## Saturday, September 4, 2010

### Computing the maximum width of two boxes

On occasion, one has cause to compare two boxes and compute the maximum of the two widths. If the two boxes are 0 and 2, then the standard way to do that is something like
\ifdim\wd0>\wd2
\dimen0 \wd0
\else
\dimen0 \wd2
\fi
Of course, this works perfectly well. But sometimes, you want something that's a little less easy to read. Thus, I propose
\dimen0 \wd\ifdim\wd0>\wd2 0 \else2 \fi
The spaces around the numbers are to keep TeX from reading more input looking for additional digits.

#### 1 comment:

1. There is another way calculate the maximum width of any number of boxes.

\setbox0=\hbox{\kern 26pt}
\setbox1=\hbox{\kern 16pt}
\setbox2=\hbox{\kern 33pt}
\setbox3=\vbox{\copy0 \copy1 \copy2}
\showthe\wd3