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2. Using teTeX.

Theoretically, at least, everything is installed correctly and is ready to run. teTeX is a very large software package. As with any complex software package, you'll want to start by learning teTeX slowly, instead of being overwhelmed by its complexity.

At the same time, we want the software to do something useful. So instead of watching TeX typeset

``Hello, World!''
as Professor Knuth suggests, we'll produce a couple of teTeX's own documents in order to test it.

2.1 Printing the documentation.

You should be logged in as root the first few times you run teTeX. If you aren't, Metafont may not be able to create the necessary directories for its fonts. The texconfig program includes an option to make the font directories world-writable, but if you're working on a multi-user system, security considerations may make this option impractical or undesirable.

In either instance, if you don't have the appropriate permissions to write to the directories where the fonts are stored, Metafont will complain loudly because it can't make the directories. You won't see any output because you have a bunch of zero-length font characters. This is no problem. Simply log out, re-login as root, and repeat the offending operation.

The nice thing about teTeX is that, if you blow it, no real harm is done. It's not like a compiler, where, say, you will trash the root partition if a pointer goes astray. What, you haven't read the teTeX manual yet? Of course you haven't. It's still in the distribution, in source code form, waiting to be output.

So, without further delay, you will want to read the teTeX manual. It's located in the directory

/usr/lib/teTeX/texmf/doc/tetex.

The LaTeX source for the manual is called TETEXDOC.tex. (The .tex extension is used for both TeX and LaTeX files. Some editors, like Emacs, can tell the difference.) There is also a file TETEXDOC.dvi included with the distribution, which you might want to keep in a safe place---say, another directory ---in case you want to test your .dvi drivers later. With that out of the way, type

latex TETEXDOC.tex
LaTeX will print several warnings. The first,
LaTeX Warning: Label(s) may have changed. Rerun to get the
cross-references right.
is standard. It's common to build a document's Table of Contents by LaTeXing the document twice. So, repeat the command. The other warnings can be safely ignored. They simply are informing you that some of the FTP paths mentioned in the documentation are too wide for their alloted spaces. Sections Paragraph styles and dimensions and Tolerances describe horizontal spacing in more detail.

teTeX will have generated several files from TETEXDOC.tex. The one that we're interested in is TETEXDOC.dvi. This is the device-independent output which you can send either to the screen or the printer. If you're running teTeX under the X Windows System, you can preview the document with xdvi.

For the present, let's assume that you have a HP LaserJet II. You would give the command

dvilj2 TETEXDOC.dvi 
which writes a PCL output file from TETEXDOC.dvi, including soft fonts which will be downloaded to the LaserJet. This is not a feature of TeX or LaTeX, but a feature provided by dvilj2. Other .dvi drivers provide features that are relevant to the devices they support. dvilj2 tries to fill the font requests which were made in the original LaTeX document with the the closest equivalents available on the system. In the case of a plain text document like TETEXDOC.tex, there isn't much difficulty. All of the fonts requested by TETEXDOC.tex will be generated by metafont, which is automatically invoked by dvilj2, if the fonts aren't already present. (If you're running dvilj2 for the first time, the program may need to generate all of the fonts.) There are several options that control font generation via dvilj2. They're outlined in the manual page. At this point, you shouldn't need to operate metafont directly. If you do, then something has gone awry with your installation. All of the .dvi drivers will invoke metafont directly via the kpathsea path-searching library---the discussion of which is beyond the scope of this document---and you don't need to do any more work with metafont for the present---all of the metafont sources for the Computer Modern font library are provided.

You can print TETEXDOC.lj with the command

lpr TETEXDOC.lj
You may also need to install a printer filter that understands PCL.

The nine-page teTeX Guide provides some useful information for further configuring your system, some of which I have mentioned, much that this document doesn't cover.

Some of the information in the next section I haven't been able to test, because I have a non-Postscript HP Deskjet 400 color ink jet printer connected to the computer's parallel port. However, not owning a Postscript printer is no barrier to printing text and graphics from your text documents. Ghostscript is available in most Linux distributions and it could already be installed on your system.


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