\definestartstop—a forgotten macro

Recently, I needed a macro, which I call \important, that will typeset its arguments in italic font and dark red color. At first, I used the definition

\def\important#1%
{\startcolor[darkred]\italic#1\stopcolor}


or its slightly refined alternative

\def\important%
{\groupedcommand{\startcolor[darkred]\italic}{\stopcolor}}


The second alternative behaves like the first, but is slightly more robust. It does not grab the contents of its arguments, and hence works better if something inside #1 does category code jugglery.

Although, the above definition works fine, it does not have a ConTeXt flavour. What use is an easy to use macro package if you have to resort to TeX programming for such a simple macro?

Enter \definestartstop. The above command can be defined as

\definestartstop[important]
[style=italic,
color=darkred]


Much better.

But, wait a minute. The command is called \definestartstop. It defines an environment \startimportant ... \stopimportant. But, as a bonus, it also defines an inline \important{...}.

As a concluding note, I leave you with the following exercise. Guess the output of the following:

\definestartstop[important]
[before=\startframedtext,
after=\stopframedtext,
style=italic,
color=darkred]

\setupcolors[state=start]

\starttext

some normal text \important{some important text} some more normal text

\startimportant
\input knuth
\stopimportant

\stoptext