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TeX and METAFONT FAQ

Last update(s): Mon Oct 3 16:50:09 2005     Thu Oct 6 05:33:33 2005     Fri Oct 21 15:01:31 2005     Wed Nov 9 07:25:49 2005     Tue Oct 17 11:12:18 2006     Tue Sep 11 18:53:28 2012     Wed Mar 19 08:10:58 2014     Tue Sep 29 06:41:41 2015     Wed Jun 1 09:00:53 2016     Thu Mar 23 14:08:54 2017                Valid HTML 4.0!

Table of contents

  1. Are TeX and METAFONT available on our systems?
  2. Where are they installed?
  3. How do I set search paths for TeX and METAFONT?
  4. How do I find where a particular TeX- or METAFONT-related file is stored?
  5. How do I fix an Unable to read an entire line---bufsize=3000 error?
  6. How do I fix a TeX capacity exceeded error?
  7. Where do I find documentation for TeX and METAFONT?
  8. Why do DVI drivers sometimes pause to generate fonts?
  9. Why should I care about font formats?
  10. What tools are available for BibTeX?
  11. What tools are available for TeX and LaTeX?
  12. What tools are available for METAFONT?
  13. What editor support is there for BibTeX?
  14. What editor support is there for LaTeX?
  15. How do I typeset in non-roman scripts, such as Arabic, Chinese, Ethiopian, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Thai?
  16. What tools are available for generating typesettable pictures?
  17. How can I turn a black-and-white bitmap scan of a line drawing into smooth PostScript graphics?
  18. How do I convert between two different graphics file formats?
  19. How do I make presentation slides?
  20. How do I typeset my University of Utah dissertation/thesis with LaTeX?
  21. How do I convert LaTeX files to HTML?
  22. How do I convert LaTeX files to Microsoft-Word format, and vice versa?
  23. Is there a local mailing list for questions about TeX and METAFONT?
  24. Why does TeXshop on Mac OS X produce shifted page images when \magnification is used?
  25. How can I install TeX Live on my personal computer?

Questions and answers

  1.   Are TeX and METAFONT available on our systems?

    Yes, and they have been for more than 25 years. One of our systems staff has had a long-standing connection with the development of this important software, and with the worldwide TeX Users Group.

  2.   Where are they installed?

    Most of our systems have two, and some three, distributions of TeX and METAFONT, and related utilities.

    The standard one, available on all systems, has executables in /usr/local/bin (a leading component of our Unix system search paths), and finds TeX files in the tree /usr/local/lib/tex and METAFONT files in /usr/local/lib/mf. The first of these is most easily referenced as $TEX, using a system-wide environment variable.

    We have tens of thousands of user-written TeX files on our systems, many of which have modifications of LaTeX internals, so for stability, the executable latex is the original version, LaTeX 2.09. The newer (since 1995) LaTeX 2e is available as latex2e.

    The second distribution is the TeX Live one, updated yearly, usually in late summer. It is installed in /usr/local/lib/tex/texlive. To use it, you need to change several environment variables that set search paths; this is complex and error prone, so system shell scripts are provided to handle the job:

    % source /usr/local/skel/SYS.texlive.csh        # csh and tcsh
    $ . /usr/local/skel/SYS.texlive.sh              # sh, bash, ksh, and zsh
    

    Many of our systems have multiple yearly releases of TeX Live: you can pick a particular one like this:

    % source /usr/local/skel/SYS.texlive-2014.csh        # csh and tcsh
    $ . /usr/local/skel/SYS.texlive-2014.sh              # sh, bash, ksh, and zsh
    

    Because we are one of the build sites for the TeX Live distributions, we often have newer versions than the default. The preceding examples show how you can access a bleeding-edge build. Because TeX and Metafont are stable and reliable systems, problems are not expected to be encountered, but if you do, please report them to local systems staff.

    With TeX Live, latex is version 2e, and version 2.09 is not supported, except in compatibility mode, which probably will not work if your old LaTeX files have modified any LaTeX internals. TeX Live includes pdftex and pdflatex, which are extensions of TeX and LaTeX that normally produce PDF output, instead of DVI output. Because hyperlinked PDF files are preferable for use on the Web and for slide presentations, you may find pdflatex convenient and useful.

