[pdftex] pdflatex: paper size

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Tue Jul 29 20:52:13 CEST 2008

Alain Matthes writes:
 > Le 26 juil. 08 à 02:36, Darrell Long a écrit :
 > > Hi,
 > >
 > > I installed TeXlive (replaced teTeX) and am having problems with
 > > pdflatex. I cannot figure out how to set the paper size. I found
 > > something on the web about editting pdftexconfig.tex (which I did) but
 > > it had no effect ('ll attach it below).

Hi Darrel and Matthes,
pdfTeX reads the config file (pdftexconfig.tex) when the format file
is created.  You have to run

   texconfig-sys init

after you changed the configuration.  However, the preferred way is to
specify papersize at install time, then the installer will do
everything necessary.

If you have to change it later, run:

   tlmgr paper letter

 > A better and safe solution is to use MacTeX
 > The TeX Live installed by MacTeX is identical to that obtained by  
 > installing using TeX Live's own install script, with the following  
 > exceptions:
 > 	• MacTeX's TeX Live is configured to use $HOME/Library/texmf rather  
 > than $HOME/texmf for user additions to thetexmf tree. This is the  
 > location used by previous versions of TeX on Mac OS X from Gerben  
 > Wierda.

If you are using TeX Live on OS X only, you can change the variable
TEXMFHOME in the installer menu.  The default is ~/texmf because this
makes more sense in heterogenous networks.  Note that there is only
one texmf.cnf which is used by all systems.

 > After adding files to this location, texhash need not be run.

You don't have to run texhash after adding files to TEXMFHOME in TeX
Live either at the moment.  This is configurable (in texmf.cnf) and
will certainly be changed in the future.  So don't rely on it!

The reason that there is no ls-R file in TEXMFHOME is a bug in
fmtutil.  Not using an ls-R database for TEXMFHOME is a quick and
dirty 'solution' for the time being, for TL-2009 we plan to port
fmtutil to texlua anyway.

 > 	• When the TeX Live install script finishes, it prints a message  
 > suggesting that users configure TeX paper size for "letter" or "a4"  
 > paper. MacTeX does this step automatically. TeX Live suggests using  
 > the command
 > sudo texconfig-sys paper letter

Actually you are asked before the installer installs anything:

 | <O> options:
 |  [ ] use letter size instead of A4 by default
 | [...]

 > sudo texconfig-sys paper letter
 > (or "a4" instead of "letter" where appropriate), while MacTeX issues  
 > two commands:
 > sudo texconfig-sys paper letter
 > sudo texconfig-sys dvips paper letter
 > This makes a subtle difference [...]

Hopefully not.  'texconfig-sys paper letter' also sets the papersize
for dvips.  There should be no difference between MacTeX and TeX Live
in this respect.

But let me know if something doesn't work as expected.

One stupid question from someone completely unfamiliar with OS X: Has
the 'Library' directory been invented by Gerben or is it a standard
directory on OS X?  You said:

 > This is the location used by previous versions of TeX on Mac OS X
 > from Gerben Wierda.

If 'Library' is proposed by Apple, then it's *probably* best if MacTeX
uses it.  Otherwise it's better not to use it even if it had been used
in the past.  It makes more sense to use the same directory structure
as on other Unix systems.  It is very desirable if things work the
same way on all platforms.


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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