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Document 446

How to compile and view a plain TeX file

Version: 3.x, 4.x, 5.x - Scientific WorkPlace & Scientific Word

If you attempt to open a plain TeX file in Scientific WorkPlace or Scientific Word, you will receive a message indicating that the file isn't valid for the selected filter. The message occurs because the program can't read plain TeX files.

Although you can't open a plain TeX file directly in SWP or SW, one of these methods may enable you to compile and view the information.

Import the contents of the file

As plain TeX files are closely related to LaTeX files, you may be able to import the contents of the plain TeX file into a document in SWP or SW. If you can import the file, you will probably be able to see the body of the document. However, the process may introduce macros that subsequently cause LaTeX compilation errors. You may be able to detect and delete the macros and compile the document. Note that SWP and SW can not import the contents of all plain TeX files.

  1. Open a new document.

  2. From the File menu, choose Import Contents.

  3. Select the file you want to open and choose Open .

Use the TrueTeX Formatter and Previewer to compile and view the file

The TrueTeX system included with SW is a complete version of TeX, and includes a format file for plain TeX. Outside of SWP or SW, you can use the TrueTeX Formatter to compile a plain TeX file and use the TrueTeX Previewer to view the compiled document:

  1. Compile the file:

    1. From the Windows Start menu, choose Programs.

    2. Choose the SWP or SW program group and then choose the TrueTeX Formatter.

    3. When the TrueTeX Formatter starts and displays the Open TeX file dialog, choose Cancel to close the dialog.

    4. Choose the Preload=latex_ml menu item to open the Select Preloaded Format file dialog.

    5. Choose Search to list the available format files.

    6. Select PLAIN.FMT from the list and choose Open.

    7. From the File menu, choose Open TeX source file to reopen the Open TeX File dialog.

    8. Navigate to the directory that contains your plain TeX file, select the file, and choose Open to compile the file.

      The Formatter will create the DVI file and place the typeset results in the same directory as the plain TeX file. You may need to compile the file several times to resolve cross-references, create a table of contents, or resolve other TeX typesetting issues.

  2. View the compiled file:

    1. From the Windows Start menu, choose Programs.

    2. Choose the SWP or SW program group and then choose the TrueTeX Previewer.

    3. From the File menu, choose Open.

    4. Navigate to the directory containing the DVI file, select the DVI file, and choose Open to see the typeset results.

Last revised 01/19/06

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