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Yet another LaTeX filter

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YaLafi: Yet another LaTeX filter

Important: Maintainer change. This program was developed by matze-dd until version 1.3.1 and is now maintained by torik42.

If you have a local copy of this repository, GitHub will automatically redirect your git fetch and git pull commands and all links to the GitHub repository. Updating the URL is nevertheless recommended. If you run git remote -v in your local repository and see something like

name-of-remote  git@github.com:matze-dd/YaLafi.git (fetch)
name-of-remote  git@github.com:matze-dd/YaLafi.git (push)


where name-of-remote is the name of the remote, you should update the URL with

git remote set-url name-of-remote git@github.com:torik42/YaLafi.git


if you use ssh, or

git remote set-url name-of-remote https://github.com/torik42/YaLafi.git


if you use https. You may also update existing links to https://github.com/matze-dd/YaLafi.

Notice. The library of LaTeX macros, environments, document classes, and packages is still rather restricted, compare the list of macros. Please don’t hesitate to raise an Issue, if you would like to have added something.

If you want to add something yourself, have a look at Inclusion of own macros and CONTRIBUTING.md.

Summary. This Python package extracts plain text from LaTeX documents. The software may be integrated with a proofreading tool and an editor. It provides

• mapping of character positions between LaTeX and plain text,
• simple inclusion of own LaTeX macros and environments with tailored treatment,
• careful conservation of text flows,
• some parsing of displayed equations for detection of included “normal” text and of interpunction problems,
• support of multi-language documents (experimental).

The sample Python application yalafi.shell from section Example application integrates the LaTeX filter with the proofreading software LanguageTool. It sends the extracted plain text to the proofreader, maps position information in returned messages back to the LaTeX text, and generates results in different formats. You may easily

• create a proofreading report in text or HTML format for a complete document tree,
• check LaTeX texts in the editors Vim, Emacs and Atom via several plugins,
• run the script as emulation of a LanguageTool server with integrated LaTeX filtering.

For instance, the LaTeX input

Only few people\footnote{We use
\textcolor{red}{redx colour.}}
is lazy.


will lead to the text report

1.) Line 2, column 17, Rule ID: MORFOLOGIK_RULE_EN_GB
Message: Possible spelling mistake found
Suggestion: red; Rex; reds; redo; Red; Rede; redox; red x
Only few people is lazy.    We use redx colour.
^^^^
2.) Line 3, column 1, Rule ID: PEOPLE_VBZ[1]
Message: If 'people' is plural here, don't use the third-person singular verb.
Suggestion: am; are; aren
Only few people is lazy.    We use redx colour.
^^


This is the corresponding HTML report (for an example with a Vim plugin, see here):

The tool builds on results from project Tex2txt, but differs in the internal processing method. Instead of using recursive regular expressions, a simple tokeniser and a small machinery for macro expansion are implemented; see sections Differences to Tex2txt and Remarks on implementation.

Beside the interface from section Python package interface, application Python scripts like yalafi/shell/shell.py from section Example application can access an interface emulating tex2txt.py from repository Tex2txt by from yalafi import tex2txt. The pure LaTeX filter can be directly used in scripts via a command-line interface, it is described in section Command-line of pure filter.

If you use this software and encounter a bug or have other suggestions for improvement, please leave a note under category Issues, or initiate a pull request. Many thanks in advance.

Happy TeXing!

Installation

YaLafi (at least with Python version 3.6). Choose one of the following possibilities.

• Use python -m pip install [--user] yalafi. This installs the last version uploaded to PyPI. Module pip itself can be installed with python -m ensurepip.
• Say python -m pip install [--user] git+https://github.com/torik42/YaLafi.git@master. This installs the current snapshot from here.
• Download the archive from here and unpack it. Place yalafi/ in the working directory, or in a standard directory like /usr/lib/python3.8/ or ~/.local/lib/python3.8/site-packages/. You can also locate it somewhere else and set environment variable PYTHONPATH accordingly.
• For developing YaLafi, editable installs are recommended. See Contributing.md for details.

LanguageTool. On most systems, you have to install the software “manually” (1). At least under Arch Linux, you can also use a package manager (2). Please note that, for example under Ubuntu, sudo snap install languagetool will not install the components required here.

1. The LanguageTool zip archive, for example LanguageTool-5.0.zip, can be obtained from the LanguageTool download page. Option --lt-directory of application yalafi.shell from section Example application has to point to the directory created after uncompressing the archive at a suitable place. For instance, the directory has to contain file languagetool-server.jar.

2. Under Arch Linux, you can simply say sudo pacman -S languagetool. In this case, it is not necessary to set option --lt-directory from variant 1. Instead, you have to specify --lt-command languagetool.

Back to contents

Example application

Remark. You can find examples for tool integration with Bash scripts in Tex2txt/README.md.

Example Python script yalafi/shell/shell.py will generate a proofreading report in text or HTML format from filtering the LaTeX input and application of LanguageTool (LT). It is best called as module as shown below, but can also be placed elsewhere and invoked as script. A simple invocation producing an HTML report could be:

python -m yalafi.shell --lt-directory ~/lib/LT --output html t.tex > t.html


On option --server lt, LT’s Web server is contacted. Otherwise, Java has to be present, and the path to LT has to be specified with --lt-directory or --lt-command. Note that from version 4.8, LT does not fully support 32-bit systems any more. Both LT and the script will print some progress messages to stderr. They can be suppressed with python ... 2>/dev/null.

python -m yalafi.shell [OPTIONS] latex_file [latex_file ...] [> text_or_html_file]


Option names may be abbreviated. If present, options are also read from a configuration file designated by script variable config_file (one option per line, possibly with argument), unless --no-config is given. Default option values are set at the Python script beginning.

