pdftex, pdfinitex, pdfvirtex - PDF output from TeX


pdftex [ options ] [& format ] [ file | \ commands ]


Run the pdf\*(TX typesetter on file , usually creating file.pdf . If the file argument has no extension, ".tex" will be appended to it. Instead of a filename, a set of pdf\*(TX commands can be given, the first of which must start with a backslash. With a & format argument pdf\*(TX uses a different set of precompiled commands, contained in format.fmt ; it is usually better to use the

-fmt format option instead.

pdf\*(TX is a version of \*(TX, with the e-\*(TX extensions, that can create PDF files as well as DVI files.

In DVI mode, pdf\*(TX can be used as a complete replacement for the \*(TX engine.

The typical use of pdf\*(TX is with a pregenerated formats for which PDF output has been enabled. The

pdftex command uses the equivalent of the plain \*(TX format, and the

pdflatex command uses the equivalent of the \*(LX format. To generate formats, use the

-ini switch.


pdfinitex and

pdfvirtex commands are pdf\*(TX's analogues to the

initex and

virtex commands. In this installation, if the links exist, they are symbolic links to the

pdftex executable.

In PDF mode, pdf\*(TX can natively handle the PDF , JPG , JBIG2 , and PNG graphics formats. pdf\*(TX cannot include PostScript or Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) graphics files; first convert them to PDF using

R epstopdf (1). pdf\*(TX's handling of its command-line arguments is similar to that of of the other \*(TX programs in the web2c implementation.


This version of pdf\*(TX understands the following command line options.


    .rb Sets \pdfdraftmode so pdf\*(TX doesn't write a PDF and doesn't read any included images, thus speeding up execution.


    .rb Enable the enc\*(TX extensions. This option is only effective in combination with

R -ini . For documentation of the enc\*(TX extensions see

R http://www.olsak.net/enctex.html .


    .rb Enable the e-\*(TX extensions. This option is only effective in combination with

R -ini . See

R etex (1).


    .rb Print error messages in the form file:line:error which is similar to the way many compilers format them.


    .rb Disable printing error messages in the file:line:error style.


    .rb This is the old name of the

-file-line-error option.

  • -fmt  format
        .rb Use format as the name of the format to be used, instead of the name by which pdf\*(TX was called or a %& line.


    .rb Exit with an error code when an error is encountered during processing.


    .rb Print help message and exit.


    .rb Start in INI mode, which is used to dump formats. The INI mode can be used for typesetting, but no format is preloaded, and basic initializations like setting catcodes may be required.

  • -interaction  mode
        .rb Sets the interaction mode. The mode can be either batchmode , nonstopmode , scrollmode , and errorstopmode . The meaning of these modes is the same as that of the corresponding \commands.


    .rb 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.


    .rb As

R -ipc , and starts the server at the other end as well. Whether this option is available is the choice of the installer.

  • -jobname  name
        .rb Use name for the job name, instead of deriving it from the name of the input file.
  • -kpathsea-debug  bitmask
        .rb Sets path searching debugging flags according to the bitmask. See the Kpathsea manual for details.
  • -mktex  fmt
        .rb Enable mktex fmt , where fmt must be either tex or tfm .


    .rb Enable ML\*(TX extensions. Only effective in combination with

R -ini .

  • -no-mktex  fmt
        .rb Disable mktex fmt , where fmt must be either tex or tfm .
  • -output-comment  string
        .rb In DVI mode, use string for the DVI file comment instead of the date. This option is ignored in PDF mode.
  • -output-directory  directory
        .rb Write output files in directory instead of the current directory. Look up input files in directory first, the along the normal search path.
  • -output-format  format
        .rb Set the output format mode, where format must be either pdf or dvi . This also influences the set of graphics formats understood by pdf\*(TX.


    .rb If the first line of the main input file begins with %& parse it to look for a dump name or a

-translate-file option.


    .rb Disable parsing of the first line of the main input file.

  • -progname  name
        .rb Pretend to be program name . This affects both the format used and the search paths.


    .rb Enable the filename recorder. This leaves a trace of the files opened for input and output in a file with extension .fls .