    GNU/Linux systems usually have a system version of TeX and METAFONT, with executables installed in /usr/bin, and macros and fonts in a combined tree /usr/share/texmf. Like the TeX Live distribution, latex in this system is version 2e, not the older 2.09, and pdftex and pdflatex are available.

  3.   How do I set search paths for TeX and METAFONT?

    Our standard TeX and METAFONT programs in /usr/local/bin are based on the Web2C version 6 system, which followed Donald Knuth's practice at the Stanford TeX Project of having a small number of directories for fonts and macros enumerated in colon-separated directory search paths in the variables BIBINPUTS, DVIPSHEADERS, TEXCONFIG, TEXFONTS, TEXINPUTS, TEXPKS, and VFFONTS.

    As more developers contributed to the TeX Project, the size of the directory tree grew, and the search paths got rather long: our TEXFONTS path now has more than 25 directories in it.

    To avoid having to know the default values of these search paths, the best way to add your own directories to them is to reuse their existing values:

    % setenv TEXFONTS ${TEXFONTS}:$HOME/myfonts             # csh and tcsh
    $ TEXFONTS=${TEXFONTS}:$HOME/myfonts; export TEXFONTS   # sh, bash, ksh, and zsh
    

    The Web2c version 7 system on which TeX and METAFONT for TeX Live, GNU/Linux, and pdftex and pdflatex are based take a different approach. They introduce many more environment variables, but provide default search paths in configuration files, cache-file searching, and recursive directory searching, so that the environment variables are not needed by most users. In addition, they allow empty directories in user search paths to stand for the corresponding default path. Thus, the above examples would be rewritten as:

    % setenv TEXFONTS :$HOME/myfonts                # csh and tcsh
    $ TEXFONTS=:$HOME/myfonts; export TEXFONTS      # sh, bash, ksh, and zsh
    

    Given that the 2004 TeX Live distribution contains almost 4650 directories and more than 53,000 files, the old scheme of enumerating directories in search paths is completely impractical.

  4.   How do I find where a particular TeX- or METAFONT-related file is stored?

    To aid in finding files in these large directory trees, their top-level directories contain regularly updated files named DIRECTORIES and FILES that enumerate all of the directories and files in the tree. You can search them with a text editor, or with Unix tools like this:

    % grep amslatex.tex $TEX/FILES                  # any shell
    /usr/local/share/lib/tex/ams/amsltx11/doc/amslatex.tex
    
    % grep amslatex.tex $TEX/texlive/FILES
    /usr/local/share/lib/tex/texlive-2004-11/texmf-dist/doc/latex/amslatex/textcmds.pdf
    /usr/local/share/lib/tex/texlive-2004-11/texmf-dist/source/latex/amslatex/textcmds.dtx
    /usr/local/share/lib/tex/texlive-2004-11/texmf-dist/tex/latex/amslatex/textcmds.sty
    

    Another way to find files in a search path is the local pathfind command:

    % pathfind TEXFONTS cmr10.tfm                   # find first instance [any shell]
    /usr/local/lib/tex/fonts/cm/tfms/cmr10.tfm
    
    % pathfind -a TEXFONTS cmr10.tfm                # find all instances [any shell]
    /usr/local/lib/tex/fonts/cm/tfms/cmr10.tfm
    /usr/local/lib/tex/fonts/pk/tfms/cmr10.tfm
    

    With the two distributions based on Web2C version 7, use instead the kpsewhich (Karl's Path Search Which) command:

    % kpsewhich cmr10.tfm
    /a/suncore1/export/home/0072/texlive-2004-11/texmf-dist/fonts/tfm/public/cm/cmr10.tfm
    

    kpsewhich uses the file type (here, .tfm) to select a search-path variable whose value is found in the environment or in a system configuration file, and in most cases, searches only cache files.

    Unfortunately, when you need kpsewhich most, it is because TeX cannot find a file, and then kpsewhich cannot either, because both use the same search-path library code. To help it find the file, you need to set a suitable environment variable, but due to a serious design flaw, kpsewhich will not tell you which variable to set! It can only tell you the directories that it does search:

    % kpsewhich --show-path .tfm
    ...long search path displayed here...
    

    This flaw has been a major headache, and a strong disincentive to making the TeX Live implementation our default one.

