LaTeX Lengths

A length is a measure of distance. Many LaTeX commands take a length as an argument.

\newlength

 \newlength{\gnat}
The \newlength command defines the mandatory argument, \gnat, as a length command with a value of 0in. An error occurs if a \gnat command already exists.

\setlength

 \setlength{\gnat}{length}
The \setlength command is used to set the value of a length command. The length argument can be expressed in any terms of length LaTeX understands, i.e., inches (in), millimeters (mm), points (pt), etc.

\addtolength

 \addtolength{\gnat}{length}
The \addtolength command increments a length command by the amount specified in the length argument. It can be a negative amount.

\settowidth

 \settowidth{\gnat}{text}
The \settowidth command sets the value of a length command equal to the width of the text argument.

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