Section: Web2C 2015/dev (1)
Updated: 1 March 2011Index
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pdftex, pdfinitex, pdfvirtex - PDF output from TeX
Run the pdfTeX typesetter on
If the file argument has no extension, ".tex" will be appended to it.
Instead of a filename, a set of pdfTeX commands can be given, the first
of which must start with a backslash.
argument pdfTeX uses a different set of precompiled commands,
it is usually better to use the
pdfTeX is a version of TeX, with the e-TeX extensions, that can create
files as well as
mode, pdfTeX can be used as a complete replacement for the TeX
The typical use of pdfTeX is with a pregenerated formats for which
PDF output has been enabled. The
command uses the equivalent of the plain TeX format, and the
command uses the equivalent of the LaTeX format.
To generate formats, use the
commands are pdfTeX's analogues to the
commands. In this installation, if the links exist, they are symbolic
links to the
mode, pdfTeX can natively handle the
graphics formats. pdfTeX cannot include PostScript or Encapsulated
PostScript (EPS) graphics files; first convert them to PDF using
pdfTeX's handling of its command-line arguments is similar to that of
of the other TeX programs in the
This version of pdfTeX understands the following command line options.
Sets \pdfdraftmode so pdfTeX doesn't write a PDF and doesn't read any
included images, thus speeding up execution.
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
- -fmt format
as the name of the format to be used, instead of the name by which
pdfTeX was called or a
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 or PDF 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. This option is ignored
- -output-directory directory
Write output files in
instead of the current directory. Look up input files in
first, the along the normal search path.
- -output-format format
Set the output format mode, where
must be either
This also influences the set of graphics formats understood by pdfTeX.
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
mode, insert source specials into the
This option is ignored in
- -src-specials where
mode, insert source specials in certain placed of the
is a comma-separated value list:
This option is ignored in
- -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 pdfTeX formats, you cannot use ~ in a filename you
give directly to pdfTeX, 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, pdfTeX 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 and TEXMFOUTPUT has
pdfTeX 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 directory 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 pdfTeX 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 pdfTeX's internal strings.
Filename mapping definitions.
Metric files for pdfTeX's fonts.
Predigested pdfTeX format (.fmt) files.
Starting with version 1.40, pdfTeX incorporates the e-TeX
extensions, and pdfeTeX is just a copy of pdfTeX. See
This manual page is not meant to be exhaustive. The complete
documentation for this version of pdfTeX can be found in the
and the info manual
Web2C: A TeX implementation
This version of pdfTeX implements a number of optional extensions.
In fact, many of these extensions conflict to a greater or lesser
extent with the definition of pdfTeX. When such extensions are
enabled, the banner printed when pdfTeX starts is changed to print
This version of pdfTeX 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. Whether a generated
file would be usable is unknown.
pdfTeX is available for a large variety of machine architectures
and operation systems.
pdfTeX is part of all major TeX distributions.
Information on how to get pdfTeX and related information
is available at the
The following pdfeTeX related mailing list is available:
This is a mailman list;
to subscribe send a message containing
A web interface and list archives can be found at the
mailing list web site.
The primary authors of pdfTeX are Han The Thanh, Petr Sojka,
Jiri Zlatuska, and Peter Breitenlohner (eTeX).
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