• --lt-directory dir
Directory of the “manual” local LT installation (for variant 1 in section Installation). May be omitted on options --server lt and --textgears apikey, or if script variable ltdirectory has been set appropriately. See also the script comment at variable ltdirectory.
• --lt-command cmd
Base command to call LT (for variant 2 in section Installation). For instance, this is --lt-command languagetool. If an LT server has to be started, the command is invoked with option --http. Note that option --server stop for stopping a local LT server will not work in this case.
• --as-server port
Emulate an LT server listening on the given port, for an example see section Interface to Emacs. The fields of received HTML requests (settings for language, rules, categories) overwrite option values given in the command line. The internally used proofreader is influenced by options like --server. Other options like --single-letters remain effective.
• --output mode
Mode is one of plain, html, xml, xml-b, json (default: plain for text report). Variant html generates an HTML report, see below for further details. Modes xml, xml-b and json are intended for Vim plugins, compare section Interfaces to Vim.
• --link
In an HTML report, left-click on a highlighted text part opens a Web link related to the problem, if provided by LT.
• --context number
Number of context lines displayed around each marked text region in HTML report (default: 2). A negative number shows the whole text.
• --include
Track file inclusions like \input{...}. Script variable inclusion_macros contains a list of the corresponding LaTeX macro names.
• --skip regex
Skip files matching the given regular expression. This is useful, e.g., for the exclusion of figures on option --include.
• --plain-input
Assume plain-text input, do not evaluate LaTeX syntax. This cannot be used together with options --include or --replace.
• --list-unknown
Only print a list of unknown macros and environments seen outside of maths parts. Compare, for instance, Issue #183.
• --language lang
Language code as expected by LT (default: en-GB).
• --encoding ienc
Encoding for LaTeX input and files from options --define and --replace (default: UTF-8).
• --replace file
File with phrase replacements to be performed after the conversion to plain text; see section Phrase replacement in the plain text.
• --define file
Read macro definitions as LaTeX code (using \newcommand or \def). If the code invokes \documentclass or \usepackage, then the corresponding modules are loaded.
• --documentclass class
Load extension module for this class. See section Extension modules for LaTeX packages.
• --packages modules
Load these extension modules for LaTeX packages, given as comma-separated list (default: *). See section Extension modules for LaTeX packages.
• --add-modules file
Parse the given LaTeX file and prepend all modules included by macro \usepackage to the list provided in option --packages. Value of option --documentclass is overridden by macro \documentclass.
• --extract macros
Only check first mandatory argument of the LaTeX macros whose names are given as comma-separated list. The option only works properly for predefined macros, including those imported by options --documentclass, --define, and --packages. This is useful for check of foreign-language text, if marked accordingly. Internally used for detection of file inclusions on --include.
• --simple-equations
Replace a displayed equation only with a single placeholder from collections math_repl_display* in file yalafi/parameters.py; append trailing interpunction, if present.
• --no-specials
Revert changes from special macros and magic comments described in section Modification of LaTeX text.
• --disable rules
Comma-separated list of ignored LT rules, is passed as --disable to LT (default: WHITESPACE_RULE).
• --enable rules
Comma-separated list of added LT rules, is passed as --enable to LT (default: '').
• --disablecategories cats
--enablecategories cats
Disable / enable LT rule categories, directly passed to LT (default for both: '').
• --lt-options opts
Pass additional options to LT, given as single string in argument opts. The first character of opts will be skipped and must not be -. Example: --lt-options '~--languagemodel ../Ngrams --disablecategories PUNCTUATION'. Some options are included into HTML requests to an LT server, see script variable lt_option_map.
• --single-letters accept
Check for single letters, accepting those in the patterns given as list separated by |. Example: --single-letters 'A|a|I|e.g.|i.e.||' for an English text, where the trailing || causes the addition of equation and language-change replacements from collections math_repl_* and lang_change_repl* in file yalafi/parameters.py. All characters except | are taken verbatim, but ~ and \, are interpreted as UTF-8 non-breaking space and narrow non-breaking space.
• --equation-punctuation mode
This is an experimental hack for the check of punctuation after equations in English texts, compare section Equation replacements in English documents. An example is given in section Differences to Tex2txt. The abbreviatable mode values indicate the checked equation type: displayed, inline, all.
The check generates a message, if an element of an equation is not terminated by a dot ., and at the same time is not followed by a lower-case word or another equation element, both possibly separated by a punctuation mark from ,;:. Patterns for equation elements are given by collections math_repl_display* and math_repl_inline* in file yalafi/parameters.py.
• --server mode
Use LT’s Web server (mode is lt) or a local LT server (mode is my) instead of LT’s command-line tool. Stop the local server (mode is stop, currently only works under Linux and Cygwin).
• LT’s server: Server address is set in script variable ltserver. For conditions and restrictions, please refer to https://dev.languagetool.org/public-http-api.
• Local server: If not yet running, then start it according to script variable ltserver_local_cmd. On option --lt-command, the specified command is invoked with option --http. Additional server options can be passed with --lt-server-options. See also https://dev.languagetool.org/http-server. This may be faster than the command-line tool used otherwise, especially when checking many LaTeX files or together with an editor plugin. The server will not be stopped at the end (use --server stop).
• --lt-server-options opts
Pass additional options when starting a local LT server. Syntax is as for --lt-options.
• --textgears apikey
Use the TextGears server, see https://textgears.com. Language is fixed to American English. The access key apikey can be obtained on page https://textgears.com/signup.php?givemethatgoddamnkey=please, but the key DEMO_KEY seems to work for short input. The server address is given by script variable textgears_server.
• --multi-language
Activate support of multi-language documents; compare section Multi-language documents for further related options.
• --no-config
Do not read config file, whose name is set in script variable config_file.