  5.   How do I fix an Unable to read an entire line---bufsize=3000 error?

    This error is generally due to importing an Apple Macintosh file to a Unix system. Macintosh files use ASCII CR to terminate lines, while Unix uses ASCII LF. Thus, the entire Macintosh file looks like a single line on Unix. The mac2ux utility can easily fix the problem for text files, but can destroy binary files. Most human-provided input files for TeX and METAFONT are text files, so this is not normally an issue. The exception is PostScript graphics files, which can sometimes contain binary data.

    This error can also arise when an editor that does not provide input-line wrapping is used to create input files. This can be fixed with a good editor like emacs, which can rejustify lines on request with the fill-paragraph and fill-region commands. It can also be repaired with the texpretty utility, which prettyprints TeX files, and allows you to specify the desired maximum line length.

  6.   How do I fix a TeX capacity exceeded error?

    The most common cause of this error is corrupted LaTeX .aux files, and sometimes, unbalanced braces in input files. In the first case, simply delete the offending .aux file and run LaTeX again. In the second case, use the chkdelim utility with the -tex option to help you find the brace problem.

    In rare cases, the problem is real: your document really does require more capacity in one of TeX's internal tables. With the Web2C version 6 system from which our standard TeX is built, it is not possible to fix this problem, except by changing source code and recompiling TeX. However, with the Web2C version 7 system that the other two TeX implementations are based on, it is possible to change most of the internal table sizes with an assignment in a configuration file. For example, one of our faculty wrote a book that makes extensive use of cross-references, and found that the TeX pool_size limit was exceeded. He switched to the TeX Live version, and created a texmf.cnf in his book directory with the simple contents:

    % Increase pool_size from its default value of 75000.
    pool_size = 250000
    
  7.   Where do I find documentation for TeX and METAFONT?

    TeX and METAFONT, and the associated LaTeX document markup system, are complex programming languages that cannot be satisfactorily documented in a short Unix manual page. Instead, book-length treatments are essential.

    TeX and METAFONT are described by their author, Donald Knuth, in the five-volume series Computers & Typesetting, consisting of:

    Serious plain TeX users can learn much from David Salomon's The Advanced TeXbook. Plain TeX and METAFONT users will find much of interest in Alan Hoenig's TeX Unbound: LaTeX and TeX Strategies for Fonts, Graphics, & More.

    LaTeX is described by its author, Leslie Lamport, in LaTeX: A Document Preparation System (2nd edition). Lamport's small book defines the core of LaTeX, and is sufficient for many simple documents. However, there is an enormous collection of more than 2000 document classes and styles for LaTeX that require much more detail, provided by the so-far-three-volume multi-author LaTeX Companion series, consisting of The LaTeX Companion (2nd edition), The LaTeX Graphics Companion, and The LaTeX Web Companion. Many LaTeX users find Helmut Kopka's and Patrick Daly's A Guide to LaTeX (4th edition) a convenient single-volume substitute, with coverage of the most important LaTeX packages.

    Mathematicians may find George Grätzer's Math into LaTeX an essential handbook, and for a learner, his short First Steps in LaTeX.

    Typesetting with the Unicode character set is well documented in the Syropoulos, Tsolomitis, and Sofroniou book, Digital typography using LaTeX.

    The definitive source of bibliographic information for these books, and many more, are the bibliographies at:

    These bibliographies are part of a large collection that is most easily accessed with the bibsearch utility:

    % bibsearch
    ...
    book & latex graphics companion
    ...
    @Book{Goossens:1997:LGC,
      author =       "Michel Goossens and Sebastian Rahtz and Frank
                     Mittelbach",
      title =        "The {\LaTeX} Graphics Companion: Illustrating
                     Documents with {\TeX} and {PostScript}",
    ...
    }
    
  8.   Why do DVI drivers sometimes pause to generate fonts?

    Modern fonts are defined in specialized command languages and/or programming languages that describe character shapes with outlines or, for METAFONT, paths of shaped pens. Ultimately, these complex descriptions must be converted to a rectangular grid of black-and-white dots. PostScript printers can do this conversion internally, so most users are unaware of it.

    However, when you use a DVI driver, such as dvialw, dvidot, dvips, or xdvi, to convert a DVI file to the format needed for a particular device, conversion to a bitmap font description is needed. The DVI drivers cache the results of this conversion, so it is normally done only once. However, the caches are machine-specific, and may get overwritten by nightly jobs that update client workstation filesystems from master filesystems, so you may see bitmap-font generation daily on your workstation.

