# W3cubDocs

/LaTeX

### \settowidth

Synopsis:

```\settowidth{len}{text}
```

Set the length len to the width of the box that LaTeX gets on typesetting the text argument. The length name len must begin with a backslash, `\`.

This measures the width of the lowercase ASCII alphabet.

```\newlength{\alphabetwidth}
\settowidth{\alphabetwidth}{abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz}
\the\alphabetwidth
```

If no such length len has been set aside, if for example you mistype the above as `\settowidth{\aplhabetwidth}{abc...}`, then you get something like ‘Undefined control sequence. <argument> \aplhabetwidth’. If you leave the backslash out of len, as in `\settoheight{alphabetwidth}{...}` then you get something like ‘Missing number, treated as zero. <to be read again> \setbox’.