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Questions about Evil Red Text

§1.  What is Evil Red Text (aka ERT)?

The acronym ERT (Evil Red Text) refers to raw LaTeX commands inserted into the body of your LyX document. In historical versions of LyX, ERT appeared in the user interface alongside regular text as red characters.

"ERT" was coined on the developers mailing list by Larry Marso, who advocated an embedded raw LaTeX inset to hide raw LaTeX, and thus, to present a cleaner LyX user interface for complex documents. (see "A Brief History of ERT", LDN, March 15, 2000).

Finally, several years later, an ERT inset was included.

With its long history of popular usage by the LyX community, the term "ERT" seems to have stuck as a description of raw LaTeX.

§2.  How do I enter Evil Red Text?

Aesthetic arguments aside, many of the answers in this FAQ require that you use ERT, so whenever we say "insert the following LaTeX code", do the following

  1. Click the TeX toolbar button or select Insert->TeX.
  2. Type the command as it is written in the normal way

§3.  The new ERT inset is really inconvenient!

A lot of people have been complaining about the ERT inset introduced in version 1.2.0. However, since there is little hope of to see the old LaTeX font return from the grave (it was really a hack), here are a couple of things to ponder:

  • You can collapse the ERT like any other floats by using Edit->Open/Close float (bound to C-i by default)
  • You can also set it to "inlined" by using the properties dialog obtained by right-clicking anywhere in the inset

§4.  Is there an alternative?

LaTeX commands can also be inserted in the "LaTeX Preamble", a form in LyX that is inserted verbatim into the LaTeX file which is generated during processing. This is especially useful for including nonstandard LaTeX packages, defining global shortcuts to be used within the document, etc.

§5.  I included a file via ERT, and LaTeX does not find it. Why?

  • Relative paths (e.g. to graphics files) in ERT may cause problems. (Depending on where LyX will process the main file, e.g. whether in a temp directory or not)


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Page last modified on 2010-08-07 08:43 UTC