# [OS X TeX] Spaces in file or folder names

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Thu Feb 10 11:30:20 EST 2005

On 10 feb 2005, at 16:36, Aditya Dushyant Trivedi wrote:

>> Just avoid spaces in names that you have to pass to LaTeX. You'll be
>> much happier. Trust me on this.
>
> I have used files and folders with spaces in it (for LaTeX) on Windows
> with no problem (On windows I use MiKTeX). I have never had a problem.

I would consider that a hack. Plain TeX uses a different \input, there
you type "\input filename " (obviously without the quotes). To in plain
tex (and context for that matter), the filename is delimited by white
space. That is a fundamental issue. The issue can be resolved in part
through patch files (file handling needs to be patched this way in any
case for a new platform), but the portability issue is still there. The
fact that you never had a problem with it, may depend on your usage of
(La)TeX.

> If I understand correctly, OS X being a UNIX based system uses a unix
> based distribution. Historically, LaTeX has been used through command
> line. Having spaces in names when using it via command line causes
> issues. You have to remember to quote things properly. Many scripts
> which are used to automate a TeX run do not handle spaces in file
> names properly. Thats a platform specific problem and not a TeX
> problem.

I'd say it is a TeX issue, in that plain tex may have issues with it.
Besides: you want your sources to be portable across platforms, and in
that case avoiding spaces makes life a lot easier.

Combine the above with the fact that you're likely to use a long list
of other Unix based utilities, and you'll quickly reach the conclusion
that spaces are not your friend. Besides: the people who actually have
the skills to come up with something resembling a solution (a hack at
best), do not consider the space issue to be important at all (the
issue periodically comes up on comp.text.tex, and is usually dismissed
with: don't bother, just don't use spaces).

Maarten

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