# [texhax] MS Word & Mathtype to TeX

Pierre MacKay pierre.mackay at comcast.net
Wed Dec 21 00:05:38 CET 2011

On 12/20/2011 2:25 PM, Khaled Hosny wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 02:05:23PM -0500, Thomas Schneider wrote:
>> Philip:
>>
>>> 	PdfTeX<whatever>.tex
>>> 	Start<whatever>.pdf
>> On my machine that has latex in the path:
>>
>> % which latex
>> /usr/texbin/latex
>> % latex
>> This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.3-1.40.12 (TeX Live 2011)
>>   restricted \write18 enabled.
>>
On a Unix machine, with a fully functional system of filename linking,
the latest distributions show that /usr/bin/pdftex is linked to the name
latex and thus preempts any other use of the name latex.  (I suppose
Microsoft's crippled idea of links would call this a "shortcut" ) So far
as I can make out, pdftex is a stripped down engine, (akin to what we
used to call initex and virtex) and there would have to be some way of
associating that stripped down engine with a compatible "latex.fmt"
Nothing in the auxiliary files suggests how it is planned to do that.
There is no precompiled latex.fmt, and there isn't even a latex.ltx.
Unless you have latex already running, you cannot derive latex.ltx from
latex.doc.  I finally had to run tex with the option that makes it run
as initex on a two-year old latex.ltx, and spend an afternoon typing in
all the names for actual instances of LaTeX support files (fonts, etc.)
as each of them turned up missing.  I now have a working latex.fmt and
can go back to using latex in the few instances when I need it.

A new arrival to LaTeX is not going to know that what would be needed is
something like  'latex "&latex \input whatever.tex" ', and there is no
reason why he should have to know that.  texsys.config is no use at all,
and a new user should not have to think about texsys.config anyway.

(In answer to an odd comment in another message, I do not know whether
Phil uses a case-insensitive OS or not, but that has nothing to do with
the present problem.  The use of the utility "which" looks like Unix,
and what I find is that the banner head for pdftex reads PdfTeX, but the
file in the binary directory is named pdftex.)

Pierre MacKay