Here is an overview of the output formats currently supported by Texinfo.
texi2any.) Info format is mostly a plain
text transliteration of the Texinfo source. It adds a few control
characters to provide navigational information for cross-references,
indices, and so on. The Emacs Info subsystem (see Info), and the standalone
info program (see GNU Info), among others, can read these files. See Info Files, and Creating and Installing Info Files.
texi2any --plaintext.) This is almost the
same as Info output with the navigational control characters are
texi2any --html.) HTML, standing for Hyper
Text Markup Language, is the language for writing documents on the World
Wide Web. Web browsers
can render this language online. There
are many versions of HTML, both different standards and
texi2any uses a subset
of the language that can be interpreted by any common browser,
intentionally not using many newer or less widely-supported tags.
Although the native output is thus rather plain, it can be customized
at various levels, if desired. See Generating HTML.
EPUB is a format designed for reading electronic books on
portable devices. It is a derivative of HTML. The format was
developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF),
which is now part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The
latest major revision, EPUB 3, dates from 2011.
texi2dvi.) The DeVIce Independent binary
format is output by the TeX typesetting program
(http://tug.org). This is then read by a DVI ‘driver’, which
knows the actual device-specific commands that can be viewed or
printed, notably Dvips for translation to PostScript (see Dvips) and Xdvi for viewing on an X display
(http://sourceforge.net/projects/xdvi/). See Formatting and Printing with TeX. (Be aware that the Texinfo language is very different
from TeX’s usual languages: plain TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt,
texi2dvi --ps.) PostScript is a page
description language that became widely used around 1985 and is still
used today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PostScript gives a
basic description and more preferences. By default, Texinfo uses the
dvips program to convert TeX’s DVI output to PostScript.
texi2dvi --pdf or
format was developed by Adobe Systems for portable document
interchange, based on their previous PostScript language. It can
represent the exact appearance of a document, including fonts and
graphics, and supporting arbitrary scaling. It is intended to be
platform-independent and easily viewable, among other design goals;
http://tug.org/TUGboat/tb22-3/tb72beebe-pdf.pdf have some
background. By default, Texinfo uses the
pdftex program, an
extension of TeX, to output PDF; see
http://tug.org/applications/pdftex. See PDF Output.
texi2any --latex.) This is a typesetting
system built on top of TeX. It was originally released by
Leslie Lamport in 1984. LaTeX adds more definitions to those
of TeX and has a wide range of packages built on it. LaTeX is
ubiquitous in academic literature. The current version of LaTeX
is under active development; more information is available online
The LaTeX output can be further processed into DVI, PostScript or PDF. In theory, the LaTeX output should allow for much more customizability of the output than would be possible with the plain TeX implementation of Texinfo.
texi2any --docbook.) This is an XML-based
format, primarily for technical
documentation. It therefore bears some resemblance, in broad
outline, to Texinfo. See http://www.docbook.org. Various
converters from DocBook to Texinfo have also been developed;
see the Texinfo web pages.
texi2any XML output, unlike all the other output
formats, is a transliteration of the Texinfo source, rather than
finished output. Texinfo XML files cannot be viewed in web browsers
or other programs.
XML is a generic syntax specification usable for any sort of content. (A reference is at http://www.w3.org/XML.) The purpose of the Texinfo XML output is to allow further processing by XML tools. The output syntax is defined in an XML DTD, which is contained in a file texinfo.dtd included in the Texinfo source distribution.
The Texinfo source distribution includes a utility script txixml2texi to do a backward transformation to recreate the original Texinfo content (except for Texinfo macros and conditionals).