[texhax] MS Word & Mathtype to TeX

Heiko Oberdiek heiko.oberdiek at googlemail.com
Wed Dec 21 01:23:10 CET 2011

On Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 06:05:38PM -0500, Pierre MacKay wrote:

> On 12/20/2011 2:25 PM, Khaled Hosny wrote:
> >On Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 02:05:23PM -0500, Thomas Schneider wrote:
> >>Philip:
> >>
> >>>	PdfTeX<whatever>.tex
> >>>	Start<whatever>.pdf
> >>On my machine that has latex in the path:
> >>
> >>% which latex
> >>/usr/texbin/latex
> >>% latex
> >>This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.3-1.40.12 (TeX Live 2011)
> >>  restricted \write18 enabled.
> >>
> I complained at excessive length about this behavior several weeks
> ago.  On a Unix machine, with a fully functional system of filename
> linking,
> the latest distributions show that /usr/bin/pdftex is linked to the
> name latex and thus preempts any other use of the name latex.

See the documentation of web2c:

| Determining the memory dump to use
| The virgin form (see Section 3.5.1 [Initial and virgin], page 10) of each
| program always reads a memory dump before processing normal source input.
| All three programs determine the memory dump to use in the same way:
| 1. If the first non-option command-line argument begins with `&', the
| program uses the remainder of that argument as the memory dump name. For
| example, running `tex \&super' reads `super.fmt'. (The backslash protects
| the `&' against interpretation by the shell.)
| 2. If the `-fmt' resp. `-base' option is specified, its value is used.
| 3. If the `-progname' option is specified, its value is used.
| 4. If the first line of the main input file (which must be specified on
| the command line, not in response to `**') is %&dump, and dump is an
| existing memory dump of the appropriate type, dump is used. The first line
| of the main input file can also specify which character translation file
| is to be used: %&-translate-file=tcxfile (see Section 4.4.2 [TCX files],
| page 19). These two roles can be combined: %&dump -translate-file=tcxfile.
| If this is done, the name of the dump must be given first.
| 5. Otherwise, the program uses the program invocation name, most commonly
| `tex' resp. `mf'. For example, if `latex' is a link to `tex', and the user
| runs `latex foo', `latex.fmt' will be used.

> suppose Microsoft's crippled idea of links would call this a
> "shortcut" ) So far as I can make out, pdftex is a stripped down
> engine, (akin to what we used to call initex and virtex) and there
> would have to be some way of associating that stripped down engine
> with a compatible "latex.fmt"

"stripped down" is not the right term. "pdftex" is the engine
like "tex", but with e-TeX extensions and PDF extensions, if
they are requested.

"latex" as program, linked to "pdftex" means that
"pdftex" is uses as engine and "latex.fmt" as format (TeX macros).
The convention in TeX Live is that "latex.fmt" uses "pdftex"
in DVI mode.

> Nothing in the auxiliary files
> suggests how it is planned to do that.

Not clear to me what you mean.

> There is no precompiled
> latex.fmt, and there isn't even a latex.ltx.

Also unclear, what you mean. TeX Live comes with latex.ltx
and the formats are generated in the installation process or
can be triggered by fmtutil, for example.

> Unless you have latex
> already running, you cannot derive latex.ltx from latex.doc.

latex.ltx (LaTeX2e) is generated by running iniTeX (tex -ini) on
unpack.ins. Thus you don't need latex to generate latex.

> I finally had to run tex with the option that makes it run as initex
> on a two-year old latex.ltx,

latex.ltx throws an error message during format generation if the
format is too old. Some time ago the time was two years, nowadays
it is five years.

> and spend an afternoon typing in all
> the names for actual instances of LaTeX support files (fonts, etc.)
> as each of them turned up missing.

Usually fonts are needed for typesetting.
Of course LaTeX can be installed and generated from scratch.
A good exercise to learn more about the internals.
End users can use a TeX distribution that has already done
this job.

> I now have a working latex.fmt
> and can go back to using latex in the few instances when I need it.
> A new arrival to LaTeX is not going to know that what would be
> needed is something like  'latex "&latex \input whatever.tex" ', and

All he need is "latex whatever".

> there is no reason why he should have to know that.  texsys.config
> is no use at all, and a new user should not have to think about
> texsys.config anyway.

I don't know "texsys.config", do you mean "texsys.cfg"?

> (In answer to an odd comment in another message, I do not know
> whether Phil uses a case-insensitive OS or not, but that has nothing
> to do with the present problem.  The use of the utility "which"
> looks like Unix, and what I find is that the banner head for pdftex
> reads PdfTeX, but the file in the binary directory is named pdftex.)

That's not seldom that a program is called differently than it's name.
Often the program call is all lowercase (saving some keystrokes)
or shorter (also saving some keystrokes).
Example: AR7/Linux is called as "acroread" and names itself "Adobe Reader".

Yours sincerely
  Heiko Oberdiek

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