[OS X TeX] Emulating LaTeXit with regular latex

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Sun Aug 29 17:50:02 EDT 2010

Hi Alan,

On 30/08/2010, at 12:28 AM, Alan Munn wrote:

> On Aug 29, 2010, at 2:05 AM, Ross Moore wrote:

>> Presumably this is what LaTeXit does. Certainly it is what LaTeX2HTML does, when it makes images for use with web pages.

Actually, LaTeX2HTML does not do it this way.
It crops a larger page down to the desired size.

>> 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.
> Hi Ross, it may be standard technology, but not for (mere) LaTeX users like me, I think, since \shipout is a command that although I'm aware of its existence, I've certainly had no occasion to use.  (Especially since any discussion of TeX's output routine (which is where \shipout is most often used?) usually comes along with dire warnings about how tricky it can be :-).

True. But that is about building a full page,
with header, footer, margins, floats, background, etc.
That is all rather complicated, and not to be meddled 
with lightly.

> I guess I'll read up a bit on output routines

This has nothing to do with the \output routine.
You can just \shipout a box, whenever you want,
irrespective (touchwood) of what is in the rest 
of the document.

> although a simple example that would get me started would probably help too.

Try the following, in both pdfLaTeX and XeLaTeX,
to get the right idea.



\edef\fullpagesize{\noexpand\special{papersize=\the\paperwidth, \the\paperheight}}


This is stuff on this page.

 \setbox\shipbox =\hbox{\framebox{$c^2 = a^2 + b^2$}}
 \dimen0=\ht\shipbox \advance\dimen0 by\dp\shipbox
  \pdfpageheight=\dimen0 \relax
   \edef\thispagedimens{\noexpand\special{papersize=\the \hsize, \the\dimen0}}%
   \typeout{What is the driver?
  You may need \string\special\space support to set the page size.}%
 \hoffset=-1truein \voffset=-1truein
 \immediate\shipout\vbox to \hsize{\noindent\box\shipbox\thispagedimens}%
 \ifxetex\aftergroup \fullpagesize\fi

And even more stuff on the same page.


You can easily turn the above coding into a macro.

Note how you need to pass the page size to the PDF engine,
via setting primitives locally, or with a \special .
If a \special is used, then you may subsequently need another 
to reset to the full paper size, for the surrounding document.

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

Hope this helps,


Ross Moore                                       ross.moore at mq.edu.au 
Mathematics Department                           office: E7A-419      
Macquarie University                             tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                          fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8114

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