    .rb Enable the \write18{ command } construct. The command can be any shell command. This construct is normally disallowed for security reasons.


    .rb Disable the \write18{ command } construct, even if it is enabled in the texmf.cnf file.


    .rb In DVI mode, insert source specials into the DVI file. This option is ignored in PDF mode.

  • -src-specials  where
        .rb In DVI mode, insert source specials in certain placed of the DVI file. where is a comma-separated value list: cr , display , hbox , math , par , parent , or vbox . This option is ignored in PDF mode.
  • -translate-file  tcxname
        .rb Use the tcxname translation table to set the mapping of input characters and re-mapping of output characters.
  • -default-translate-file  tcxname
        .rb Like

-translate-file except that a %& line can overrule this setting.


    .rb Print version information and exit.


See the Kpathsearch library documentation (the `Path specifications' node) for precise details of how the environment variables are used. The

kpsewhich utility can be used to query the values of the variables.

One caveat: In most pdf\*(TX formats, you cannot use ~ in a filename you give directly to pdf\*(TX, because ~ is an active character, and hence is expanded, not taken as part of the filename. Other programs, such as \*(MF, do not have this problem.

        Normally, pdf\*(TX 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 pdftex paper and the current directory is not writable, if TEXMFOUTPUT has the value /tmp , pdf\*(TX attempts to create /tmp/paper.log (and /tmp/paper.pdf , if any output is produced.)
        Search path for \input and \openin files. This should probably start with ``.'', so that user files are found before system files. An empty path component will be replaced with the paths defined in the texmf.cnf file. For example, set TEXINPUTS to ".:/home/usr/tex:" to prepend the current directory and ``/home/user/tex'' to the standard search path.
        Search path for format files.
        search path for

pdftex internal strings.

        Command template for switching to editor. The default, usually

R vi , is set when pdf\*(TX is compiled.

        Search path for font metric ( .tfm ) files.


The location of the files mentioned below varies from system to system. Use the

kpsewhich utility to find their locations.

  • pdftex.pool
        Text file containing pdf\*(TX's internal strings.
  • pdftex.map
        Filename mapping definitions.
  • *.tfm
        Metric files for pdf\*(TX's fonts.
  • *.fmt
        Predigested pdf\*(TX format (. fmt) files.


Starting with version 1.40, pdf\*(TX incorporates the e-\*(TX extensions, and pdfe\*(TX is just a copy of pdf\*(TX. See

R etex (1). This manual page is not meant to be exhaustive. The complete documentation for this version of pdf\*(TX can be found in the "pdf\*(TX manual" and the info manual "Web2C: A TeX implementation" .


This version of pdf\*(TX implements a number of optional extensions. In fact, many of these extensions conflict to a greater or lesser extent with the definition of pdf\*(TX. When such extensions are enabled, the banner printed when pdf\*(TX starts is changed to print

pdfTeXk instead of

R pdfTeX .

This version of pdf\*(TX fails to trap arithmetic overflow when dimensions are added or subtracted. Cases where this occurs are rare, but when it does the generated DVI file will be invalid. Whether a generated PDF file would be usable is unknown.


pdf\*(TX is available for a large variety of machine architectures and operation systems. pdf\*(TX is part of all major \*(TX distributions.

Information on how to get pdf\*(TX and related information is available at the

http://www.pdftex.org "pdf\*(TX" website.

The following pdfe\*(TX related mailing list is available:

R . This is a mailman list; to subscribe send a message containing subscribe to

R . More about the list can be found at the

http://tug.org/mailman/listinfo/pdftex mailing list website.


R epstopdf (1),

R etex (1),

R latex (1),

R mptopdf (1),

R tex (1),

R texexec (1),

R mf (1).


The primary authors of pdf\*(TX are Han The Thanh, Petr Sojka, Jiri Zlatuska, and Peter Breitenlohner (e\*(TX).

\*(TX was designed by Donald E. Knuth, who implemented it using his \*(WB 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 \*(TX distribution is that generated by the \*(WB to C system ( web2c ), originally written by Tomas Rokicki and Tim Morgan.

The enc\*(TX extensions were written by Petr Olsak.