[OS X TeX] Pre-compiled custom formats for PDFTeX

Ludger Hentschel hentschel at simon.rochester.edu
Wed Jul 14 20:27:04 CEST 2004

I am struggling with the switch from Textures to teTeX. After much 
help from searching the various TeX groups and lists, I seem to have 
solved most of my problems. One remaining annoyance is that teTeX 
cannot reliably find pre-compiled custom formats for pdftex.

I mostly run tex/pdftex via the Terminal window using scripts from 
BBEdit. Issuing the commands directly in the Terminal or from the 
scripts produces identical results.

I have successfully compiled my preferred macros for pdftex. When I 
place the format and a copy of pdftex.cfg in the same directory as 
the document, everything runs fine if the document starts with 
%&myformat. In other words, "pdftex document.tex" produces the 
expected results without error messages.

If, instead, I place myformat.fmt in a convenient folder like 
library/texmf/tex/formats/myformat.fmt, pdftex apparently does not 
find the format file, defaults to plain, and chokes on the first 
"undefined control sequence."

I have other input files stored in library/texmf/tex/... that tex and 
pdftex find without incident.

I have tried "sudo texhash" without improvement. (texhash seems to 
operate only on the tree in \usr\local\teTeX..., so I did not expect 
much from this.)

Also, if I don't place a copy of pdftex.cfg in the same directory as 
the document, pdftex says "Error: pdftex (file pdftex.cfg): cannot 
open config file." This occurs even though pdftex does not complain 
that it cannot find pdftex.cfg when I use the plain format with 
pdftex. (The default copy of pdftex.cfg appears to be located at 

My format files contain extensions of plain TeX and do not rely on LaTeX.

Ludger Hentschel
William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
Box 270100, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627--0100
Phone: (585) 275--1058, Fax: (585) 273--1140
E-mail: mailto:hentschel at simon.rochester.edu
Web: http://www.simon.rochester.edu/fac/hentschel
Post: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>
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