Experimental LaTeX3 Concepts
l3experimental packages are a collection of experimental implementations for aspects of the LaTeX3 kernel, dealing with higher-level ideas such as the Designer Interface. Some of them work as stand alone packages, providing new functionality, and can be used on top of LaTeX2ε with no changes to the existing kernel. Others go further, and redefine LaTeX2ε internals to provide better methods for managing certain constructs. The packages in the collection are under active development and the interfaces may change.
All of the material in the collection requires the LaTeX3 base layer package
l3kernel. The two packages must be installed in matching versions: if you update
l3experimental, make sure that
l3kernel is updated at the same time.
Currently included in the CTAN release of l3experimental are the following bundles:
This module provides support for benchmarking the performance of code.
This module provides a
bitset data type, a vector of bits, which can be set and unset using their individual index in the vector, or using names assigned to each position in the vector. The bitset can be returned as a string of bits or as a decimal integer.
This module provides a code-level interface for constructing drawings. The interfaces are heavily inspired by the
pgf layer of the widely-used TikZ system.
This module provides interfaces for the inclusion of graphics files in documents, similar to the
This module provides support for opacity in PDF output.
A 'string' in TeX terms is a token list in which all of the tokens have category code 12 ('other'), with the exception of spaces which have the category code 10 ('space'). The
l3str-format module provides methods for formatting such strings.
This module provides abstractions for common shell functions, e.g. file deletion and copying.
A coffin is a 'box with handles': a data structure which comprises both a TeX box and associated information to allow controlled typesetting. The
xcoffins package provides a high-level interface for manipulating coffins. This is supported by the lower-level
l3coffins package, which provides the data structure.
In LaTeX3 terminology a galley is a rectangular area which receives text and other material filling it from top. The vertically extend of a galley is normally not restricted: instead certain chunks are taken off the top of an already partially filled galley to form columns or similar areas on a page. This process is typically asynchronous but there are ways to control or change its behaviour. The xgalley module provides a mechanism for filling galleys and controlling the spacing, hyphenation and justification within them.
Discussion concerning the approach, suggestions for improvements, changes, additions, etc. should be addressed to the list LaTeX-L.
You can subscribe to this list by sending mail to
with the body containing
subscribe LATEX-L <Your-First-Name> <Your-Second-Name>
The issue tracker for LaTeX3 is currently located on GitHub.
Please report specific issues with LaTeX3 code there; more general discussion should be directed to the LaTeX-L list.
The LaTeX Project
Development of LaTeX3 is carried out by The LaTeX Project.
The development team can be contacted by e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>; for general LaTeX3 discussion the LaTeX-L list should be used.
Copyright (C) 1998-2004,2008-2012,2014-2022 The LaTeX Project
All rights reserved.
Download the contents of this package in one zip archive (4.2M).
l3experimental – Experimental LaTeX3 concepts
The l3experimental packages are a collection of experimental implementations for aspects of the LaTeX3 kernel, dealing with higher-level ideas such as the Designer Interface. Some of them work as stand alone packages, providing new functionality, and can be used on top of LaTeX2ε with no changes to the existing kernel.
The present release includes:
- l3benchmark for measuring the time taken by TeX to run certain code;
- l3draw, a code-level interface for constructing drawings;
- l3graphics, an interfaces for the inclusion of graphics files;
- l3opacity, support for opacity in PDF output;
- l3str, support for string manipulation;
- l3bitset, support for bit vectors;
- l3sys-shell, which provides abstractions for common shell functions like file deletion and copying;
- xcoffins, which allows the alignment of boxes using a series of ‘handle’ positions, supplementing the simple TeX reference point;
- xgalley, which controls boxes receiving text for typesetting.
|Licenses||The LaTeX Project Public License 1.3c|
|Copyright||1998–2004,2008–2012,2014–2022 The LaTeX3 Project|
|Maintainer||The LaTeX Team|
|Contained in||TeX Live as l3experimental|
MiKTeX as l3experimental