tex — TeX

## Synopsis

`tex` [`option`...] [[`file`] | [\`command`...]]

## Description

TeX formats the interspersed text and commands contained in the named files and outputs a typesetter independent file (called DVI, which is short for DeVice Independent). TeX's capabilities and language are described in The TeXbook. TeX is normally used with a large body of precompiled macros, and there are several specific formatting systems, such as LaTeX, which require the support of several macro files.

TeX looks at its command-line to see what name it was called under. Both initex and virtex are linked to the tex executable. When called as initex (or when the `-initialize` option is given) it can be used to precompile macros into a `.fmt` file. When called as virtex it will use the plain format. When called under any other name, TeX will use that name as the name of the format to use. For example, when called as tex the tex format is used, which is identical to the plain format. The commands defined by the plain format are documented in The TeXbook. Other formats that are often available include latex and amstex.

The commands given on the command-line to the TeX program are passed to it as the first input line. (But it is often easier to type extended arguments as the first input line, since shells tend to gobble up or misinterpret TeX's favorite symbols, like backslashes, unless you quote them.) As described in The TeXbook, that first line should begin with a file name, a \controlsequence, or a &`formatname`.

The normal usage is to say

`tex paper`

to start processing `paper.tex`. The name “paper” will be the “job name”, and is used in forming output file names. If TeX doesn't get a file name in the first line, the job name is `texput`. When looking for a file, TeX looks for the name with and without the default extension (`.tex`) appended, unless the name already contains that extension. If paper is the “job name”, a log of error messages, with rather more detail than normally appears on the screen, will appear in `paper.log`, and the output file will be in `paper.dvi`.

TeX will look in the first line of the file `paper.tex` to see if it begins with the magic sequence `%&`. If the first line begins with `%&format --translate-file tcxname`, then TeX will use the named format and transation table `tcxname` to process the source file. Either the format name or the `--translate-file` specification may be omitted, but not both.

The `e` response to TeX's error prompt causes the default editor to start up at the current line of the current file. The configuration value `Editor` can be used to change the editor used. It may contain a string with `%f` indicating where the file name goes and `%l` indicating where the decimal line number (if any) goes.

A convenient file is `null.tex`, containing nothing. When TeX can't find a file it thinks you want to input, it keeps asking you for another file name; responding `null` gets you out of the loop if you don't want to input anything. You can also type your EOF character (usually Control-Z).

## Options

`--alias=app`

Pretend to be `app`, i.e., set program (and memory dump) name to `app`. This may affect the search paths and other values used. Using this option is equivalent to copying the executable file to `app.exe` and invoking `app.exe`.

`--aux-directory=dir`

Set the directory `dir` to which auxiliary files are written. Also look for input files in `dir` first, before along the normal search path.

`--buf-size=n`

Set the the maximum number of characters simultaneously present in current lines of open files and in control sequences between \csname and \endcsname. TeX uses the buffer to contain input lines, but macro expansion works by writing material into the buffer and reparsing the line. As a consequence, certain constructs require the buffer to be very large, even though most documents can be handled with a small value.

`--c-style-errors`

Change the way, error messages are printed. The alternate style looks like error messages from many compilers and is easier to parse for some editors. This option implies \scrollmode.

`--disable-installer`

Disable automatic installation of missing packages. Specifying this option overwrites the global configuration setting in MiKTeX Options (see the section called “Automatic Package Installation”).

`--disable-pipes`

Disable input (output) from (to) child processes.

`--disable-write18`

Disable the \write18{`command`} construct.

`--dont-parse-first-line`

Disable checking whether the first line of the main input file starts with %&.

`--enable-enctex`

Enable encTeX extensions such as \mubyte.

`--enable-installer`

Enable automatic installation of missing packages. Specifying this option overwrites the global configuration setting in MiKTeX Options (see the section called “Automatic Package Installation”).

`--enable-mltex`

Enable MLTeX extensions such as \charsubdef.

`--enable-pipes`

Enable input (output) from (to) child processes.

