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# RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for initex (redhat section 1)

```TEX(1)				     General Commands Manual				   TEX(1)

NAME
tex, virtex, initex - text formatting and typesetting

SYNOPSIS
tex [options] [commands]

DESCRIPTION
This  manual page is not meant to be exhaustive.  The complete documentation for this ver-
sion of TeX can be found in the info file or manual Web2C: A TeX implementation.

TeX formats the interspersed text and commands contained in the named files and outputs	a
typesetter  independent	file  (called DVI, which is short for DeVice Independent).  TeX's
capabilities and language are described in The TeXbook.	TeX is normally used with a large
body  of  precompiled  macros,  and there are several specific formatting systems, such as
LaTeX, which require the support of several macro files.

This version of TeX looks at its command line to see what name it was called under.   Both
initex  and virtex are symlinks to the tex executable.  When called as initex (or when the
--ini option is given) it can be used to precompile macros into a .fmt file.  When  called
as  virtex  it  will use the plain format.  When called under any other name, TeX will use
that name as the name of the format to use.  For example, when called as tex the tex  for-
mat  is	used,  which is identical to the plain format.	The commands defined by the plain
format are documented in The TeXbook.  Other formats  that  are	often  available  include
latex and amstex.

The  commands  given  on the command line to the TeX program are passed to it as the first
input line.  (But it is often easier to type extended arguments as the first  input  line,
since  UNIX  shells  tend  to gobble up or misinterpret TeX's favorite symbols, like back-
slashes, unless you quote them.)  As described in The  TeXbook,	that  first  line  should
begin with a filename, a \controlsequence, or a &formatname.

The normal usage is to say
tex paper
to  start  processing  paper.tex.   The name paper will be the ``jobname'', and is used in
forming output filenames.  If TeX doesn't get a filename in the first line, the jobname is
texput.	 When  looking	for  a	file, TeX looks for the name with and without the default
extension (.tex) appended, unless the name already contains that extension.  If	paper  is
the ``jobname'', a log of error messages, with rather more detail than normally appears on
the screen, will appear in paper.log, and the output file will be in paper.dvi.

TeX will look in the first line of the file paper.tex to see if it begins with  the  magic
sequence  %&.   If  the	first line begins with %&format --translate-file tcxname then TeX
will use the named format and transation table tcxname to process the source file.  Either
the format name or the --translate-file specification may be omitted, but not both.

The  e  response to TeX's error prompt causes the system default editor to start up at the
current line of the current file.  The environment variable TEXEDIT can be used to  change
the editor used.  It may contain a string with "%s" indicating where the filename goes and
"%d" indicating where the decimal line number (if  any)	goes.	For  example,  a  TEXEDIT
string for emacs can be set with the sh command
TEXEDIT="emacs +%d %s"; export TEXEDIT

A  convenient  file in the library is null.tex, containing nothing.  When TeX can't find a
file it thinks you want to input, it keeps asking you  for  another  filename;  responding
`null'  gets  you  out of the loop if you don't want to input anything.	You can also type

OPTIONS
This version of TeX understands the following command line options.

--fmt format
Use format as the name of the format to be used, instead of the name by  which  TeX
was called or a %& line.

--help Print help message and exit.

--ini  Be initex, for dumping formats; this is implicitly true if the program is called as
initex.

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

--ipc  Send DVI output to a socket as well as the usual output file.  Whether this  option
is available is the choice of the installer.

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

Sets path searching debugging flags according to the  bitmask.   See  the  Kpathsea
manual for details.

--maketex fmt
Enable mktexfmt, where fmt must be one of tex or tfm.

--mltex
Enable MLTeX extensions.

--no-maketex fmt
Disable mktexfmt, where fmt must be one of tex or tfm.

--output-comment string
Use string for the DVI file comment instead of the date.

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

--shell-escape
Enable the \write18{command} construct.  The command can be any Bourne  shell  com-
mand.  This construct is normally disallowed for security reasons.

--translate-file tcxname
Use the tcxname translation table.

--version
Print version information and exit.

ENVIRONMENT
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 TeX formats, you cannot use ~ in a filename you give directly to TeX,
because ~ is an active character, and hence is expanded, not taken as part  of  the  file-
name.  Other programs, such as Metafont, do not have this problem.

TEXMFOUTPUT
Normally,  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 envi-
ronment  variable  TEXMFOUTPUT.	There is no default value for that variable.  For
example, if you say tex paper and the current directory is not writable,	if  TEXM-
FOUTPUT	has   the   value  /tmp,  TeX  attempts  to  create  /tmp/paper.log  (and
/tmp/paper.dvi, if any output is produced.)

TEXINPUTS
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 direcory and ``/home/user/tex'' to the
standard search path.

TEXEDIT
Command template for switching to editor.  The default, usually vi, is set when TeX
is compiled.

FILES
The location of the files mentioned below varies from system to system.	Use the kpsewhich
utility to find their locations.

tex.pool
Encoded text of TeX's messages.

texfonts.map
Filename mapping definitions.

*.tfm  Metric files for TeX's fonts.

*.fmt  Predigested TeX format (.fmt) files.

\$TEXMFMAIN/tex/plain/base/plain.tex
The basic macro package described in the TeXbook.

BUGS
This version of TeX fails to trap arithmetic overflow when dimensions are  added  or  sub-
tracted.   Cases  where this occurs are rare, but when it does the generated DVI file will
be invalid.

mf(1), undump(1),
Donald E. Knuth, The TeXbook, Addison-Wesley, 1986, ISBN 0-201-13447-0.
Leslie Lamport,	LaTeX  -  A  Document  Preparation  System,  Addison-Wesley,  1985,  ISBN
0-201-15790-X.
K. Berry, Eplain: Expanded plain TeX, ftp://ftp.cs.umb.edu/pub/tex/eplain/doc.
Michael Spivak, The Joy of TeX, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 1990, ISBN 0-8218-2997-1.
TUGboat (the journal of the TeX Users Group).

TRIVIA
TeX,  pronounced  properly,  rhymes with ``blecchhh.''  The proper spelling in typewriter-
like fonts is ``TeX'' and not ``TEX'' or ``tex.''

AUTHORS
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 (web2c), originally written by Tomas Rokicki and Tim Morgan.

Web2C 7.3.1				  29 March 1999 				   TEX(1)```

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