[OS X TeX] Job start message question

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Thu Feb 10 13:41:10 EST 2011

On Feb 10, 2011, at 11:20 AM, Doug McKenna wrote:

> Greetings,
> Each job I run (using System 10.4, TeXShop 2008 distribution, LaTeX 
> format), the console begins with four message lines saying:
> This is pdfTeXk, Version 3.1415926-1.40.9 (Web2C 7.5.7)
> \write18 enabled.
> %&-line parsing enabled.
> entering extended mode
> My understanding is that the second line means system commands might be 
> executed, representing a security issue.


Yes, it's also know as shell-escape.

> But I don't understand what the next two lines mean.  The problem with 
> searching the web for these phrases is that the vast majority of matches 
> are to similar log files, so that didn't help much.
> Thanks in advance for any elucidation.
> Doug McKenna

The third line means that pdftex will obey the command on a line that starts with %&, e.g.,

%& pdflatex

tells pdftex to run as pdflatex. If you call it as pdflatex this would make no difference. It's not as expansive as TeXShop's

% !TEX TS-program = xxxx

line which allows many different engines to be run.

The fourth line means that pdftex is running as pdfetex which is now standard as it allows for additional memory allocations.

PS: What OS are you using? Is there a reason you are still on MacTeX(TeX Live)-2008?

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest dot com)

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