[texhax] using latex from an external plotting package

Darren Dale dd55 at cornell.edu
Tue Feb 7 02:52:00 CET 2006

Hi Karl,

On Saturday 04 February 2006 2:43 pm, you wrote:
> Hi Darren,
>     Is there a way to use latex in a kind of server mode
> Running TeX as a daemon brings up all kinds of ancillary issues.  My
> advice is, don't go there.
>     to provide the layout information needed to render the glyphs on
>     screen, and in a postscript, eps or pdf document?
> You want (La)TeX to do the layout but not the final rendering?  That
> sounds like exactly what DVI format is all about -- it has all the
> positioning information and character information, but no rendering.
> If you read the DVI, you could then translate to screen, *ps, or pdf
> yourself, if that's what you're after.  (I'm not entirely clear.)

That is correct. I would like to render text that has been laid out by latex 
on screen, or in an image file like png, eps, pdf, or svg. Does anyone know 
if there is an open source dvi parser available that is compatible with the 
python (BSD) license? 

>     to render text, could it be possible to use latex in coordination
>     with freetype?
> If you can make the fonts which LaTeX uses available to freetype on the
> fly (they certainly won't be installed in the "right" place on the
> system).  You can find the fonts by calling kpsewhich, among other ways.

Is that a big IF? I believe freetype works with AFM files, but dvi files seem 
to reference tfm/vf files. Does anyone know if the tfm/vf information is 
applicable to afm fonts? For example, a dvi file might reference 
phvr7t.vf/phvr7t.tfm, but the helvetica afm file is phvr8a.afm. I'm sorry if 
I'm confused, there are some things about working with fonts that I am trying 
to learn.


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