[OS X TeX] %&format under pdftex 1.20a/TL 2004

Gary L.Gray gray at engr.psu.edu
Thu Nov 11 14:38:44 EST 2004

On Nov 11, 2004, at 2:33 PM, Herb Schulz wrote:

> On 11/11/04 1:14 PM, "Ludger Hentschel" <hentschel at simon.rochester.edu>
> wrote:
>> I recently upgraded pdftex to "Version 3.141592-1.20a-2.2".
>> I have a large set of macros, which I precompiled under pdftex.
>> I like the option of saying %&format on the first line of my TeX
>> file. This used to work just fine with my previous version of pdftex.
>> After the upgrade, this fails. Is this a new "feature", or is there
>> some way of regaining this functionality?
>> If I say "pdftex file" and file.tex has %&format as the first line,
>> pdftex does not find the compiled format
>> This is pdfeTeX, Version 3.141592-1.20a-2.2 (Web2C 7.5.3)
>> (format=pdftex 2004.11.10)  11 NOV 2004 13:32
>> entering extended mode
>> and, understandably, chokes on the first macro defined by my format.
>> If I say "pdftex -fmt format file" on the command line, pdftex finds
>> the compiled format
>> This is pdfeTeX, Version 3.141592-1.20a-2.2 (Web2C 7.5.3)
>> (format=texet53 2004.11.11)  11 NOV 2004 13:21
>> and everything is fine.
>> My previous message stated in error that this does not work. (I have
>> tinkered with this so much, I must have changed something since I
>> last tried it.) In any event, the only copy of the compiled format is
>> now in Library/texmf/web2c. As for Herb, this directory is the first
>> item on the path returned by "kpsewhich -progname=pdftex
>> -show-path=.fmt".
>> Thank you,
>> Ludger
> Howdy,
> The man page for pdftex has said, for a while now, that the '-fmt 
> format'
> version was prefered to the '&format' CL version or the '%&format' 
> version.
> I never understood why but I've always used it. Maybe now I see why!

I don't know if this helps, but on the page (TeXShop 1.35 changes):


Dick says:

"In previous TeXShop versions, the typesetting program can be set in 
the first line  of the source code by writing %&tex, %&latex, %&pdftex, 
etc. For compatibility reasons,  this still works, but the preferred 
syntax is now %&program=tex, %&program=latex,  %&program=pdftex, etc. 
This new syntax also works for any new typesetting engine  added to 
~/Library/TeXShop/Engines. For example, %&program=xelatex chooses  

-- Gary

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