Dictionary adaptation. LT evaluates the two files spelling.txt and prohibit.txt in directory

.../LanguageTool-?.?/org/languagetool/resource/<lang-code>/hunspell/


Additional words and words that shall raise an error can be appended here. LT version 4.8 introduced additional files spelling_custom.txt and prohibit_custom.txt.

HTML report. The idea of an HTML report goes back to Sylvain Hallé, who developed TeXtidote. Opened in a Web browser, the report displays excerpts from the original LaTeX text, highlighting the problems indicated by LT. The corresponding LT messages can be viewed when hovering the mouse over these marked places, see the introductory example above. With option --link, Web links provided by LT can be directly opened with left-click. Script option --context controls the number of lines displayed around each tagged region; a negative option value will show the complete LaTeX input text. If the localisation of a problem is unsure, highlighting will use yellow instead of orange colour. For simplicity, marked text regions that intertwine with other ones are separately repeated at the end. In case of multiple input files, the HTML report starts with an index.

Back to contents

Interfaces to Vim

As [Vim] is a great editor, there are several possibilities that build on existing Vim plugins or use Vim’s compiler interface:

Plugin vimtex

The Vim plugin [vimtex] provides comprehensive support for writing LaTeX documents. It includes an interface to YaLafi, documentation is available with :help vimtex-grammar-vlty. A copy of the corresponding Vim compiler script is editors/vlty.vim.

The following snippet demonstrates a basic vimrc setting and some useful values for vlty option field shell_options.

map <F9> :w <bar> compiler vlty <bar> make <bar> :cw <cr><esc>
let g:tex_flavor = 'latex'
set spelllang=de_DE
let g:vimtex_grammar_vlty = {}
let g:vimtex_grammar_vlty.lt_directory = '~/lib/LanguageTool-5.0'
" let g:vimtex_grammar_vlty.lt_command = 'languagetool'
let g:vimtex_grammar_vlty.server = 'my'
let g:vimtex_grammar_vlty.show_suggestions = 1
let g:vimtex_grammar_vlty.shell_options =
\   ' --multi-language'
\ . ' --packages "*"'
\ . ' --define ~/vlty/defs.tex'
\ . ' --replace ~/vlty/repls.txt'
\ . ' --equation-punctuation display'
\ . ' --single-letters "i.\,A.\|z.\,B.\|\|"'

• Function key F9 saves the file, starts the compiler, and opens the quick fix window.
• Uncomment the line with g:vimtex_grammar_vlty.lt_command, if LanguageTool has been installed by variant 2 in section Installation. In this case, specification of g:vimtex_grammar_vlty.lt_directory is not necessary.
• The option g:vimtex_grammar_vlty.server = 'my' usually results in faster checks for small to medium LaTeX files. Start-up time is saved, and speed benefits from the internal sentence caching of the server.
• Saying let g:vimtex_grammar_vlty.show_suggestions = 1 causes display of LanguageTool’s replacement suggestions.
• With option --multi-language, commands from LaTeX package babel switch the language for the proofreading program. See section Multi-language documents.
• By default, the vlty compiler passes names of all necessary LaTeX packages to YaLafi, which may result in annoying warnings. In multi-file projects, these are suppressed by --packages "*" that simply loads all packages known to the filter.
• YaLafi’s expansion of project-specific macros can be controlled via option --define .... Example for defs.tex (Note that the first three lines are only necessary, if the currently edited file does not directly contain these definitions.):
    \newcommand{\zB}{z.\,B. }   % LanguageTool correctly insists on
% narrow space in this German abbreviation
\newtheorem{Satz}{Satz}     % correctly expand \begin{Satz}[siehe ...]
\LTinput{main.glsdefs}      % read database of glossaries package

• Replacement of phrases may be performed via --replace ..., compare section Phrase replacement in the plain text.
• Option --equation-punctuation display enables some additional interpunction checking for displayed equations in English texts, see section Example application and this example.
• Option --single-letters ... activates search for isolated single letters. Note that only the | signs need to be escaped here; compare section Example application.

Here is the introductory example from above:

“Plain Vim”

File editors/ltyc.vim proposes a simple application to Vim’s compiler interface. The file has to be copied to a directory like ~/.vim/compiler/.

For a Vim session, the component is activated with :compiler ltyc. Command :make invokes yalafi.shell, and the cursor is set to the first indicated problem. The related error message is displayed in the status line. Navigation between errors is possible with :cn and :cp, an error list is shown with :cl. The quick fix window appears on :cw.

The following snippet demonstrates a basic vimrc setting and some useful values for option ltyc_shelloptions. Please refer to section Plugin vimtex for related comments.

map <F9> :w <bar> compiler ltyc <bar> make <bar> :cw <cr><esc>
let g:ltyc_ltdirectory = '~/lib/LanguageTool-5.0'
" let g:ltyc_ltcommand = 'languagetool'
let g:ltyc_server = 'my'
let g:ltyc_showsuggestions = 1
let g:ltyc_language = 'de-DE'
let g:ltyc_shelloptions =
\   ' --multi-language'
\ . ' --replace ~/ltyc/repls.txt'
\ . ' --define ~/ltyc/defs.tex'
\ . ' --equation-punctuation display'
\ . ' --single-letters "i.\,A.\|z.\,B.\|\|"'
compiler ltyc


The screenshot resembles that from section Plugin vimtex.

Plugin vim-grammarous

For the Vim plugin [vim-grammarous], it is possible to provide an interface for checking LaTeX texts. With an entry in ~/.vimrc, one may simply replace the command that invokes LanguageTool. For instance, you can add to ~/.vimrc

let g:grammarous#languagetool_cmd = '/home/foo/bin/yalafi-grammarous'
map <F9> :GrammarousCheck --lang=en-GB<CR>


A proposal for Bash script /home/foo/bin/yalafi-grammarous (replace foo with username ;-) is given in editors/yalafi-grammarous. It has to be made executable with chmod +x .... Please adapt script variable ltdir, compare option --lt-directory in section Example application. If you do not want to have started a local LT server, comment out the line defining script variable use_server.

