Somebody \smash'd our company letter style

Hartmut Henkel hartmut_henkel at
Thu Apr 4 22:45:18 CEST 2019

Dear David,

On Wed, 3 Apr 2019, David Carlisle wrote:

> This is not directly related to texlive, but this was a documented
> change in last year's LaTeX release see

thank you for the link, i missed this info. Knowing the reasoning behind
the change, i'll happily adapt.

> All Latex box constructs start in hmode. smash and phantom had been
> overlooked and quite regularly caused issues when used at the start of
> a paragraph. Similarly it was clearly a bug that \, was a horizontal
> space unless at the start of a paragraph when it was a vertical space.

Actually, to avoid vertical surprises, i have been using e. g. the
fancyhdr package like \lhead{\leavemode\smash{...}}. Not anymore :-)

> The changed behaviour you show here is only occurring as \smash is
> being used in combination with tex primitive box constructs so given
> that, wrapping it in \hbox is reasonable adjustment or, as for all
> changes to the kernel, you could use the latexrelease package to roll
> back the definitions to an earlier format.
> The definition of \smash in latex has not been the same as in plain
> since colour support was added 25 years ago.
> Sorry this affected your code, we did check all existing code in ctan
> packages for likely conflicts, as well as our test suite. That and he
> fact that this has been used in the released latex for some months
> with no reported problems until now does suggest that overall this
> change is for the best, giving a far more consistent behaviour for
> latex box and spacing commands at the start of a paragraph.

Don't mind, it's fine. Have many thanks for your enlightenment.

Best Regards, Hartmut

> On Mon, 1 Apr 2019 at 21:10, Hartmut Henkel <hartmut_henkel at> wrote:
> > [...] The reason seems to be some changed functionality of \smash{}.

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