`--enable-write18`

Fully enable the \write18{`command`} construct. It is only partially enabled by default to avoid security problems. When fully enabled, the command (which undergoes the usual TeX expansions) is passed to the command interpreter. The output of the command is not diverted anywhere, so it will not appear in the log file. The command execution either happens at \output time or right away, according to the absence or presence of the \immediate prefix.

`--error-line=n`

Set the width of context lines on terminal error messages.

`--extra-mem-bot=n`

Set the extra size (in memory words) for large data structures like boxes, glue, breakpoints, et al. Relevant only after the memory dump file has been read.

`--extra-mem-top=n`

Set the extra size (in memory words) for chars, tokens, et al. Relevant only after the memory dump file has been read.

`--font-max=n`

Set the maximum internal font number.

`--font-mem-size=n`

Set the size, in TeX memory words, of the font memory.

`--half-error-line=n`

Set the width of first lines of contexts in terminal error messages.

`--halt-on-error`

Quit after the first error.

`--hash-extra=n`

Set the extra space for the hash table of control sequences (which allows 10K names as distributed).

`--help`

Give help and exit.

`--include-directory=dir`

Prefix `dir` to the search path.

`--initialize`

Become the INI variant of the compiler.

`--interaction=mode`

Set the interaction mode. Must be one of `batchmode`, `nonstopmode`, `scrollmode` and `errorstopmode`. The meaning of these modes is the same as the corresponding commands.

`--job-name=name`

Set the name of the job (\jobname. This has an affect on the output file names.

`--job-time=file`

Set the time-stamp of all output files equal to `file`'s time-stamp.

`--main-memory=n`

Change the total size (in memory words) of the main memory array. Relevant only while creating memory dump files.

`--max-in-open=n`

Set the maximum number of input files and error insertions that can be going on simultaneously.

`--max-print-line=n`

Set the width of longest text lines output; should be at least `60`.

`--max-strings=n`

Set the maximum number of strings.

`--nest-size=n`

Set the maximum number of semantic levels simultaneously active.

`--no-c-style-errors`

Don't change the way, error messages are printed.

`--output-directory=dir`

Create output files in `dir`. This implies `--include-directory=dir`.

`--param-size=n`

Set the the maximum number of simultaneous macro parameters.

`--parse-first-line`

Check whether the first line of the main input file starts with %&, and parse if it does. This can be used to specify extra command-line options.

`--pool-size=n`

Set the maximum number of characters in strings, including all error messages and help texts, and the names of all fonts and control sequences.

`--quiet`

Suppress all output, except errors.

`--recorder`

Enable the file name recorder. This leaves a trace of the files opened for input and output in a file with the extension `.fls`.

`--record-package-usages=file`

Record all package usages and write them into `file`.

`--restrict-write18`

Partially enable the \write18{`command`} construct.

`--save-size=n`

Set the the amount of space for saving values outside of current group.

`--src-specials`

Embed source file information (source specials) in the DVI file.

`--stack-size=n`

Set the maximum number of simultaneous input sources.

`--string-vacancies=n`

Set the minimum number of characters that should be available for the user's control sequences and font names, after the compiler's own error messages are stored. Must be at least 25000 less than `pool_size`, but doesn't need to be nearly that large.

`--tcx=name`

Process the TCX table `name`.

`--time-statistics`

Show processing time statistics.

`--trace[=tracestreams]`

Enable trace messages. The `tracestreams` argument, if speciefied, is a comma-separated list of trace stream names (Chapter 9, Trace Streams).

`--trie-size=n`

Set the amount of space for hyphenation patterns.

`--undump=name`

Use `name` as the name of the format to be used, instead of the name by which the program was called or a

`%&`

line.

`--version`

Show version information and exit.

## Aliases

initex

Equivalent to `tex -ini`.

virtex

Equivalent to `tex`.

## Environment

`TEXINPUTS`

Extra paths to locate TeX \input and \openin files.

`TFMFONTS`

Extra paths to locate TeX font metric files