In order to avoid the problem described in Issue #89@vim-grammarous (shifted error highlighting, if after non-ASCII character on same line), you can set output=xml-b in yalafi-grammarous.

Troubleshooting for Vim interface. If Vim reports a problem with running LT, you can do the following. In ~/bin/yalafi-grammarous, comment out the final ... 2>/dev/null. For instance, you can just place a # in front: ... # 2>/dev/null. Then start, with a test file t.tex,

$~/bin/yalafi-grammarous t.tex  This should display some error message, if the problem goes back to running the script, Python, yalafi.shell or LanguageTool. Here is the introductory example from above: Plugin vim-LanguageTool The Vim plugin [vim-LanguageTool] relies on the same XML interface to LanguageTool as the variant in section Plugin vim-grammarous. Therefore, one can reuse the Bash script editors/yalafi-grammarous. You can add to ~/.vimrc let g:languagetool_cmd = '$HOME/bin/yalafi-grammarous'
let g:languagetool_lang = 'en-GB'
let g:languagetool_disable_rules = 'WHITESPACE_RULE'
map <F9> :LanguageToolCheck<CR>


Please note the general problem indicated in Issue #17. Here is again the introductory example from above. Navigation between highlighted text parts is possible with :lne and :lp.

Plugin ALE

With [ALE], the proofreader ('linter') by default is invoked as background task, whenever one leaves insert mode. You might add to ~/.vimrc

" if not yet set:
filetype plugin on
" F9: show detailed LT message for error under cursor, is left with 'q'
map <F9> :ALEDetail<CR>
" this turns off all other tex linters
let g:ale_linters = { 'plaintex': ['lty'], 'tex': ['lty'] }
" default place of LT installation: '~/lib/LanguageTool'
let g:ale_tex_lty_ltdirectory = '~/lib/LanguageTool-4.7'
" uncomment the following assignment, if LT has been installed via package
" manager; in this case, g:ale_tex_lty_ltdirectory hasn't to be specified
" let g:ale_tex_lty_command = 'languagetool'
" set to '' to disable server usage or to 'lt' for LT’s Web server
let g:ale_tex_lty_server = 'my'
" default language: 'en-GB'
let g:ale_tex_lty_language = 'en-GB'
" default disabled LT rules: 'WHITESPACE_RULE'
let g:ale_tex_lty_disable = 'WHITESPACE_RULE'


Similarly to setting g:ale_tex_lty_disable, one can specify LT’s options --enable, --disablecategories, and --enablecategories. Further options for yalafi.shell (compare section Plugin vimtex) may be passed like

let g:ale_tex_lty_shelloptions = '--single-letters "A|a|I|e.g.|i.e.||"'
\ . ' --equation-punctuation display'


Additionally, one has to install ALE and copy or link file editors/lty.vim to directory ~/.vim/bundle/ale/ale_linters/tex/, or a similar location.

Here is again the introductory example from above. The complete message for the error at the cursor is displayed on F9, together with LT’s rule ID, replacement suggestions, and the problem context (left with q). Navigation between highlighted text parts is possible with :lne and :lp, an error list is shown with :lli.

Back to contents

Interface to Emacs

The Emacs plugin [Emacs-langtool] may be used in two variants. First, you can add to ~/.emacs

(setq langtool-bin "/home/foo/bin/yalafi-emacs")
(setq langtool-default-language "en-GB")
(setq langtool-disabled-rules "WHITESPACE_RULE")
(require 'langtool)


A proposal for Bash script /home/foo/bin/yalafi-emacs (replace foo with username ;-) is given in editors/yalafi-emacs. It has to be made executable with chmod +x .... Please adapt script variable ltdir, compare option --lt-directory in section Example application. If you do not want to have started a local LT server, comment out the line defining script variable use_server.

Troubleshooting for Emacs interface. If Emacs reports a problem with running LT, you can apply the steps from [Troubleshooting for Vim interface] to ~/bin/yalafi-emacs.

Server interface. This variant may result in better tracking of character positions. In order to use it, you can 5write in ~/.emacs

(setq langtool-http-server-host "localhost"
langtool-http-server-port 8082)
(setq langtool-default-language "en-GB")
(setq langtool-disabled-rules "WHITESPACE_RULE")
(require 'langtool)


and start yalafi.shell as server in another terminal with

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Adaptation of LaTeX and plain text

In order to suppress unsuitable but annoying messages from the proofreading tool, it is sometimes necessary to modify the input text. You can do that in the LaTeX code, or after filtering in the plain text.

Modification of LaTeX text

The following operations can be deactivated with options --nosp and --no-specials of yalafi and yalafi.shell, respectively. For instance, macro \LTadd will be defined, but it will not add its argument to the plain text.

Special macros. Small modifications, for instance concerning interpunction, can be made with the predefined macros \LTadd, \LTalter and \LTskip. In order to add a full stop for the proofreader only, you would write

... some text\LTadd{.}


For LaTeX itself, the macros also have to be defined. A good place is the document preamble. (For the last line, compare section Inclusion of own macros.)

\newcommand{\LTadd}[1]{}
\newcommand{\LTalter}[2]{#1}
\newcommand{\LTskip}[1]{#1}
\newcommand{\LTinput}[1]{}


The LaTeX filter will ignore these statements. In turn, it will include the argument of \LTadd, use the second argument of \LTalter, and neglect the argument of \LTskip. The macro names for \LTadd etc. are defined by variables Parameters.macro_filter_add etc. in file yalafi/parameters.py.

