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dvipos - compute positions in a DVI file


dvipos [ OPTION... ] infile[.dvi]


dvipos parses a DVI file looking for pos: specials. It currently recognizes pos:pxy, pos:pxywhd, pos:pxyplus, pos:begbox, pos:endbox, pos:beglines, and pos:endlines. It then outputs the information from those specials along with information that only a DVI postprocessor could determine, such as the current x and y location. The output looks like:


and is suitable for including in a tex(1) or pdftex(1) auxiliary file, such as document.tuo, to be read in by the next run of the tex(1) or similar typesetting engine.


print usage.
print warnings.
print verbose output.
print dvitype(1) debugging data.
regard height and depth as zero.
send all output to FILE. Without this option, output goes to stdout.
send bounding box to FILE (default FILE is infile.pos).
request copy of DVI file, BASE.dvi, with bounding boxes framed (default FILE is infile_frames.dvi). See the --framesize option.
override tex(1) magnification by INT.
set frame rule size by INT (default 6554 = .1pt).
set page ranges from X to Y.


dvipos is run mostly behind the scenes by ConTeXt's texexec(1) between runs of tex(1) or pdftex(1), in order to provide information to and get information about positional graphics. These graphics are provided by the MetaFun interface to mpost(1). dvipos is not used (or needed) in PDF-output mode but is needed for DVI-output mode. pdftex(1) starting with version 1.40 can produce position information even in DVI mode, so once the ConTeXt macros take advantage of this feature, the need for dvipos will fade.

Until then, here is a typical use of dvipos:

dvipos notes.dvi

The position information that is output is collected by texexec(1) to include in the notes.tuo auxiliary file to use in the next run.


dvipos -o doc.loc doc.dvi
dvipos -b -o doc.loc doc.dvi
dvipos -b=/tmp/debug.pos -o doc.loc doc.dvi


dvips(1), dvitype(1), mpost(1), pdftex(1), tex(1), texexec(1).

For more about positional graphics, see the MetaFun documentation on the ConTeXt wiki ⟨URL: ⟩.


If you specify a file for the -b option, you must join the option and name with = rather than (the more common) space:

dvipos -b=/tmp/debug.pos notes.dvi

works, but

dvipos -b /tmp/debug.pos notes.dvi

does not.


dvipos is written by Jin-Hwan Cho <>. It is free software (GPLv2 or later). This manpage was written by Sanjoy Mahajan <> and is in the public domain.

January 2007 dvipos 20070107 (KPATHSEA)