Literal character \…

A bunch of characters and character combinations serve as marks to format or structure text in Aneamal. For example, a dollar sign marks the start or end of a math string. But sometimes you may need to print a character that usually serves as Aneamal mark. In that case you can mark the character as literal.

How to

Prepend a backslash to a character that would otherwise be an Aneamal mark, if you want to print it literally.


The dollar sign is marked as literal in the following example so that it is printed instead of being interpreted as a mark that starts a math string.

The \$100 bill is sometimes called "Ben".

The $100 bill is sometimes called Ben.

In the next example stars are used pairwise to emphasize a word heavily first, but later in the sentence stars are also added literally.

Why do *stars* surround \*me\* though?

Why do stars surround *me* though?

If the following example was the beginning of a paragraph and there would not be a backslash to mark the A as literal, then A. would be interpreted as mark for the first item in a list numbered with capital letters. Since A. is supposed to be regular text though – it is an abbreviation for Arthur in this case – it is marked as literal.

\A. C. Doyle inventend J. H. Watson.

A. C. Doyle inventend J. H. Watson.


You do not need to mark Aneamal marks as literal where Aneamal marks are not interpreted anyway. For instance, the following table shows which few characters need to be marked as literal in certain contexts:

contextmark as literal
code string\ and |
hint\ and }
multiple-choice key\ and }
URI in backticks \ and `
file token\ and ]
metadata declaration text value\

Marking more characters as literal in the above mentioned contexts is without consequence. However, do not mark any characters as literal in:

For developers

When Aneamal is translated to HTML, characters from the Unicode code point range 0021 to 007E that are marked as literal where phrase markup is expected are encoded as decimal numeric character references. The above examples become

The &#36;100 bill is sometimes called <q>Ben</q>.
Why do <b>stars</b> surround &#42;me&#42; though?
&#65;. C. Doyle inventend J. H. Watson.