PDFTEX(1) General Commands Manual PDFTEX(1)

# NAME

pdftex - PDF output from TeX

# SYNOPSIS

pdftex [options] [&format] [file|\commands]

# DESCRIPTION

Run the pdfTeX typesetter on file, usually creating file.pdf. If the file argument has no extension, ".tex" will be appended to it. Instead of a filename, a set of pdfTeX commands can be given, the first of which must start with a backslash. With a &format argument pdfTeX uses a different set of precompiled commands, contained in format.fmt; it is usually better to use the -fmt format option instead.

pdfTeX is a version of TeX, with the e-TeX extensions, that can create PDF files as well as DVI files.

In DVI mode, pdfTeX can be used as a complete replacement for the TeX engine.

The typical use of pdfTeX is with a pregenerated formats for which PDF output has been enabled. The pdftex command uses the equivalent of the plain TeX format, and the pdflatex command uses the equivalent of the LaTeX format. To generate formats, use the -ini switch.

The pdfinitex and pdfvirtex commands are pdfTeX's analogues to the initex and virtex commands. In this installation, if the links exist, they are symbolic links to the pdftex executable.

In PDF mode, pdfTeX can natively handle the PDF, JPG, JBIG2, and PNG graphics formats. pdfTeX cannot include PostScript or Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) graphics files; first convert them to PDF using epstopdf(1). pdfTeX's handling of its command-line arguments is similar to that of of the other TeX programs in the web2c implementation.

Starting with version 1.40, pdfTeX incorporates the e-TeX extensions, and pdfeTeX is just a copy of pdfTeX. See etex(1).

# OPTIONS

This version of pdfTeX understands the following command line options.
-cnf-line string
Parse string as a texmf.cnf configuration line. See the Kpathsea manual.
-draftmode
Sets \pdfdraftmode so pdfTeX doesn't write a PDF and doesn't read any included images, thus speeding up execution.
-enc
Enable the encTeX extensions. This option is only effective in combination with -ini. For documentation of the encTeX extensions see http://www.olsak.net/enctex.html.
-etex
Enable the e-TeX extensions. This option is only effective in combination with -ini. See etex(1).
-file-line-error
Print error messages in the form file:line:error which is similar to the way many compilers format them.
-no-file-line-error
Disable printing error messages in the file:line:error style.
-file-line-error-style
This is the old name of the -file-line-error option.
-fmt format
Use format as the name of the format to be used, instead of the name by which pdfTeX was called or a %& line.
-halt-on-error
Exit with an error code when an error is encountered during processing.
-help
Print help message and exit.
-ini
Start in INI mode, which is used to dump formats. The INI mode can be used for typesetting, but no format is preloaded, and basic initializations like setting catcodes may be required.
-interaction mode
Sets the interaction mode. The mode can be either batchmode, nonstopmode, scrollmode, and errorstopmode. The meaning of these modes is the same as that of the corresponding \commands.
-ipc
Send DVI or PDF output to a socket as well as the usual output file. Whether this option is available is the choice of the installer.
-ipc-start
As -ipc, and starts the server at the other end as well. Whether this option is available is the choice of the installer.
-jobname name
Use name for the job name, instead of deriving it from the name of the input file.
Sets path searching debugging flags according to the bitmask. See the Kpathsea manual for details.
-mktex fmt
Enable mktexfmt, where fmt must be either tex or tfm.
-mltex
Enable MLTeX extensions. Only effective in combination with -ini.
-no-mktex fmt
Disable mktexfmt, where fmt must be either tex or tfm.
-output-comment string
In DVI mode, use string for the DVI file comment instead of the date. This option is ignored in PDF mode.
-output-directory directory
Write output files in directory instead of the current directory. Look up input files in directory first, the along the normal search path.
-output-format format
Set the output format mode, where format must be either pdf or dvi. This also influences the set of graphics formats understood by pdfTeX.
-parse-first-line
If the first line of the main input file begins with %& parse it to look for a dump name or a -translate-file option.
-no-parse-first-line
Disable parsing of the first line of the main input file.
-progname name
Pretend to be program name. This affects both the format used and the search paths.
-recorder
Enable the filename recorder. This leaves a trace of the files opened for input and output in a file with extension .fls.
-shell-escape
Enable the \write18{command} construct. The command can be any shell command. This construct is normally disallowed for security reasons.
-no-shell-escape
Disable the \write18{command} construct, even if it is enabled in the texmf.cnf file.
-shell-restricted
Enable restricted \write18{}, as explained in the ``Shell escapes'' section of the Web2c Texinfo manual.
-src-specials
In DVI mode, insert source specials into the DVI file. This option is ignored in PDF mode.
-src-specials where
In DVI mode, insert source specials in certain places of the DVI file. The where argument is a comma-separated value list: cr, display, hbox, math, par, parent, or vbox. This option is ignored in PDF mode.
-synctex NUMBER
generate SyncTeX data for previewers according to bits of NUMBER. See the synctex manual page for details.
-translate-file tcxname
Use the tcxname translation table to set the mapping of input characters and re-mapping of output characters.
-default-translate-file tcxname
Like -translate-file except that a %& line can overrule this setting.
-version
Print version information and exit.
-8bit
make all characters printable by default.

