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18.11 PDF Output

The simplest way to generate PDF output from Texinfo source is to run the convenience script texi2pdf (or pdftexi2dvi); this executes the texi2dvi script with the --pdf option (see Format with texi2dvi). If for some reason you want to process the document by hand, you can run the pdftex program instead of plain tex. That is, run ‘pdftex foo.texi’ instead of ‘tex foo.texi’.

PDF stands for ‘Portable Document Format’. It was invented by Adobe Systems some years ago for document interchange, based on their PostScript language. Related links:

At present, Texinfo does not provide ‘@ifpdf’ or ‘@pdf’ commands as for the other output formats, since PDF documents contain many internal low-level offsets and cross-references that would be hard or impossible to specify at the Texinfo source level.

PDF files require dedicated software to be displayed, unlike the plain ASCII formats (Info, HTML) that Texinfo supports. They also tend to be much larger than the DVI files output by TeX by default. Nevertheless, a PDF file does define an actual typeset document in a self-contained file, notably including all the fonts that are used, so it has its place.