[OS X TeX] Just went to Leopard and ...

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Fri Nov 9 15:00:01 CET 2007

Le 9 nov. 07 à 12:03, Tom Koornwinder a écrit :

> Let me explain my position. I have used plain TeX from about 1988  
> until
> about 2002 for math writing, both research papers and teaching  
> material,
> on Sun workstation and on Mac with Textures. In 2002 I went over to  
> LaTeX,
> and as late as 2004 I stepped over from OS9 to OS X. I am now  
> working only
> on Mac, no longer on Sun. For plain TeX I did extensive macro  
> developing.
> Since I wrote so much in plain TeX, I of course want to keep and  
> maintain
> this.
> [...]
> By the way, I checked these with a plain TeX file of mine, and they  
> both work
> fine:
>>      \pdfpageheight=11.0 truein
>>      \pdfpagewidth=8.5 truein
>>      \pdfhorigin=1.0truein
>>      \pdfvorigin=1.0truein
>> Bruno Voisin suggested an even nicer solution, which produces a  
>> source
>> file which will typeset in both pdftex and ordinary TeX:
>>      \magnification=\magstep1
>>      \input ifpdf.sty
>>      \ifpdf
>>      \pdfpagewidth=8.5truein \pdfhorigin=1truein
>>      \pdfpageheight=11truein \pdfvorigin=1truein
>>      \else
>>      \special{papersize=8.5in,11in}
>>      \fi
> For the moment I will keep the %!TEX TS-program = tex solution,
> because it is so little effort to adapt a plain TeX file in this way
> (it is no longer so often that I want to typeset a plain TeX file).

Two things:

- Actually, thinking more about it, the second solution above is not  
really needed in your case, as US Letter size is selected in your  
config.ps and this is not affected by \magnification. Only for pdfTeX  
is a fix required.

- Perhaps you can simply redump your pdftex format (used by default by  
TeXShop for plain TeX) to incorporate the fix, and then forget about  
the whole thing. I have not tested this myself, but I imagine the  
following should work:

* Create a file /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/tex/plain/misc/ 
pdftexfix.tex say containing


* Copy /usr/local/texlive/2007/texmf-dist/tex/plain/config/pdftex.ini  
to /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/tex/plain/config/pdftex.ini  
(creating directories as required).

* Edit the new pdftex.ini by adding between "\input plain" and "\dump"  
the line

\input pdftexfix

* In Terminal, run

sudo -H fmtutil-sys --byfmt pdftex

I'm cc'ing this to the OS X TeX list, so that knowledgeable people  
there can correct the above if I'm wrong.

By the way, I regret Dick Koch hasn't posted his explanation about the  
why and how of the 4 new pdfTeX parameters \pdfpagewidth,  
\pdfpageheight, \pdfhorigin and \pdfvorigin to the whole OS X TeX  
list. It's very clear, very comprehensive, and very well-written (as  
far as I can judge as a non-native English speaker); it could have  
been helpful there.

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