Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: 1 March 2011Index
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etex - extended (plain) TeX
Run the e-TeX typesetter on
by default creating
If the file argument has no extension, ".tex" will be appended to it.
Instead of a filename, a set of e-TeX commands can be given, the first
of which must start with a backslash.
argument e-TeX uses a different set of precompiled commands,
it is usually better to use the
e-TeX is the first concrete result of an international research &
development project, the NTS Project, which was established under the
aegis of DANTE e.V. during 1992. The aims of the project are to
perpetuate and develop the spirit and philosophy of TeX, whilst
respecting Knuth's wish that TeX should remain frozen.
e-TeX can be used in two different modes: in
it is supposed to be completely interchangable with standard TeX.
several new primitives are added that facilitate (among other things)
An extended mode format is generated by prefixing the name of the
source file for the format with an asterisk (*).
e-TeX's handling of its command-line arguments is similar to that of
the other TeX programs in the
This version of e-TeX understands the following command line options.
- -fmt format
as the name of the format to be used, instead of the name by which
e-TeX was called or a
Enable the encTeX extensions. This option is only effective in
For documentation of the encTeX extensions see
Enable the e-TeX extensions. This option is only effective in
Print error messages in the form
which is similar to the way many compilers format them.
Disable printing error messages in the
This is the old name of the
Exit with an error code when an error is encountered during processing.
Print help message and exit.
mode, which is used to dump formats. The
mode can be used for typesetting, but no format is preloaded, and
basic initializations like setting catcodes may be required.
- -interaction mode
Sets the interaction mode. The mode can be either
The meaning of these modes is the same as that of the corresponding
Send DVI output to a socket as well as the usual output file. Whether
this option is available is the choice of the installer.
and starts the server at the other end as well. Whether this option
is available is the choice of the installer.
- -jobname name
for the job name, instead of deriving it from the name of the input file.
- -kpathsea-debug bitmask
Sets path searching debugging flags according to the bitmask. See the
manual for details.
- -mktex fmt
must be either
Enable MLTeX extensions. Only effective in combination with
- -no-mktex fmt
must be either
- -output-comment string
file comment instead of the date.
- -output-directory directory
Write output files in
instead of the current directory. Look up input files in
first, the along the normal search path.
If the first line of the main input file begins with
parse it to look for a dump name or a
Disable parsing of the first line of the main input file.
- -progname name
Pretend to be program
This affects both the format used and the search paths.
Enable the filename recorder. This leaves a trace of the files opened
for input and output in a file with extension
can be any shell command. This construct is normally
disallowed for security reasons.
construct, even if it is enabled in the
Insert source specials into the
- -src-specials where
Insert source specials in certain placed of the
is a comma-separated value list:
- -translate-file tcxname
translation table to set the mapping of input characters and
re-mapping of output characters.
- -default-translate-file tcxname
except that a
line can overrule this setting.
Print version information and exit.
See the Kpathsearch library documentation (the `Path specifications'
node) for precise details of how the environment variables are used.
utility can be used to query the values of the variables.
One caveat: In most e-TeX formats, you cannot use ~ in a filename you
give directly to e-TeX, because ~ is an active character, and hence is
expanded, not taken as part of the filename. Other programs, such as
Metafont, do not have this problem.
Normally, e-TeX puts its output files in the current directory. If
any output file cannot be opened there, it tries to open it in the
directory specified in the environment variable TEXMFOUTPUT.
There is no default value for that variable. For example, if you say
and the current directory is not writable, if TEXMFOUTPUT has
e-TeX attempts to create
if any output is produced.) TEXMFOUTPUT is also checked for input
files, as TeX often generates files that need to be subsequently
read; for input, no suffixes (such as ``.tex'') are added by default,
the input name is simply checked as given.
Search path for
This should start with ``.'', so
that user files are found before system files. An empty path
component will be replaced with the paths defined in the
file. For example, set TEXINPUTS to ".:/home/user/tex:" to prepend the
current direcory and ``/home/user/tex'' to the standard search path.
Search path for format files.
search path for
Command template for switching to editor. The default, usually
is set when e-TeX is compiled.
Search path for font metric
The location of the files mentioned below varies from system to
system. Use the
utility to find their locations.
Text file containing e-TeX's internal strings.
Filename mapping definitions.
Metric files for e-TeX's fonts.
Predigested e-TeX format (.fmt) files.
Starting with version 1.40, pdfTeX incorporates the e-TeX
extensions, so in this installation eTeX may be just a symbolic link to
This manual page is not meant to be exhaustive. The complete
documentation for this version of e-TeX can be found in the info
Web2C: A TeX implementation
This version of e-TeX implements a number of optional extensions.
In fact, many of these extensions conflict to a greater or lesser
extent with the definition of e-TeX. When such extensions are
enabled, the banner printed when e-TeX starts is changed to print
This version of e-TeX fails to trap arithmetic overflow when
dimensions are added or subtracted. Cases where this occurs are rare,
but when it does the generated
file will be invalid.
e-TeX was developed by Peter Breitenlohner and the NTS team; Peter
later continued its development outside of the team.
TeX was designed by Donald E. Knuth,
who implemented it using his Web system for Pascal programs.
It was ported to Unix at Stanford by Howard Trickey, and
at Cornell by Pavel Curtis.
The version now offered with the Unix TeX distribution is that
generated by the Web to C system
originally written by Tomas Rokicki and Tim Morgan.
The encTeX extensions were written by Petr Olsak.
- SEE ALSO