[OS X TeX] .pdf or .dvi?

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Sun Dec 3 10:47:53 EST 2006

On 3-dec-2006, at 16:31, David Goldschmidt wrote:

> I installed GW's Tex-i package (dated 2006/10/10 21:50:35)
> and I run latex from the command line.  When I do this on my
> main file, which is part of a book, pdfeTeX is invoked and I get
> a .pdf file.  I assumed that this is always what happens, probably
> because the Mac is pdf-friendly.  But I just happened to run latex
> on an old latex file, and I got .dvi output, even though pdfeTeX was
> still invoked.  So how is the output type actually determined?

latex calls pdfetex with the instruction to use the latex format, and  
produce dvi.
pdflatex calls pdfetex with the instruction to use the pdflatex  
format, and produce pdf.
Practically all higher formats (latex, context) now use pdfetex as  
the engine,
regardless of output format. Only tex is still using Knuth-tex (as  
required by the
license of TeX).

There are command-line flags that set the output format explicitly,  
an some (broken)
packages may alter the output format for you.

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