fixed by inserting an empty group {} or a \relax command into the output after \item, or by transforming the leading [ into either {[} or \char91 . I kind of like the first option, but I'm by no means a TeX/LaTeX expert, so I'm not sure if another one might be more technically correct.

@gettalong gettalong self-assigned this Feb 24, 2017
@gettalong gettalong added the bug label Feb 24, 2017
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There are already many places in kramdown's LaTeX converter that use {} because of the way LaTeX is parsed. So this is probably the way to go - I will have a look.

Thanks for reporting this bug!

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@RyanKoppenhaver-NCC I have looked at this and putting {} after \item would fix it for this case. However, during my experiments I found other problems with brackets and so they will additionally be escaped using {[} and {]}.

This is fixed in the next release.

gettalong added a commit that referenced this issue Sep 3, 2017
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