18 Formatting and Printing with TeX

Running the texi2dvi or texi2pdf command is the simplest way to create printable output. These commands are installed as part of the Texinfo package.

In more detail, three major shell commands are used to print formatted output from a Texinfo manual: one converts the Texinfo source into something printable, a second sorts indices, and a third actually prints the formatted document. When you use the shell commands, you can either work directly in the operating system shell or work within a shell inside GNU Emacs (or some other computing environment).

If you are using GNU Emacs, you can use commands provided by Texinfo mode instead of shell commands. In addition to the three commands to format a file, sort the indices, and print the result, Texinfo mode offers key bindings for commands to recenter the output buffer, show the print queue, and delete a job from the print queue.

In the United States, documents are most often printed on 8.5 inch by 11 inch pages (216mm by 280mm); this is the default size. But you can also print for 7 inch by 9.25 inch pages (178mm by 235mm, the @smallbook size; or on A4 or A5 size paper (@afourpaper, @afivepaper). See @smallbook: Printing “Small” Books, and Printing on A4 Paper.

Details are in the following sections.