Special comments. Mainly the document preamble often contains statements not properly processed “out-of-the-box”. Placing the critical parts in \LTskip{...} may lead to problems, as the statements now are executed slightly differently by the TeX system. As “brute-force” variant, the LaTeX filter therefore ignores input enclosed in comments starting with %%% LT-SKIP-BEGIN and %%% LT-SKIP-END. Note that the single space after %%% is significant. The opening special comment is given in variable Parameters.comment_skip_begin of file yalafi/parameters.py.

A preamble could look as follows.

\documentclass{article}
%%% LT-SKIP-BEGIN
... disturbing stuff ...
%%% LT-SKIP-END
\title{A paper}
\begin{document}


Phrase replacement in the plain text

Yalafi.shell and yalafi provide options --replace file and --repl file, respectively. They may be valuable, if you often use a phrase (possibly of multiple words) that is not accepted by the proofreader. In the given file, a # sign marks the rest of the line as comment. The first & separated by space splits a line into two parts; the first part is replaced by the second one. Space in the first part may correspond to arbitrary space in the plain text that does not break the paragraph.

Remark. With option --multi-language, yalafi.shell only replaces in text parts with language according to option --language.

This German example replaces two words by a single one and vice versa:

so dass & sodass
nichtlineare & nicht lineare
nichtlineares & nicht lineares


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Extension modules for LaTeX packages

The modules yalafi.documentclasses and yalafi.packages contain further submodules that are activated by the LaTeX filter when executing \documentclass or \usepackage, and on other occasions.

• Options --pack mods (yalafi) and --packages mods (yalafi.shell)
They expect a comma-separated list of package names or placeholders (default: *). For a name not starting with ., the submodule is loaded from yalafi.packages (variable Parameters.package_modules in file yalafi/parameters.py). Otherwise, the leading . is removed, and the module is loaded from the current directory or a directory in PYTHONPATH. This allows inclusion of project-specific modules. File yalafi/packages/__init__.py contains lists of modules to be loaded for placeholders like *.
• Options --dcls cls (yalafi) and --documentclass cls (yalafi.shell)
This is similar to --pack and --packages (default: ''). The submodule is loaded from yalafi.documentclasses (variable Parameters.class_modules), if cls does not start with ..
• See also option --add-modules file in section Example application.
• Side-effect of options --defs file (yalafi) and --define file (yalafi.shell)
If the given file invokes \documentclass or \usepackage, then the corresponding modules are loaded.
• Side-effect of executing macro \LTinput{file}
This is similar to the previous case.

Each extension module has to provide a list require_packages of strings that causes loading of other modules, and a function init_module(). It is called by the parser and can modify the object of class Parameters. In order to add macros and environments, it has to construct strings or object lists that are included in the returned object of class InitModule. Classes for definition of macros and environments are described in the sections starting at Definition of macros. For an example, see file yalafi/packages/amsmath.py.

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Inclusion of own macros

Unknown macros and environment frames are silently ignored. As all input files are processed independently, it may be necessary to provide project-specific definitions in advance.


If LaTeX files have to stay untouched, you can use options --defs and --define for yalafi and yalafi.shell, respectively. Alternatively, one can add the definitions to member Parameters.macro_defs_latex in file yalafi/parameters.py. Here are examples from this file and extension module yalafi/packages/xcolor.py:

        \newcommand{\quad}{\;}
\newcommand{\textasciicircum}{\verb?^?} % \^ is accent
---
\newcommand{\textcolor}[3][]{#3}


More complicated macros as well as environments have to be registered with Python code. This may be done with options --pack and --packages for yalafi and yalafi.shell, respectively; compare section Extension modules for LaTeX packages. Alternatively, you can modify the collections Parameters.macro_defs_python and Parameters.environment_defs in yalafi/parameters.py.

Definition of macros

Macro(parms, name, args='', repl='', defaults=[], extract='')

• parms: current object of type Parameters
• name: macro name with leading backslash \
• args: string that codes the argument sequence
• A: mandatory argument, may be a single token or a sequence enclosed in {} braces
• O: optional argument in [] brackets
• *: optional asterisk
• repl: replacement string as for \newcommand (* does count as argument), or a function (see point Macro handler functions below)
• defaults: an optional list of replacement strings for absent optional arguments
• extract: like repl, but the resulting text is appended to the main text, separated by blank lines; for an example, see declaration of macro \footnote in Parameters.macro_defs_python in yalafi/parameters.py

Definition of environments

Environ(parms, name, args='', repl='', defaults=[], remove=False, add_pars=True, items=None, end_func=None)

Parameters parms to defaults are the same as for Macro(), where name does not start with a backslash. The arguments are those behind the opening \begin{xyz}. This means that the environment name xyz does not yet count as argument in args and repl.

• remove: if True, then the complete environment body is skipped; a fixed replacement can be given in repl
• add_pars: if True, then paragraph breaks (blank lines) are generated before and behind the environment body
• items: for inclusion of specific \item labels; a generator taking a nesting level argument has to be specified; compare declaration of environment enumerate in yalafi/parameters.py
• end_func: optional function to be called at \end{...}; for an example, see file yalafi/packages/babel.py

Definition of equation environments

EquEnv(parms, name, args='', repl='', defaults=[], remove=False)

This is equivalent to Environ(), but maths material is replaced according to section Handling of displayed equations. Replacements in repl and defaults are still interpreted in text mode.

• remove: if True, then a fixed replacement can be specified in repl, and trailing interpunction given by Parameters.math_punctuation in file yalafi/parameters.py is appended

Macro handler functions

Parameter repl of class Macro may specify a function with the following arguments.

handler(parser, buf, mac, args, delim, pos)

It has to return a possibly empty list of tokens that are used as result of the macro expansion. The list may include tokens of class VoidToken (see argument args).

