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For a script that compiles LaTeX for me, I have to send the string \" to the command line, within a string delimited by ". Example:

>pdflatex "\IeC{\" o}"

How do I escape the " in the middle? If I do pdflatex "\IeC{\\" o}", the "\" will mean a \ and the string will still be terminated at the middle ". Any way around this?

Clarification: The literal string I want to send to pdflatex is \IeC{\"o}. After any escapes, this is what should be passed as command line argument.

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Your clarification omits a space. Is that a typo? – Dennis Williamson Nov 3 '10 at 15:15
No, the clarification string is correct. However, I have other strings which need the space after a " that shouldn't terminate the string. – Tomas Lycken Nov 10 '10 at 16:45

To escape the first character, it is \\

To escape the second character, it is \"

So, just stick em together. \\\"

So, long story short, \\IeC{\\\"o}

I've never used pdflatex before, but that's how escapes work usually.

...unless the { and } need escapes too

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Use a carat as the escape character:

pdflatex "\IeC{^" o}"


Try omitting the outer quotes:

pdflatex \IeC{\" o}

One thing to remember is that Windows doesn't process command line arguments the way a Linux/Unix shell does. The arguments are passed intact (including outer quotes) to the program which has to decide how it wants to process them. So you may need to escape the space. It all depends on how pdflatex sees the arguments.

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Didn't work... =( – Tomas Lycken Nov 3 '10 at 11:32

You also need to escape the backslashes:

pdflatex "^\IeC{^\^" o}"

...but I am not sure if carets mean anything to LaTeX, which I think they probably do.

Alternatively, you could try using double quotes to contain the whole parameter, but I doubt they would work.

What would certainly work though, is modifying your pdflatex script to concatenate the %1 and %2 parameters (upto %n if needed) which you can then pass to the script without any quotes.

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