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6.1 The LaTeX style file

The main purpose of this package is the extraction of certain environments (most notably displayed formulas) from LaTeX sources as graphics. This works with DVI files postprocessed by either Dvips and Ghostscript or dvipng, but it also works when you are using PDFTeX for generating PDF files (usually also postprocessed by Ghostscript).

Current uses of the package include the preview-latex package for WYSIWYG functionality in the AUCTeX editing environment, generation of previews in LyX, as part of the operation of the pst-pdf package, the tbook XML system and some other tools.

Producing EPS files with Dvips and its derivatives using the ‘-E’ option is not a good alternative: People make do by fiddling around with \thispagestyle{empty} and hoping for the best (namely, that the specified contents will indeed fit on single pages), and then trying to guess the baseline of the resulting code and stuff, but this is at best dissatisfactory. The preview package provides an easy way to ensure that exactly one page per request gets shipped, with a well-defined baseline and no page decorations. While you still can use the preview package with the ‘classic’

dvips -E -i

invocation, there are better ways available that don’t rely on Dvips not getting confused by PostScript specials.

For most applications, you’ll want to make use of the tightpage option. This will embed the page dimensions into the PostScript or PDF code, obliterating the need to use the -E -i options to Dvips. You can then produce all image files with a single run of Ghostscript from a single PDF or PostScript (as opposed to EPS) file.

Various options exist that will pass TeX dimensions and other information about the respective shipped out material (including descender size) into the log file, where external applications might make use of it.

The possibility for generating a whole set of graphics with a single run of Ghostscript (whether from LaTeX or PDFLaTeX) increases both speed and robustness of applications. It is also feasible to use dvipng on a DVI file with the options

-picky -noghostscript

to omit generating any image file that requires Ghostscript, then let a script generate all missing files using Dvips/Ghostscript. This will usually speed up the process significantly.

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This document was generated by Mosè Giordano on December 10, 2017 using texi2html 1.82.