# ENVIRONMENT

See the Kpathsea library documentation (e.g., the `Path specifications' node) for precise details of how the environment variables are used. The kpsewhich utility can be used to query the values of the variables.

One caveat: In most pdfTeX formats, you cannot use ~ in a filename you give directly to pdfTeX, because ~ is an active character in TeX, and hence is expanded, not taken as part of the filename. Other programs, such as Metafont, do not have this problem.

TEXMFOUTPUT
Normally, pdfTeX puts its output files in the current directory. If any output file cannot be opened there, it tries to open it in the directory specified in the environment variable TEXMFOUTPUT. There is no default value for that variable. For example, if you say pdftex paper and the current directory is not writable and TEXMFOUTPUT has the value /tmp, pdfTeX attempts to create /tmp/paper.log (and /tmp/paper.pdf, if any output is produced.) TEXMFOUTPUT is also checked for input files, as TeX often generates files that need to be subsequently read; for input, no suffixes (such as ``.tex'') are added by default, the input name is simply checked as given.
TEXINPUTS
Search path for \input and \openin files. This normally starts with ``.'', so that user files are found before system files. An empty path component will be replaced with the paths defined in the texmf.cnf file. For example, set TEXINPUTS to ".:/home/user/tex:" to prepend the current directory and ``/home/user/tex'' to the standard search path.
TEXFORMATS
Search path for format files.
TEXEDIT
Command template for switching to editor. The default, usually vi, is set when pdfTeX is compiled.
TFMFONTS
Search path for font metric (.tfm) files.
SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH
If set, its value, taken to be in epoch-seconds, will be used for the timestamps in the PDF output, such as the CreationDate and ModDate keys. This is useful for making reproducible builds.
FORCE_SOURCE_DATE
If set to the value "1", the time-related TeX primitives (\year, \month, \day, \time) are also initialized from the value of SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH. This is not recommended if there is any viable alternative.
pdfTeX also has several primitives to support reproducible builds, which are preferable to setting these environment variables; see the main manual.

Many, many more environment variables may be consulted related to path searching. See the Kpathsea manual.

# FILES

The location of the files mentioned below varies from system to system. Use the kpsewhich utility to find their locations.
pdftex.map
Font name mapping definitions.
*.tfm
Metric files for pdfTeX's fonts.
*.fmt
Predigested pdfTeX format (.fmt) files.

# BUGS

This version of pdfTeX fails to trap arithmetic overflow when dimensions are added or subtracted. Cases where this occurs are rare, but when it does the generated DVI or PDF file will be invalid.

# AVAILABILITY

pdfTeX is available for a large variety of machine architectures and operating systems. pdfTeX is part of all major TeX distributions.
pdfTeX on CTAN: https://ctan.org/pkg/pdftex.
pdfTeX mailing list for all discussion: https://lists.tug.org/pdftex.