  9.   Why should I care about font formats?

    Mostly, you don't have to. However, there is one important case where a little knowledge helps. PDF file display with pre-version-6 Adobe Acrobat Reader is notably poor when bitmap fonts are used. Although outline fonts must be rendered into bitmaps at display time, taking extra CPU time, acroread will do so to the resolution of the (possibly magnified) screen. Thus, PDF files should always be generated using outline fonts if they are to be viewed on a screen, instead of just printed on paper.

    Unfortunately, sending jobs with outline fonts to PostScript printers produces a noticeable delay in printing because of the internal conversion to font bitmaps, and also, the PostScript files with outline fonts tend to be larger.

    Historically, DVI drivers like dvialw and dvips therefore create PostScript files with bitmap fonts, rather than outline fonts. In our local TeX installation, the variants dvialw-type1 and dvips-type1 produce outline fonts. They are shell-script wrappers that internally change font paths and font-map files so that the drivers use outline fonts for all METAFONT-generated fonts.

    The prevalence of PDF files on the Web led the TeX Live team to make use of outline fonts standard for dvips, and the GNU/Linux version does as well, so PostScript files from dvips print more slowly, but display better on the screen in PostScript or when converted to PDF format.

    For more on the issue of outline versus bitmap fonts, follow this link.

  10.   What tools are available for BibTeX?

    Many: bibcheck, bibclean, bibdestringify, bibdup, bibextract, bibindex, bibjoin, biblabel, biblex, biblook, biborder, bibparse, bibsearch, bibsort, bibsplit, bibtex, bibtext, bibunlex, and citesub.

    Unix manual pages are available for all of them.

  11.   What tools are available for TeX and LaTeX?

    A great many, including at least these: amslatex, amstex, autofont-mktexpk, autofont-mktextfm, chkdelim, chktex, detex, disdvi, doamslatex, doamstex, dolatex, doslitex, dotex, dvi2text, dvi2text, dvi2tty, dvialw-type1, dvialw, dvibit, dvibook, dvica2, dvican, dviconcat, dvicopy, dvidot, dvidsk.sh, dvihl8, dviimp, dviinfo, dvijep, dvijet.sh, dvikyo, dvilzr, dvipdf, dvips-type1, dvips, dviselect, dvitodvi, dvitype, etex, fig2ps2tex.sh, fig2ps2tex, gftodvi, grodvi, initex, lacheck, lamstex, latex209, latex2e, latex2gif, latex2html, latex, lookbibtex, ly2dvi, MakeTeXPK, man2texi, midi2tex, musixtex, nlatex, nxdvi-old, nxdvi, old-dvialw, old-dvidot, old-dvijep, pod2latex, rtflatex, slitex, tex2mail, tex, texexpand, texi2dvi4a2ps, texi2dvi4a2ps, texi2dvi, texi2dvi, texi2html, texi2pdf, texindex, texinfo2man, texinfo, texmacs, texpretty, tgrind, vgrind, virtex, xdvi-old, xdvi, and xdvimakepk.

  12.   What tools are available for METAFONT?

    Only a few: autofont-mktexpk, autofont-mktextfm, chkfont, cmmf, fontconvert, inimf, mf, mft, mftrace, mpost (TeX Live and GNU/Linux only), mpto, mptopdf, pdffonts, prfont, tfontedpr, vfontedpr, and virmf.

    In addition to these, there are several utilities for working with PostScript Type 1, TrueType, and OpenType fonts: fontforge (font editor and font format converter), mmafm, mmotype, mmpfb, t1ascii, t1asm, t1binary, t1disasm, t1dotlessj, t1lint, t1mac, t1reencode, t1testpage, t1unmac, ttdump, ttf2bdf, ttf2pf, ttf2pt1, ttf2pt1_convert, ttf2pt1_x2gs, ttfdump, ttfps, ttftot42, and ttundump.

  13.   What editor support is there for BibTeX?

    The local emacs-editor libraries bibtex-extra.el, bibtex-keys.el, bibtex-labels.el, bibtex-misc.el, bibtex-mods.el, bibtex-regs.el, bibtex-sort.el, bibtex-support.el, bibtex-tools.el, bibtex-x.el, bibtools.el, and btxaccnt.el provide more than 350 functions that support editing of BibTeX files.

