Simple LaTeX Drafting Commands

When drafting a document, you may find it useful to leave short notes or hints which require further attention later on. Perhaps you do not want to disrupt your flow of inspiration, or an entire paragraph needs re-structuring.

The following command definitions are a quick and dirty way of providing semantic colour-coded drafting tools.

\newcommand{\draftoutput}[2]{(#1\ifthenelse{\isempty{#2}}{#2}{ - #2})}
\newcommand{\rephrase}[1]{{\color{[email protected]}\draftoutput{REPHRASE}{#1}}}
\newcommand{\reference}[1]{{\color{[email protected]}\draftoutput{REFERENCE}{#1}}}
\newcommand{\aside}[1]{{\color{[email protected]}\draftoutput{ASIDE}{#1}}}
\newcommand{\todo}[1]{{\color{[email protected]}\draftoutput{TODO}{#1}}}

This exposes a set of commands which can be used in any text environment:

These commands are used in similar fashion to other inline text commands:

\todo{insert an image of a dragon here}

NB: The first command (\draftoutput) is a helper command to keep the code clean, and may be ignored.

Each drafting command has an associated colour, and as such, we require the color package (or the xcolor package). You may customise them to suit your needs.

As you may have already guessed, my colour preference is the Solarized colour scheme. The colours are defined over in the post on LaTeX syntax highlighting.

Of course, you may add or remove any commands to suit your own drafting routines, but try to keep their numbers to a minimum. You want commands which are easy to remember and type; they should not hinder your writing in any way.

An alternative is to use the pdfcomment package which provides excellent features in formatting and styling comments, if you need the extra functionality that is.