tpic specials

David Carlisle d.p.carlisle at
Sat May 15 10:56:50 CEST 2021

The package doc says

> This package provides smooth beams and crescendos/decrescendos by means
of vector drawing: tpic \special's or pdfTeX raw literals.

so it should be easy enough to convert the pdf literals into any of the
current tex engines even if tpic is a bit obscure these days.

tpic is essentially a tex wrapper for groff pic syntax as described by  man
pic  if you have it installed, or online eg at


On Sat, 15 May 2021 at 07:14, Bob Tennent <rdtennent at> wrote:

> The musixtex add-on musixvbm.tex replaces font-based beams
> by vectorized beams using (for dvi output) tpic specials.
> For example, here is a typical sequence of tpic specials,
> obtained using dviasm:
>           xxx: 'sh 1'
>           xxx: 'pa 0 34'
>           xxx: 'pa 1012 34'
>           xxx: 'pa 1012 1'
>           xxx: 'pa 0 1'
>           xxx: 'pa 0 34'
>           xxx: 'ip'
> These tpic specials at least seem to be supported by dvips
> and dvipdfm, but not by any dvi viewer known to me (xdvi,
> yap, okular). Are there any dvi viewers that support (at
> least) these tpic specials?
> Tpic specials are said to be "standard" but I've been unable
> to find any documentation. Where can I find it?
> Bob T.
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