  14.   What editor support is there for LaTeX?

    There are two major emacs-editor libraries collections for this purpose: (a) latex.el, ltxaccnt.el, and ltxmenu.el, and (b) the auctex package with about 40 separate library files. Because these packages have conflicting filenames, the auctex package is not in the normal search path, but it can be found in the directory /usr/local/share/emacs/site-lisp/auctex.

    Because the emacs tex-mode.el library provides a rather poor latex-mode, you need to explicitly load either of the two packages listed in the preceding paragraph if you want their features. The first is documented online in the emacs info node latex, and is based on code that has been in continuous use for more than 20 years.

    The lyx and texmacs editors attempt to provide WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) interface to LaTeX. Experienced users will be likely find them less than ideal, however.

    The kile program provides a GUI interface to common operations with LaTeX and associated tools. It is available only on our GNU/Linux systems.

    Before using one of those GUI programs, choose the TeX implementation that you desire according to these instructions.

  15.   How do I typeset in non-roman scripts, such as Arabic, Chinese, Ethiopian, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Thai?

    TeX systems extended for Unicode can do this: omega (TeX-like) and lambda (LaTeX-like), and on Mac OS X systems, xetex. For the simpler alphabetic systems, such as Hebrew and Russian, there are packages available that support their use with ordinary TeX and LaTeX; consult the books listed above.

  16.   What tools are available for generating typesettable pictures?

    Only a few: asy, dot, dotty, epsutil, gimp, gpic, mpost (TeX Live and GNU/Linux only), xfig (and its companion fig2dev), skencil), tgif, and xpaint.

    On some Windows and Mac OS systems, we have the commercial Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Streamline, Corel Draw, and Corel Trace.

    The Maple, Mathematica, Matlab, R, SAS, and S-Plus systems can all produce a wide variety of types of plots.

    pdftex and pdflatex can handle input of images in JPEG, PDF, and PNG format. They cannot handle PostScript images.

    PostScript DVI drivers for tex and latex can handle PostScript images, but not PDF or bitmap image files.

  17.   How can I turn a black-and-white bitmap scan of a line drawing into smooth PostScript graphics?

    Use potrace, autotrace, Adobe Streamline, or Corel Trace.

  18.   How do I convert between two different graphics file formats?

    This task is most easily handled by the ImageMagick convert program, which uses the input and output file extensions to specify the file formats:

    % convert myfile.jpg myfile.png
    

    However, there are also many tools in the /usr/local/netpbm/bin and /usr/local/pbmplus directories that can be applied to the task. Examples that combine several of these tools are pstoepsi, pstojpeg, pstopngtops, pstotgif, and pstotiff, all found in the /usr/local/bin/ directory.

    These tools support many options that control the conversion process, and in most cases, you will not get satisfactory output without using at least some of those options. Among the things that they control are aspect ratio, color depth, color mapping, color model, data compression, image orientation, image position, image quality, image resolution, image size, and transparency.
    Graphics data-format conversion is rarely exactly reversible. Be particularly careful with formats, such as JPEG and PNG, that use lossy (irreversible) compression: picture quality is almost always sacrificed.
    Lossy compression methods should be used only with continuous-tone (photographic) images. With bitonal images, such as line drawings, they introduce visible artifacts into areas of a single color, such as the background.
  19.   How do I make presentation slides?

    The oldest slide-making package for LaTeX is SliTeX, described in Lamport's first edition. In his second edition, the SliTeX program is replaced by a normal LaTeX document class, slides. However, that package was largely designed before the Web and PDF. Other packages since then include foiltex, seminar, prosper, and beamer. Of these, the author of this FAQ much prefers beamer because of its power, quality, and freedom of the screen-display-size problems that plague the others. Although the 200-page beamer manual is dauntingly complex, simple presentations are straightforward:

    \documentclass{beamer}
    \usetheme{Madrid}
    \usecolortheme{crane}
    \beamertemplatesolidbackgroundcolor{craneorange!25}
    \title[Short title]{Long descriptive title}
    \author{Matt Matician}
    \institute[Short institute]{Long institute address \\ phone \\ FAX \\ e-mail, ...}
    \date{26 September 2005}
    
    \begin{document}
    
    \begin{frame}
        \titlepage
        \tableofcontents
    \end{frame}
    
    \begin{frame}
        \frametitle{Today's schedule}
    
        \begin{itemize}[<+-| alert@+>]
          \item Breakfast,
          \item Midmorning coffee break,
          \item Lunch,
          \item Afternoon tea and cookies,
          \item Dinner,
          \item Write landmark paper,
          \item Cocoa and bed.
        \end{itemize}
    \end{frame}
    
    \begin{frame}[fragile]
    