• parser: The active parser object. For instance, member parser.parms is the current Parameter object from file yalafi/parameters.py.
• buf: The token buffer we are reading from. The macro token, subsequent space, and all declared macro arguments already have been read. For instance, you can check the next token with buf.cur(); see file yalafi/packages/xspace.py for an application.
• mac: The object created with Macro().
• args: A list of token lists. For each argument declared with Macro(), a possibly empty token list is passed.
• *: If the asterisk was present, the token is given. Otherwise, the list is empty.
• A: The argument tokens are given, excluding possibly surrounding curly braces. If the argument was empty (pure {}, paragraph break, or end of group or text), the list consists of a single VoidToken.
• O: If the optional argument has not been specified, the list is empty. Otherwise, the tokens excluding the surrounding square brackets are given. If the option was a pure [], the list consists of a single VoidToken.
• delim: A list of booleans, indicating the presence of delimiters around the arguments.
• *: Always False.
• A: True, if the argument has been delimited by curly braces.
• O: True, if the argument is present.
• pos: Character position of the leading backslash of the macro invocation, counting from zero.

For examples, see file yalafi/handlers.py.

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Multi-file projects

Here, we present one of several possibilities to cope with multiple files. The main point is that the base LaTeX filter currently cannot directly follow file inclusions like \input{...}. Assume you have the following file main.tex.

% (load document class and packages)
% possibly: load own macro definitions etc.
\input{defs.tex}
% the previous command is ignored by the filter, thus:
\LTinput{defs.tex}
\begin{document}
Test text.
\input{ch1/intro.tex}
\end{document}


Please provide the definition of \LTinput as in section Adaptation of LaTeX and plain text.

In order to check the “normal text” only in file main.tex, you say

python -m yalafi.shell [...] --packages "" main.tex


Macros like \input are ignored, in this case. With the optional --packages "", default loading of all packages known to the filter is suppressed.

The check of file ch1/intro.tex may look like

python -m yalafi.shell [...] --packages "" --define main.tex ch1/intro.tex


Option --define main.tex ensures that all settings and definitions from file main.tex are available. “Normal text” from that file is ignored. Alternatively, you can add \LTinput{main.tex} at the beginning of file ch1/intro.tex.

A recursive check of all files is initiated by

python -m yalafi.shell [...] --packages "" --include --define main.tex main.tex


During a first phase, all file names are collected by evaluation of \include, \input, \subfile and \subfileinclude commands. Then, each file is processed on its own. If you want to exclude certain files, for instance figures given in TeX code, you can use option --skip from section Example application.

Remark. An alternative version is as follows. Write all commands that YaLafi needs in an own file, say yy-defs.tex. Then use option --define yy-defs.tex, or place \LTinput{yy-defs.tex} in all sources.

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Handling of displayed equations

Displayed equations should be part of the text flow and include the necessary interpunction. The German version of LanguageTool (LT) will detect a missing dot in the following snippet. For English texts, see the comments in section Equation replacements in English documents ahead.

Wir folgern
\begin{align}
a   &= b \\
c   &= d
\end{align}
Daher ...


Here, a to d stand for arbitrary mathematical terms (meaning: “We conclude <maths> Therefore, ...”). In fact, LT complains about the capital “Daher” that should start a new sentence.

Trivial version

With the entry

    Environ(self, 'align', remove=True, add_pars=False),


in list environments of file yalafi/packages/amsmath.py, the equation environment is simply removed. We get the following filter output that will probably cause a problem, even if the equation itself ends with a correct interpunction sign.

Wir folgern
Daher ...


Simple version

With the entry

    EquEnv(self, 'align', repl='  Relation', remove=True),


in Parameters.environment_defs, one gets:

Wir folgern
Relation
Daher ...


Adding a dot = d. in the equation will lead to Relation. in the output. This will also hold true, if the interpunction sign (Parameters.math_punctuation) is followed by maths space or by macros as \label and \nonumber.

Full version

Remark. Our equation parsing currently assumes that aligned operators like = and + are placed on the right side of the alignment character &. LaTeX does not enforce that, but it is the style found in examples of the documentation for package amsmath.

Remark. For a simplification, see option --simple-equations in section Example application.

With the default entry

    EquEnv(self, 'align'),


we obtain (“gleich” means equal, and setting language to English will produce “equal”):

Wir folgern
V-V-V  gleich W-W-W
W-W-W  gleich X-X-X.
Daher ...


The replacements like V-V-V are taken from collections math_repl_display* in file yalafi/parameters.py that depend on language setting, too. Now, LT will additionally complain about repetition of W-W-W. Finally, writing = b, and = d. in the equation leads to the output:

Wir folgern
V-V-V  gleich W-W-W,
X-X-X  gleich Y-Y-Y.
Daher ...


The rules for equation parsing are described in section Parser for maths material. They ensure that variations like

    a   &= b \\
&= c.


and

    a   &= b \\


also will work properly. In contrast, the text

    a   &= b \\
-c  &= d.


will again produce an LT warning due to the missing comma after b, since the filter replaces both b and -c by W-W-W without intermediate text.

In rare cases, manipulation with \LTadd{...} or \LTskip{...} may be necessary to avoid false warnings from the proofreader; compare section Adaptation of LaTeX and plain text.

Inclusion of “normal” text

In variant “Full version”, the argument of \mbox (macro names: collection Parameters.math_text_macros, loading of LaTeX package amsmath adds \text) is directly copied. Outside of \mbox etc., only maths space like \; and \quad (see Parameters.math_space) is considered as space. Therefore, one will get warnings from the proofreading program, if subsequent \text and maths parts are not properly separated.

