[OS X TeX] Emulating LaTeXit with regular latex

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Sun Aug 29 02:05:37 EDT 2010

Hi Alan,

On 29/08/2010, at 12:53 PM, Alan Munn <amunn at gmx.com> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> LaTeXit does a wonderful job of creating small images that are exactly the size of the typeset text, no more, no less.  How does it do it?  Is there a way to do what LaTeXit does just using regular TeX tools? (I don't care if it's more complicated.)

You can do this with pdflatex, xetex, whatever.
TeXshop's \ship out primitive can ship out any \box, containing whatever you want.
You have to be careful about margins and offsets, but these can be set to zero locally as you ship out a page that is exactly the size that you want.

Presumably this is what LaTeXit does. Certainly it is what LaTeX2HTML does, when it makes images for use with web pages. There may be some more graphics manipulations to get the size and resolution correct. This is all pretty standard technology, for say 20 years or more now.

> Alan
> -- 
> Alan Munn
> amunn at gmx.com

Hope this helps,


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