        Evaluate indefinite integral:
    
    \begin{displaymath}
        \int \cos x \, dx = \sin x
    \end{displaymath}
    
        Check with Maple:
    
    \begin{verbatim}
        |\^/|     Maple 8 (SUN SPARC SOLARIS)
    ._|\|   |/|_. Copyright (c) 2002 by Waterloo Maple Inc.
     \  MAPLE  /  All rights reserved. Maple is a registered trademark of
     <____ ____>  Waterloo Maple Inc.
          |       Type ? for help.
    > int(cos(x),x);
                                        sin(x)
    
    > quit
    \end{verbatim}
    \end{frame}
    ... more frames ...
    \end{document}
    

    Each slide is a frame environment and the front-matter markup is similar to standard LaTeX markup, except for \institute and \titlepage.

    One critical point to watch for is that any use in a slide of a verbatim environment, or the \verb or \path macros, requires the [fragile] option on the surrounding frame. If you forget that option, then you'll get weird LaTeX errors that give no hint as to the problem.

    Colors and slide appearance are customizable, and a fair number of color and style themes are provided. The madrid theme is the only one that provides numbered slides, however, although presumably, it should be possible to get that feature with small extensions of the other slide styles (all named after large cities). Please inform the systems staff of any improvements or extensions that you make to beamer styles and themes so that others can benefit.

    The [<+-| alert@+>] option on the itemize environment is a nice feature that exposes one item at a time, highlighting the current one in color. You can also insert \pause commands at any point between normal text to achieve a similar effect.

  20.   How do I typeset my University of Utah dissertation/thesis with LaTeX?

    The officially approved LaTeX style files for the dissertations and theses required for University of Utah Bachelor's, Masters, and Ph.D. degrees are available locally in the directories /usr/local/lib/tex/uuthesis/ or /usr/uumath/lib/tex/uuthesis/, and on the Web at ftp://ftp.math.utah.edu/pub/uuthesis/ and http://www.math.utah.edu/pub/uuthesis/ These Web sites have checksummed and digitally signed complete distributions of the files that you need. Local users need not install them, because they are already installed in the local TeX tree.

    For new projects, please use the modern latex2e and samplethesis2e directories, instead of the historical latex209 and samplethesis209 directories. The sample documents help with the complex front-matter layout: if you use them, be use to change all of the variable items (author, title, month, year, department, degree, committee members, chairman, dean, ...) to match your own case!

    You are strongly advised to adapt the Makefile to your own document: using the Unix make utility is the proper way to handle complex and repetitive computer processing tasks, and will save you time, grief, and mistakes.

  21.   How do I convert LaTeX files to HTML?

    Don't: you will almost certainly be better off producing PDF files for use on the Web instead, because you then have full control over fonts, document format, and page appearance. This is particularly important for mathematics. Nevertheless, if you need HTML conversion, use either latex2html, or tex4ht (TeX Live only).

  22.   How do I convert LaTeX files to Microsoft-Word format, and vice versa?

    Because most word processors lack document structuring facilities, this conversion implies loss of all structure in going from LaTeX, and total lack of it in the reverse direction. In either case, the conversion is likely to be rather poor.

    The ltx2rtf, rtf2LaTeX, rtflatex, and unrtf utilities provide for conversion to and from an intermediate so-called `Rich Text Format', and may do at least part of the job for you.

    The antiword, catdoc, word2x, wordview, wvHtml, and xls2csv tools may also be helpful.

  23.   Is there a local mailing list for questions about TeX and METAFONT?

    Yes: the TeX-users list is a (currently low-volume) list where such questions may be posted, and there is an archive of past postings available from a link near the top of its Web page.

    There are also two more specialized TeX-related lists with worldwide membership: tex-archive and tex-fonts. However, they are intended for experts only. Ill-informed postings from novices may well be met with ridicule, scorn, and flames. Their list archives (reachable from links near the top of their Web pages) give a flavor of the level of discussion.

