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Hacking DVI files

Jin-Hwan Cho


This paper is devoted to the first step in developing a new DVI editing utility, called DVIasm. Editing DVI files consists of three parts: disassembling, editing, and assembling. DVIasm disassembles a DVI file into a human-readable text format which is more flexible than DTL, and assembles the output back into a DVI file. DVIasm is quite useful for people who have a DVI file without a TeX source, and need to modify the document. It enables attaching a preprint number, a watermark, or an emblem to a document without touching the TeX source. DVIasm is quite useful even to a TeX expert who wants to modify a few words in a large document. We discuss in the paper how DVIasm plays a role as supplementary to TeX. The current version supports only the standard DVI file format as DVItype and DTL. The next versions will support 16-bit TeX extensions including Omega, pTeX, and XeTeX.

Jin-Hwan Cho received his PhD in Mathematics in 1999. In TeX society he has been known as a co-author of DVIPDFMx. He gave two talks about DVIPDFMx at the TUG conference in 2003 and 2005. He can be reached at

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