Patch for pdftex and magnification


To fix an incompatibility in tetex, download the package pdftexpatch.tar.gz. Untar it; enter the directory; become root; run
It will adjust the formats for pdftex so that \magnification will work compatibly when producing pdf output.


Modern usage of TeX often bypasses the dvi stage by using pdftex to produce pdf format output. In fact this is rapidly becoming standard. Unfortunately the authors of pdftex have adopted policies for defining the size of the text region that lead to incompatibilities in TeX processing when producing pdf. The error occurs when pdftex encounters a \magnification command.
In TeX (using the Plain macros) the \magnification is frequently used to produce text size that is readable. It scales everything up within the normal paper size. However, when producing pdf (but not when producing dvi), pdftex fails to do this scaling correctly, because it relies on different variables for its vsize, voffset etc. I have had a long discussion (read argument) with the authors of pdftex. They do not consider this erroneous behavior to be worth fixing. Or at least they have so far refused to fix it.
Actually there is something of a demarcation problem in that the fix that is offered here is applied to the file pdftex.ini. That file is considered by some to be the responsibility of the TeX distribution rather than the programmers of pdftex. The distribution tetex, which is what linux distributions have used for a long time, is now not actively being developed. Therefore it does not seem possible to persuade anyone to patch the system to correct this incompatibility.
That is why the present script is being distributed. If you have problems with plain TeX files, \magnification, and pdftex producing pdf, you can use the package to correct your tetex system so that it will do correct scaling. It works automatically (on standard linux distributions).

File translated from TEX by TTHgold, version 3.77.
On 10 May 2008, 18:22.