  24.   Why does TeXshop on Mac OS X produce shifted page images when \magnification is used?

    Plain TeX and AmSTeX documents that use low-level font magnification to typeset in different font sizes usually start with code like this (for Plain TeX):

    \magnification \magstep1
    \hsize =  8.5truein
    \vsize = 11.0truein
    

    or code like this (for AmSTeX):

    \documentstyle{amsppt}
    \magnification \magstep1
    \pagewidth   {8.5truein}
    \pageheight {11.0truein}
    

    This works fine with tex to produce a DVI file that dvialw or dvips convert to PostScript, and distill or ps2pdf further convert to PDF. However, if you use the File -> Print -> PDF-file menu path in TeXshop, the resulting PDF file will have an incorrectly positioned page image. You can fix this problem by adding these two lines after the magnification is set:

    \pdfpagewidth  =  8.5truein
    \pdfpageheight = 11.0truein
    

    This problem appeared in recent TeXshop releases that use a newer version of pdfTeX. That new version sets a PDF MediaBox (formerly, it did not), and that confuses the TeXshop print mechanism, unless the two PDF page dimensions are also specified.

  25.   How can I install TeX Live on my personal computer?

    You can either borrow a recent TeX Live YYYY annual DVD from systems staff, or you can download an ISO image to your personal computer. There are installers for Apple Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Unix on the DVD. Unless you have limited disk space, select the default full installation, which takes about 4.5GB of disk space. The only pre-install option that you are likely to want to change is paper size: the default is A4, but in the USA, A size (8.5in × 11in letter), is preferable.

    The DVD contains a copy of the huge Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN) collection of additional (La)TeX-related packages. You probably do not want to install that on your personal computer, because our department already hosts a copy of CTAN in the 30GB tree /usr/local/src/ctan, also accessible on the Web at http://ctan.math.utah.edu/. Our site is the North American CTAN master mirror of the CTAN master site in Germany.

    Once installation is complete, you have a perfectable workable TeX Live system on your computer. However, TeX Live, like most modern open-source projects, offers updates between major releases, and development is active, so until the next annual DVD is issued, there are likely to be a few packages updated every day. If you want to have the latest software on your system, you should run the TeX Live manager program, tlmgr. By default, it gets its updates from the TeX Live master site in Denmark, so the first thing to do (and only once) is to change the update location to the North American TeX Live master mirror which is hosted in our department. In a terminal window, run the commands

    ### Change to the root of the installation tree: this is
    ### the default location on Mac OS X and Unix systems:
    cd /usr/local/texlive/2015
    
    ### Use the TeX Live repository to Salt Lake City, UT from now on
    tlmgr option repository http://ctan.math.utah.edu/tex-archive/systems/texlive/tlnet
    

    Each time you update TeX Live, you do so like this:

    ### Change to the root of the installation tree: this is
    ### the default location on Mac OS X and Unix systems:
    cd /usr/local/texlive/2015
    
    ### Update the TeX Live manager software itself
    tlmgr update --self
    
    ### Update TeX Live packages
    tlmgr update --all
    

    It is a good idea to put those commands in a personal shell script, such as $HOME/bin/update-texlive.sh that is made executable with chmod a+x $HOME/bin/update-texlive.sh. You can then automate the process by scheduling the script to run at suitable times with the crontab program:

    ### Edit any existing crontab file, or create a new one (the
    ### default editor is vi):
    crontab -e
    
    ### Here is how to use a different text editor:
    env EDITOR=emacs crontab -e
    
    ### Use the editor to insert text like this in the crontab file.
    
    # crontab format:
    #       mm    hh    dd    mon   weekday       command
    #       00-59 00-23 01-31 01-12 0-6(0=Sunday)
    31 07  *  *  1          $HOME/bin/update-texlive.sh
    
    ### Those settings run the script every Monday morning at 7:31, but
    ### change them to suit your work habits, and, of course, pick a time
    ### when your computer is running and has an Internet connection!
    
    ### After you save the crontab file and exit the editor, you can list
    ### your scheduled jobs like this:
    crontab -l
    

    The updates never require your computer to be rebooted: once the script has run, you have the latest version of all TeX Live software. You probably will not have to do another manual installation until the next major TeX Live release in July of each year.

    Each annual TeX Live release has its own installation tree, so you can maintain multiple versions on your system, if you wish. Older TeX Live releases will work just fine, but they cannot be updated by tlmgr: it will complain about a frozen version, and exit immediately.


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University of Utah
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