Equation replacements in English documents

The replacement collections math_repl_display* in file yalafi/parameters.py do not work well, if single letters are taken as replacements. For instance, V. cannot be safely considered as end of a sentence. We now have chosen replacements as U-U-U for German and English texts.

Furthermore, the English version of LanguageTool (like other proofreading tools) rarely detects mistakenly capital words inside a sentence; they are probably considered as proper names. Therefore, a missing dot at the end of a displayed equation is hardly found. An experimental hack is provided by option --equation-punctuation of application script yalafi/shell/shell.py described in section Example application.

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Multi-language documents

Remarks. This feature is experimental, any comments are welcome. Operation may be slow, unless a LanguageTool server is used, for instance, via option --server my.

As an example, assume option --multi-language for yalafi.shell and the LaTeX text:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[german,english]{babel}
\newcommand{\german}[1]{\textit{\foreignlanguage{german}{#1}}}

\begin{document}
This is thex German word \german{excellent}..
\end{document}


Then, the Vim example from section “Plain Vim” with setting let g:ltyc_showsuggestions = 1 will produce this quickfix window:

t.tex|6 col 9 info|  Possible spelling mistake found. Suggestion: the; then; they; them; thee; Theo; hex; THX; TeX; Tex; The; t hex; the x; Théo
t.tex|6 col 34 info|  Möglicher Tippfehler gefunden. Suggestion: exzellent; exzellente; exzellenten; exzellenter; Exzellenz; exzellentes; erzählend; exzellentem; erhellend; erkältend; exzelliert
t.tex|6 col 44 info|  Two consecutive dots Suggestion: .; …


The initial language is specified by option --language, it is overwritten upon \usepackage[...]{babel}. Commands like \selectlanguage{...} are also effective in files loaded via option --define or with \LTinput{...}. Language names in babel commands are mapped to xx-XX codes by dictionary language_map in file yalafi/packages/babel.py.

Further options. In the above example, LanguageTool is invoked for This is thex German word L-L-L.. with language en-GB, and for excellent with language de-DE. The following options for yalafi.shell can be used to adjust the behaviour.

• --ml-continue-threshold num
If a short inclusion, for instance via \foreignlanguage, does not comprise more than num plain-text words (default: 2), then the main text flow is continued. The inclusion is represented by a placeholder from collections lang_change_repl* in file yalafi/parameters.py. Language changes with \selectlanguage always break the text flow.
• --ml-rule-threshold num
If an inserted foreign-language text part consists of at most num words (default: 2), then options --ml-disable and --ml-disablecategories become effective for this text part.
• --ml-disable rules
Additionally disable these LanguageTool rules for text parts matching option --ml-rule-threshold (default: ''). For example, one might disable rule UPPERCASE_SENTENCE_START.
• --ml-disablecategories cats
Similar to --ml-disable for LanguageTool’s rule categories (default: '').

Please consider also the tweaks in section Adaptation of LaTeX and plain text.

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Python package interface

We comment the central function in file yalafi/tex2txt.py that uses the package interface to emulate the behaviour of script tex2txt.py in repository Tex2txt.

 1  def tex2txt(latex, opts, multi_language=False, modify_parms=None):
3          try:
4              with open(file, encoding=opts.ienc) as f:
6          except:
7              return False, ''
8
9      parms = parameters.Parameters(opts.lang or '')
10      parms.multi_language = multi_language
11      packages = get_packages(opts.dcls, parms.class_modules)
12      packages.extend(get_packages(opts.pack, parms.package_modules))
13
14      if opts.extr:
15          extr = ['\\' + s for s in opts.extr.split(',')]
16      else:
17          extr = []
18      if opts.seqs:
19          parms.math_displayed_simple = True
20
21      if modify_parms:
22          modify_parms(parms)
24      toks = p.parse(latex, define=opts.defs, extract=extr)
25
26      if not multi_language:
27          txt, pos = utils.get_txt_pos(toks)
28      if opts.repl:
29          txt, pos = utils.replace_phrases(txt, pos, opts.repl)
30      if opts.unkn:
31          txt = '\n'.join(p.get_unknowns()) + '\n'
32          pos = [0 for n in range(len(txt))]
33      pos = [n + 1 for n in pos]
34      return txt, pos
35
36  main_lang = opts.lang or ''
37  ml = utils.get_txt_pos_ml(toks, main_lang, parms)
38  if opts.repl and main_lang in ml:
39      for part in ml[main_lang]:
40          part[0], part[1] = utils.replace_phrases(part[0], part[1],
41                                                      opts.repl)
42  for lang in ml:
43      for part in ml[lang]:
44          part[1]= list(n + 1 for n in part[1])
45  return ml

• 2-7: This is an auxiliary function for the parser.
• 9: The created parameter object contains all default settings and definitions from file yalafi/parameters.py.
• 11: We read the LaTeX packages from option --pack and convert them to a list of handler functions called later by the parser.
• 14-17: If option --extr requests only extraction of arguments of certain macros, this is prepared.
• 22: If call-back modify_parms is specified, it may change the parameters.
• 23: We create a parser object, the passed function is called on \LTinput.
• 24: The parsing method returns a list of tokens.
• 27: The token list is converted into a 2-tuple containing the plain-text string and a list of numbers. Each number in the list indicates the estimated position of the corresponding character in the text string.
• 29: If phrase replacements are requested by option --repl, this is done. String opts.repl contains the replacement specifications read from the file.
• 31: On option --unkn, a list of unknown macros and environments is generated.
• 33: This is necessary, since position numbers are zero-based in yalafi, but one-based in Tex2txt/tex2txt.py.
• 37: For a multi-language document, utils.get_txt_pos_ml() returns a dictionary, containing plain-text strings and character position maps for each language.
• 38: Phrase replacements are performed for text parts written in the main language.
• 44: This corresponds to line 33.

