[texhax] Re: TeX-PS

Jan-Martin Wagner jmartin at j13.physik.uni-jena.de
Wed Jun 4 21:21:10 CEST 2003

> Can someone tell me the steps that are performed by the typesetting
> systems like TeX upto when it converts the output into postscript.
> What files are produced and in which sequence the programs like dvips
> looks for those files.
> i am interested in knowing the whole mechanism behind this.

Well, I can't tell you much about that, but as far as the first step
(*.tex --> *.dvi) is concerned, LaTeX tells you which files it reads.
For the font files I think the informations given by LaTeX are not
exhaustive, since there are the *.tfm and *.vf files around that --
as far as I understood -- make up what (La)TeX thinks of being the
font(s). On the other hand, most of them can be figured out from the
*.fd files used, which, in turn, can be figured out from the "Font
Info" given in the log file: After running, e.g., "latex abc.tex",
have a look at the contents of abc.log. The opening and closing
brackets "(", ")" show which messages, actions, and further file
loadings are related to which of the invoked files.
(Since so far I don't use plain TeX, I can't tell you about its
way of telling about its actions.)

As for dvips, in the description of the -P option given on the man
page (or any equivalent) you find some hints on the config files that
it reads and in which order.

Maybe that helps to get a bit of an idea,


  Dipl.-Phys. Jan-Martin Wagner

  Institut fuer Festkoerpertheorie   Tel.: + 49 - 36 41 - 94 71 67
  und Theoretische Optik,            Fax:      ...      - 94 71 52
  Fr.-Schiller-Universitaet Jena

  IFTO, Max-Wien-Platz 1,            jmw at ifto.physik.uni-jena.de
  D-07743 Jena, Germany              www.ifto.uni-jena.de/~jmartin

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