[Tex/LaTex] Escaping backslashes in command line


Issue resolved, please see end of question for details

I am passing a file path as a parameter to a tex script, run by pdflatex on Windows.

Here's an example of a command:

pdflatex -interaction=nonstopmode -halt-on-error -job-name=c:/target/job1 "\newcommand{\inputFileParam}{c:/Source/job1}\input{c:/Scripts/somescript.tex}"

Note that the paths are delimited using forward slashes. This is not recognized by Windows. Therefore on Windows I need to use backslashes. However, I cannot find a way to escape those backslashes that belong to the path correctly.

Unless correctly escaped, pdflatex treats the sequences which start with a backslash as commands, and fails with undefined command error.

To summarize, How do I escape the path backslashes in:


EDIT – Solution

The answers below helped separate multiple issues with the above command.

  1. Forward slashes work fine in Windows

  2. Escaping backslashes is achieved (if needed) by prepending each path part with \string:

    (for example: C:\string\dirname\string\filename.ext)

  3. -job-name should not contain a full path. -output-directory should be used in conjunction with -job-name to specify the path, otherwise an error is issued.

  4. The "file not found" error was in fact due to another issue. As you see, C:\Source\job1 was provided without extension. Such a file, without extension, indeed exists in the specified directory. However, it seems that pdflatex assumes a PDF extension if none is provided. Therefore when I added the file C:\Source\job1.pdf the command worked flawlessly.

    It should be noted that the error string both on console and in log referred to "c:\Source\job1" without extension.

Best Answer

TeX (and most windows APIs are happy to use / as a file separator so you can use