[XeTeX] \special{papersize=...} in *.fmt

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Sat Mar 4 16:40:10 CET 2006

On 4 Mar 2006, at 3:21 pm, Stephen Moye wrote:

> If I put \special{papersize=...} into a .fmt file, it does not seem  
> to 'take'.

Not sure what you mean by "put into a .fmt file". A format file is  
just a way to load a large collection of macros, etc. But \special's  
need to be written to the DVI (or XDV) output in order to have any  
effect, so they ultimately need to be included in a box that is  
shipped out by TeX using \shipout.

If you define a macro that expands to \special{papersize=...}, store  
that in a .fmt, and then use that macro in a document, I'd expect it  
to work. But merely saying \special{...} during format creation won't  
achieve this.

I guess you're wanting to make a .fmt file that sets a particular  
paper size, without requiring anything in the normal TeX input file.  
One way to do this would be to define a modified \output={...}  
routine that includes the \special you want, and then dump a format  
that includes this new \output.

Alternatively, would it be simpler to use a shell script (or TeXShop  
engine) to call xetex, passing the papersize as a command-line argument?


More information about the XeTeX mailing list