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Command-line of pure filter

The LaTeX filter can be integrated in shell scripts, compare the examples in Tex2txt/README.md.

python -m yalafi [--nums file] [--repl file] [--defs file] [--dcls class]
[--pack modules] [--extr macros] [--lang xy] [--ienc enc]
[--seqs] [--unkn] [--nosp] [--mula base] [latexfile]


Without positional argument latexfile, standard input is read.

• --nums file
File for storing estimated original position numbers for each character of plain text. This can be used later to correct position figures in proofreader messages.
• --repl file
As option --replace in section Example application.
• --defs file
As option --define in section Example application.
• --dcls class and --pack modules
As options --documentclass and --packages in section Example application.
• --extr ma[,mb,...]
As option --extract in section Example application.
• --lang xy
Language de, en or ru (default: en, also taken in case of unknown language). Is used for adaptation of equation replacements, maths operator names, proof titles, and for handling of macros like "=.
• --ienc enc
As option --encoding in section Example application.
• --seqs
As option --simple-equations in section Example application.
• --unkn
As option --list-unknown in section Example application.
• --nosp
As option --no-specials in section Example application.
• --mula base
Turn on multi-language processing. The different text parts are stored in files <base>.<part>.<language>. If --nums has been specified, the position maps are written to files with similar naming scheme.

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Differences to Tex2txt

Invocation of python -m yalafi ... differs as follows from python tex2txt.py ... (the script described in Tex2txt/README.md).

• Macro definitions with \(re)newcommand in the LaTeX input are processed, as well as \documentclass and \usepackage.
• Macro arguments need not be delimited by {} braces or [] brackets.
• Macros are expanded in the order they appear in the text.
• Character position tracking for displayed equations is improved, see the example below.
• Added options --dcls and --pack allow modification of predefined LaTeX macros and environments at Python level.
• Added option --seqs.
• Added option --nosp.
• Added option --mula.
• Option --defs expects a file containing macro definitions as LaTeX code.
• Option --ienc is also effective for file from --defs.
• Option --char (position tracking for single characters) is always activated.
• Default language is English. It is also used for an unknown language.

YaLafi/yalafi/tex2txt.py is faster for input texts till about 30 Kilobytes, for larger files it can be slower than Tex2txt/tex2txt.py --char. Run-time increases quasi linearly with file size. Due to token generation for each single “normal” character, memory usage may be substantial for long input texts.

With

python -m yalafi.shell --equation-punct all --output html test.tex > test.html


and input

For each $\epsilon > 0$, there is a $\delta > 0$ so that
%
$$\norm{y-x} < \delta \text{\quad implies\quad} \norm{A(y) - A(x)} < \epsilon, \label{lab}$$
%
Therefore, operator $A$ is continuous at point $x$.


we get

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Remarks on implementation

Scanner / tokeniser

The scanner identifies token types defined in yalafi/defs.py.

• All “normal” characters yield an own token.
• Many character combinations like {, \[ or --- are recognised as “special tokens”.
• Names of “normal” macros formed by a backslash and subsequent letters (method Parameters.macro_character()) result in a token, macros \begin, \end, \item, and \verb are treated separately.
• For space, we distinguish between character sequences that do or do not represent a paragraph break. In both cases, a single token is generated.
• Comments starting with % consume the rest of the line and leading space on the next line, if it is not blank. A single token is generated.

Parser

The central method Parser.expand_sequence() does not directly read from the scanner, but from an intermediate buffer that can take back tokens. On macro expansion, the parser simply pushes back all tokens generated by argument substitution. (Method Parser.expand_arguments() collects tokens forming macro arguments and returns a list of replacement tokens that is eventually pushed back in the main loop.) The result is close to the “real” TeX behaviour, compare the tests in directory tests/.

A method important for simple implementation is Parser.arg_buffer(). It creates a new buffer that subsequently returns tokens forming a macro argument (only a single token or all tokens enclosed in paired {} braces or [] brackets).

Parser for maths material

We follow the ideas described in section Handling of displayed equations, compare the tests in tests/test_display.py. All unknown macros, which are not in the blacklist Parameters.math_ignore, are assumed to generate some “visible” output. Thus, it is not necessary to declare all the maths macros like \alpha and \sum.

Displayed equations are parsed as follows.

• Equation environments are split into “lines” separated by \\.
• Each “line” is split into “sections” delimited by &.
• Each “section” is split into “maths parts” only consisting of maths material separated by intermediate \text{...} or \mbox{...} (Parameters.math_text_macros).
• Arguments of \text and \mbox are directly copied.
• A “maths part” is substituted with a placeholder from rotating collections math_repl_display*, if it does not consist only of punctuation marks from Parameters.math_punctuation or of operators from Parameters.math_operators.
• A leading maths operator is displayed using math_op_text (language-dependent), if the “maths part” is first in “section” and the “section” is not first on “line”.
• Trailing interpunction of a “maths part” is appended to the placeholder.
• If the “maths part” includes leading or trailing maths space from Parameters.math_space, then white space is prepended or appended to the replacement.
• Replacements from math_repl_display* are rotated
• if a non-blank \text part is detected,
• if a “maths part” starts with an operator and is first in “section”, but not on “line”,
• if a “maths part” only consists of an operator,
• if a “maths part” includes trailing interpunction.

Removal of unnecessary blank lines

In order to avoid creation of new blank lines by macros expanding to space or “nothing”, we include a token of type ActionToken whenever expanding a macro. Method Parser.remove_pure_action_lines() removes all lines only containing space and at least one such token. Initially empty lines are retained. Together with the extraction of special text flows, for instance from footnotes, this preserves sentences and paragraphs, thus improving checks and reducing false positives from the proofreading software.

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Yet another LaTeX filter